UIC belongs to AASHE, 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.
As AASHE members, we have access to an array of online resources and numerous opportunities for networking, information sharing, collaboration, and professional development. In addition, anyone at UIC can take advantage of reduced registration fees for conferences, workshops, and other AASHE-sponsored events, and receive discounts on products and services offered through AASHE.
AASHE administers a professional awards program to recognize outstanding efforts in advancing campus sustainability. The Campus Sustainability Achievement Award is presented to institutions that have demonstrated outstanding commitment to sustainability. The Student Sustainability Achievement Award is given each year for superior work in campus sustainability by an undergraduate from a member institution, such as UIC.
As a Charter Participant in AASHE, UIC has the opportunity to also be a participant in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS). STARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. It encompasses long-term sustainability goals for already high-achieving institutions and promotes understanding of sustainability that includes its social, economic and environmental dimensions.
In 2014, we received Silver Level recognition under the much more demanding STARS V2.0. See a description of the results of the 2014 submission. More information on STARS can be found on the STARS website.
AASHE maintains online directories of Campus Sustainability Coordinators and other sustainability contacts at campuses that can directly benefit us.
As members we can access AASHE’s extensive online resources, including assessment tools, fact sheets, publications, presentations, policy databank, reports, and other resources. To establish an account, visit www.aashe.org/members/memberlogin.php and click “create new account.”
Use your campus email address as your username (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org). AASHE’s database will then send a password to your campus inbox.
Go back to the login page, enter your username, and type or paste the emailed password into the password box. That will give you access to all of the locked resources in AASHE’s Resource Center. Each person on our campus (faculty, staff, or student) creates login credentials for themselves. Email email@example.com if you have difficulty with this process.
Publicity & Recognition
AASHE publicizes and celebrates member achievements through its newsletters, website, and other communications. The Member Spotlight highlights sustainability efforts of individual campuses such as ours.
We can use the AASHE Member Logo to emphasize our commitment to sustainability. This logo may also be used on signage, reports, brochures, and other publicity or display materials.
AASHE events offer premier opportunities to connect with our colleagues at regional, national, and international levels, to share resources, and to collaborate with others on projects and publications.
AASHE offers workshops and trainings at member campuses such as ours, and Interest Groups for us to connect with others and share our knowledge, ideas, and resources.
AASHE offers individual phone and email consultation to members.
We can participate in AASHE governance, committees, and working groups.
In addition to the member benefits listed above, we can take advantage of the following AASHE resources:
AASHE BULLETIN: A free weekly e-newsletter that keeps subscribers up-to-date on the latest news, resources, opportunities, and events related to campus sustainability. You can sign up here:http://www.aashe.org/publications/bulletin.php.
AASHE UPDATE: AASHE’s bimonthly newsletter keeps all members informed about AASHE activities, programs, new resources, special announcements, and opportunities to get involved.Annual Conference – AASHE’s annual conferences brings together every sector of higher education as well as business, government, and NGOs.
If you have any questions, you can write to firstname.lastname@example.org. An AASHE staff person will be more than happy to help you. We hope you take advantage of these membership benefits from AASHE.
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.
Colleges and universities approach sustainability as educators, researchers, campus operators, and community stakeholders. Over the past several years, institutions of higher education have increasingly seen the value of establishing offices of sustainability to provide leadership and cohesion to this broad range of roles. According toAASHE’s 2012 sustainability staffing survey, 67 percent of 2012 respondents noted that their position was housed within a sustainability office, compared to 23 percent in 2010.
CNSHE provides a critical venue for sustainability staff in this relatively young field to work directly with their regional peers. CNSHE formed in 2009 as part of the National Wildlife Federation Campus Ecology Program’s campus climate action initiative. NWF Campus Ecology regional field staff convenes the sustainability representatives of Chicago-land area institutions of higher education on a quarterly basis to share best practices and identify partnership opportunities.
Together, CNSHE has supported sustainability initiatives, workshops, and topics including the following areas of focus: composting, green building, recycling, energy conservation, and bicycling.
Read more about CNSHE’s Local and Sustainable Food Report.
CNSHE organizes Bike 2 Campus Week!
The network includes 14 public and private four-year institutions and community colleges including:
City Colleges of Chicago
Columbia College Chicago
Illinois Institute of Technology
Loyola University Chicago
Moraine Valley Community College
North Central College
Northern Illinois University
Northeastern Illinois University
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
University of Chicago
University of Illinois at Chicago
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. See more at www.chicagosustainabilitytaskforce.org
UIC is among great leaders in sustainability to maintain the momentum that work on the Chicago Climate Action Plan has generated. The Green Ribbon Committee is a group of business and community leaders that review performance against the city’s goals and to recommend revisions, adjustments and improvements.
Alliance to Retrofit Chicago Higher Education (ARCH)
ARCH was founded in 2012 after Mayor Emanuel’s Green Ribbon Committee identified the role higher education could play in meeting the City’s climate goals. ARCH is committed to advancing energy efficiency investment to create a more sustainable future and help organizations to reduce energy consumption and costs. ARCH received funding from the Joyce Foundation, Chicago Community Trust, and Comer Foundation.
Commercial Buildings Initiative
In 2014, 10 local colleges and universities joined Retrofit Chicago’s Commercial Buildings Initiative (CBI), committing to reduce energy consumption by 20% in at least one campus building over the next five years. The commitments grew out of ARCH developed by local universities to work together to identify best practices for reducing energy consumption.
By joining CBI, UIC and the other 9 schools have pledged to retrofit over 3.7 million square feet. When this work is done, collectively, the buildings will save over $1.2 million a year, have created up to 30 jobs and have a carbon impact equivalent to taking more 1,900 cars off the road. They join iconic Chicago landmarks, like the Merchandise Mart, Rookery Building, Wrigley Building, Intercontinental Chicago Magnificent Mile and Shedd Aquarium.
See the full press release here:
Higher Education Institutions Commit to Reduce Energy Use
July 18, 2014—(Chicago, IL)—The City of Chicago announced today that 10 local colleges and universities have joined Retrofit Chicago’s Commercial Buildings Initiative (CBI), committing to reduce energy consumption by 20% in at least one campus building over the next five years. The commitments grew out of a new collaborative developed by local universities to work together to identify best practices for reducing energy consumption. The collaborative, known as the Alliance to Retrofit Chicago Higher Education (ARCH), launched in late 2012 with funding from the Joyce Foundation, Chicago Community Trust, and Comer Foundation.
By joining CBI, these schools have pledged to retrofit over 3.7 million square feet. When this work is done, collectively, the buildings will save over $1.2 million a year, have created up to 30 jobs and have a carbon impact equivalent to taking more 1,900 cars off the road. They join iconic Chicago landmarks, like the Merchandise Mart, Rookery Building, Wrigley Building, Intercontinental Chicago Magnificent Mile and Shedd Aquarium.
“The Alliance to Retrofit Chicago Higher Education has been a key partner in bringing targeted energy efficiency support and solutions to Chicago-area colleges and universities” said Karen Weigert, the City of Chicago’s Chief Sustainability Officer. “Mayor Emanuel and the entire city welcome these 10 ARCH members’ commitment to a challenge that is strengthening Chicago across 48 participants and 37 million square feet.”
The ten institutions joining CBI include: City Colleges of Chicago; Columbia College Chicago; DePaul University; Illinois Institute of Technology; Loyola University; Northwestern University; Roosevelt University; School of the Art Institute; University of Illinois at Chicago; and University of Chicago. Lewis University, located in Romeoville, Illinois, is another member of ARCH.
“Reducing energy consumption in our existing buildings will help Northwestern achieve its goal of becoming a more sustainable campus and reducing energy use,” said Northwestern President Morton Schapiro. “We are pleased to participate in this important initiative and to partner with other Chicago-area colleges and universities.”
ARCH was founded in 2012 after Mayor Emanuel’s Green Ribbon Committee identified the role higher education could play in meeting the City’s climate goals. ARCH is committed to advancing energy efficiency investment to create a more sustainable future and help organizations to reduce energy consumption and costs.
“The partnership has demonstrated what can be accomplished when institutions work together towards a common purpose,” said Adele Simmons, President of the Global Philanthropy Partnership and member of the Green Ribbon Committee, who conceived the idea for ARCH. “While each institution was making progress on its own, the ten schools collectively will be able to amplify their impact significantly,” she added.
“UIC’s Climate Action Plan calls for us to reduce our carbon emissions by at least 80 percent by 2050,” said Cynthia Klein-Banai, Associate Chancellor for Sustainability at the University of Illinois-Chicago, when asked why joining ARCH was beneficial to UIC. “Through ARCH, we have accelerated our progress towards meeting our 2050 goal. Our commitment today to reduce energy use by at least 20 percent in our Science and Engineering Laboratories Complex within five years is just one example. We’re glad to share our experience and overcome common, but complicated, hurdles to energy efficiency investment, as well as learn from our peers.”
Today’s commitment demonstrates the schools’ dedication to further action and results. The alliance is poised to tackle larger issues, like new opportunities to engage utility programs and establishing novel funding mechanisms for efficiency projects.
1% for the Planet connects businesses, consumers, and nonprofits, empowering all of us to drive big, positive change. Nonprofit partners of 1% for the Planet, like UIC, play an integral role in the direct environmental impact of the 1% for the Planet network. In the 1% for the Planet network model, donations from member businesses go directly to nonprofit partners of their choice. 1% for the Planet assists member companies with identifying appropriate partners and facilitating these relationships. Participation within the 1% for the Planet network is currently free for approved nonprofit partners. See more at onepercentfortheplanet.org