UIC wins Emerald Award for sustainability plan

Climate Action Implementation Plan

UIC has won a 2019 Emerald Award for Organizational Leadership from the Illinois Green Alliance for the UIC Climate Action Implementation Plan.

“We are committed to sustainable practices that make our operations more efficient and conserve resources, serving as a model for our students and the community,” Chancellor Michael D. Amiridis said. “UIC is committed to a sustainable future, and with everyone’s efforts, we will continue to lead the way.”

The UIC Climate Action Implementation Plan lays out a strategy for UIC becoming a Carbon Neutral, Zero Waste, Net Zero Water and Biodiverse campus. The plan includes a variety of cost-effective strategies to be implemented through 2028 to help the campus achieve its sustainability goals.

“The award is not just for the Office of Sustainability — this award belongs to everybody on campus,” said Lisa Sanzenbacher, assistant director for sustainability projects in the UIC Office of Sustainability. “There’s no way we could do this alone.”

The implementation plan highlights the next steps for the university in order to build a stronger sustainable work and living ethic, while also reducing campus emissions of greenhouse gases, Sanzenbacher said. UIC currently has three LEED-certified buildings and has set a goal for all future new construction and major renovations to be LEED-certified at the gold level.

“We’re always working on the plan,” she said. “We’re working with the Office of Capital Planning and Project Management and project managers every time we do a new building or major renovation. Even with older lecture halls where you wouldn’t think we could do it, we’re starting conversations on how these buildings can be carbon neutral.”

The public is invited to attend the Limelight Reception awards ceremony from 5 to 9 p.m. May 14 at Venue SIX10, 610 S. Michigan Ave. Tickets can be purchased online.

“The projects and leaders recognized are more than innovators in green building solutions, they are committed to making more people in more communities benefit from sustainable design, technology and construction,” said Brian Imus, executive director of Illinois Green Alliance.

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