UIC named Green Ribbon School Postsecondary Sustainability award winner by Dept. of Ed.

UIC campus

UIC wins U.S. Dept. of Education sustainability award. Photo Carley Mostar

The U.S. Department of Education announced today that the University of Illinois at Chicago is among the 2018 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees.

UIC was nominated by the Illinois Board of Higher Education.  UIC’s conservation efforts include a formal ten-year commitment to sustainability, known as the UIC Climate Commitments, and a Climate Action Implementation Plan that maps progress and next steps. By 2050, the campus community and partners hope to make UIC a carbon neutral, zero waste, net zero water and biodiverse university.

Illinois candidates were chosen by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE); Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE); and the Illinois Green Alliance, a nonprofit that works to make the region sustainable, profitable and healthy.

“This is our first national recognition for our sustainability work,” said Cynthia Klein-Banai, associate chancellor of sustainability. “It’s exciting, and it’s a testament to what we do.”

Klein-Banai thanked faculty, staff and students for championing the campuses’ green causes.

“This is not singularly the work of the Office of Sustainability, this is work that has to be done across the campus and I think the breadth of what they were looking for, what we’re being recognized for, shows that occasion from hundreds of people across campus toward creating a more sustainable, just world,” she said.

Across the country, 46 schools, six districts, and six postsecondary institutions, including UIC,  are being honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education.

The honorees were named from a pool of candidates nominated by 25 states and the Department of Defense Department of Education Activity. The winners include 40 public schools, including two magnet schools and two charter schools, as well as six nonpublic schools. Forty-five percent of the 2018 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body.

The list of all selected schools, districts, colleges, and universities, as well as their nomination packages, can be found here. A report with highlights on the 58 honorees can be found here. More information on the federal recognition award can be found here.

An award ceremony for winners will be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C. on September 19. Representatives from the Office of Sustainability and other campus departments or organizations will accept the award on UIC’s behalf.

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