2021 Climate Implementation Plan Progress Report now available

The 2021 Progress Report of the Climate Action Implementation Plan has been posted online. The report details the university’s progress toward the goals of the UIC Climate Commitments, including the Carbon Neutral Campus, Zero Waste Campus, Net-Zero Water Campus, Biodiverse Campus, and Teaching and Learning goals, and was prepared in conjunction with the Chancellor’s Committee on Sustainability and Energy.

UIC’s CAIP consists of seven strategies that will be achieved through 41 SMART goals. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. The goals provide guidelines to narrow goal scopes and ensure timely achievement. The CAIP will be supported, developed, invested in, implemented and reevaluated every five years through 2050.

A newly created CAIP portal has been created so the campus community can monitor progress and interact with the SMART goals within the plan’s seven strategies:

  • Energy Efficiency and Conservation.
  • Clean and Renewable Energy Sources.
  • Reduced Transportation-Related Emissions.
  • Natural Resources and Ecosystem Services.
  • Sustainable Materials and Reduced Waste Systems.
  • Education and Research.
  • Climate Resilience.

All members of the UIC community have a stake in the climate commitments — especially students.

Nature reported in Fall 2021 that climate change is causing distress, anger and other negative emotions based on data from a survey of thousands of 16- to 25-year-olds,” said Cindy Klein-Banai, assistant vice chancellor and director of sustainability. “This ‘eco-anxiety’ harms respondents’ daily lives and is partly caused by the feeling that governments are not doing enough to avoid a climate catastrophe. Many of them also care about what is happening in their communities and campuses. Knowing that UIC is taking action and learning how they can get involved with initiatives may provide some relief to this anxiety and concern.”

“The CAIP progress report and portal provide transparency to university students, faculty, staff and the general public to ensure we are held accountable for our commitment to climate change and sustainability,” said Matthew Rundquist, a graduate student who is working on the project.

“To achieve our CAIP goals, we will need to work collaboratively and transparently across departments in ways we have not in the past. That’s why we wrote this report and continue to work with stakeholders through the Chancellor’s Committee on Sustainability and Energy,” he added.

If you would like to get involved with this effort, the CCSE has six subcommittees that implement and track the SMART goals. For more information and to sign up for notifications about the committee’s work, please visit the CCSE website.

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