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Sustainability celebrates four years of being green

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The Office of Sustainability celebrates four years of success in making UIC more environmentally friendly.

Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin

It takes a campus to go green.

The Office of Sustainability will thank the UIC community for its efforts to make the university a more environmentally friendly place and celebrate its accomplishments at a four-year anniversary event Tuesday.

“While the Office of Sustainability may coordinate some of the efforts and make the initiatives move forward, we really couldn’t be where we are without everybody’s help,” says Cynthia Klein-Banai, associate chancellor for sustainability.

“We are highlighting the work that everyone on campus has done, celebrating individuals and groups of people who have contributed, from building service workers to the chancellor.”

The celebration takes place from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Daley Library’s IDEA Commons. Klein-Banai will list highlights from the past four years and announce upcoming initiatives. Manohar Kulkarni, director of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, will present the 2011 Governor’s Sustainability Award to Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares and Mark Donovan, vice chancellor for administrative services.

The sustainability office has much to celebrate, Klein-Banai said. Campus recycling rates have increased and buildings are more energy efficient.

The newly renovated Lincoln, Douglas and Grant halls are heated and cooled by a geothermal well field. Lincoln (which is LEED certified gold) and Douglas halls also have rooftop solar panels that provide at least 10 percent of the energy demand in each building.

This fall, the Office of Sustainability launched two transportation initiatives — a ride-matching service called iCarpool and a car-sharing program that gives students and employees access to Zipcars stationed around campus.

At Tuesday’s event, Klein-Banai will announce upcoming competitions and initiatives, such as the Green Office Challenge, which recognizes departments and units for sustainable initiatives.

UIC will also take part in the national RePaper Challenge, which asks campuses to remove 75 percent of cardboard and paper from their waste streams by 2015.


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