CHICAGO HEIGHTS | Prairie State College recently was recognized for sustainability efforts during the Governor’s Sustainability Awards presented by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
PSC received the designation as a Silver institution during the 2013 Campus Sustainability Compact Awards Program. The recognition was for participation in the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact, which outlines environmental goals that colleges and universities may adopt on their campus. The compact includes objectives such as purchasing renewable energy, implementing green building practices, developing sustainable transportation options, improving water conservation, and incorporating sustainable dining practices.
The recognition as a Silver institution means that PSC is “ready to make targeted commitments to greening their operations and monitoring performance.”
The college was recognized for several initiatives, including adopting and implementing a number of campuswide sustainable policies. A student Sustainability Club also was formed, and works closely with the PSC faculty, staff, sustainability committee, and the Student Government Association to enact campuswide change. Because of the joint effort, PSC identified three immediate goals pertaining to waste management, green purchasing, and electric vehicle charging stations. Since 2011, recycling bins have been added to classrooms and public spaces, increasing recycling by nearly 20 percent. PSC’s 2015 sustainability plan outlines initiatives to reduce energy consumption by 10 percent, achieve a 40 percent waste-diversion rate and 20 percent reduction in paper use, and purchase only Clorox green-cleaning supplies.
The award was part of the ISTC’s annual event recognizing organizations in Illinois that have demonstrated a commitment to environmental excellence through outstanding and innovative practices.
“It is an honor for the college to be recognized for the efforts that we have made towards making a more sustainable campus,” said PSC President Terri L. Winfree. “The Sustainability Center should be applauded for the tremendous strides they are making towards a greener PSC.”