Commitments, Plans, Reports, & Memberships

Each Year as part of binding agreements and to show accountability to the compact, the Office of Sustainability puts out annual reports on the status of sustainability at UIC.  Here, you will find both those reports as well as the binding agreements we adhere to. Click on the links to learn more.

UIC Commitments

Since 2007, UIC Chancellors have signed on to commitments that require the administration to make our campus greener and reduce its environmental impact.

Climate Commitment

SecondNature_Climate_BlueOn September 14, 2007, UIC became an inaugural signatory to the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment. Hundreds colleges and universities have made a commitment to reduce carbon emissions by initiating the development of a comprehensive plan to achieve climate neutrality as soon as possible. Beginning in 2015, UIC signed on to the Climate Commitment, which integrates carbon neutrality and climate resilience.  Signatories of any of this commitment constitute the Climate Leadership Network. You can see UIC’s implementation profile here.

UIC has set a goal of reaching Climate Neutrality by 2050. Our Climate Action Plan describes strategies for getting there. Our Chancellor’s Committee on Sustainability and Energy monitors the progress and develops new recommendations.

AASHE provides individual progress reports on all participating campuses, including UIC.

Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact


2014-govs-awardsThe Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact is a multi-tiered environmental leadership program for Illinois universities and colleges that are interested in incorporating sustainable policies and practices throughout their campus operations, in addition to academic, student life and community engagement activities.   In 2011, UIC pledged to achieve Gold level recognition “for institutions that are integrating sustainability throughout their campus and working towards measured improvement” and subsequently achieved it.


UIC is recognized at the Gold level by achieving the following:

  • Creating opportunities for students and faculty to provide suggestions for advancing sustainability on campus.
  • Creating a web site that highlights the institution’s sustainability programs with the purpose of increasing awareness and generating interest.
  • Designating a focal point to lead and/or coordinate sustainability efforts across the campus: steering committee, task force, sustainability office or dedicated staff.
  • Endorsing a written statement, declaration or policy acknowledging support for sustainability.
  • Fostering student involvement on steering committees or advisory councils that guide administration on issues of campus sustainability.
  • Setting measurable sustainability objectives or targets and include a timeframe for meeting the objectives.
  • Establishing a system to monitor and assess the progress of campus sustainability projects and goals.
  • Implementing at least three of the following sustainability best practices.
    • Adopting a policy or guidelines that commit to a specific green building rating system for new construction and major renovation.
    • At least once a year, holding an event on campus that encourages students to adopt or try a sustainability practice(s).
    • Establishing mechanisms and incentives that encourage integration of sustainability themes and topics into existing curricula through learning outcomes, course objectives and student assignments.
  • Participating in at least one national or international program that recognizes and encourages progress towards sustainability in higher education.
  • Integrating sustainability broadly into campus operations and management by adopting one or more of the following actions:
  • On an annual basis, notifing the campus community of progress toward achieving the institution’s sustainability goals.

See which campuses in Illinois have done this here.

See also in UIC News.

Talloires Declaration


During Earth Month (April) 2009, Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares signed the Talloires Declaration which is a ten-point action plan for incorporating sustainability and environmental literacy in teaching, research, operations and outreach at colleges and universities.

We are among over 400 Signatories from 50 Countries. See the photo in UIC News.


UIC constantly works on plans to better our future. Click on the plan title to be directed to learn more.

Climate Action Plan (UIC)

UIC Climate Action Plan

CAP CoverAs part of its commitment as a signatory to the ACUPCC, UIC has to develop and initiate a comprehensive plan to achieve climate neutrality as soon as possible. UIC’s Climate Action Plan is a list of list of strategies, goals and actions that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Energy Policy and Plan

Energy Policy

Through implementation of this energy policy, the campus will reduce its environmental impact, increase financial and social viability, and create a campus environment where energy efficiency and sustainability are evident. Towards these objectives, UIC has established this energy policy to guide sustainable practices. A series of goals, drawn from the University of Illinois Energy Policy adopted by the Board of Trustees on November 14, 2007, will guide future action and direction.

Multimodal Plan

Multimodal Plan

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning’s Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program and the Active Transportation Alliance  helped UIC embark on an interactive, community-based process to create a multimodal transportation plan. Click on the links below to view the entire plan. High resolution PDF (77 MB) Low resolution PDF (11 MB)

Tree Care Plan

Tree Care Plan

The Tree Care plan sets of policies and procedures for management of the campus forest at UIC. The specific objectives laid out aim to maximize the health and benefits of both individual trees and the forest as a whole.

Sustainability Strategic Thinking

Sustainability Strategic Thinking

UIC engaged the campus community in a Sustainability Strategic Thinking (SST) process to define sustainability for our institution and how it connects with the strategic goals of the campus. After two and a half years of work by the SST Steering and Advisory Committees, we are pleased to share with you the Sustainability Strategic Thinking Report To Green and Beyond – Excellence through Sustainability at UIC. This report presents the recommendations for UIC to develop a strategic approach to integrating and applying sustainability principles and practices across its educational mission, the research enterprise and the campus’s operation.


Annual Campus Sustainability Reports

Annual Campus Sustainability Reports

Each year, as part of binding agreements made by the University, the Office of Sustainability publishes reports that document UIC’s progress towards sustainability.

Green Governments Coordinating Council Reports

Green Governments Coordinating Council Report

This annual report highlights green initiatives and sustainability successes achieved by Council member agencies and by other constitutional offices, state agencies, boards, commissions, and educational institutions throughout Illinois. In 2013, UIC was highlighted for various achievements.

Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System


STARS Silver logoThe Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS) is a voluntary, self-reporting framework for gauging relative progress toward sustainability for colleges and universities. UIC was one of 90 pilot test sites for STARS that was developed through the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). View the latest STARS annual reports.

2009 UIC STARS Pilot original
2010 UIC  STARS 2010 V1.0 Bronze
2014 UIC STARS 2014 V2.0 Silver



UIC is active in various sustainability memberships both locally and nationally.

Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education


UIC belongs to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. AASHE is a membership-based organization of colleges and universities working to advance sustainability in higher education. In 2013, the UIC Heritage Garden was featured in the AASHE Higher Education Sustainability Review!

Chicagoland Network of Sustainability in Higher Education


UIC belongs to the Chicagoland Network for Sustainability in Higher Education (CNSHE); a network of higher education institutions working to advance sustainability and accelerate climate action.  CNSHE does such by working with students, staff and faculty to share best practices and by collaborating to achieve institutional and common goals which benefit the region and society at-large.

Chicago Sustainability Task Force

Chicago Sustainability Task Force

UIC is proud to help the City of Chicago reach its sustainability goals through meetings with large facility operators, event organizers & their stakeholders that take action to improve operational sustainability and environmental awareness in Chicago.