Monthly archives: November, 2014

LEED Building Produces Energy, Carbon Credits

In 2009, UIC’s Douglas Hall underwent a massive renovation and became incredibly energy efficient. So much so that the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) awarded UIC with a LEED-Gold rating. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the national recognition verification system that a building is environmentally friendly and a healthy place to work and live. Not only does the building use less energy than conventional buildings, it actually produces energy!

DG11_09_12_026.JPGAs part of the reconstruction, 245 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels were installed on the roof of the home of UIC’s College of Business. These PV panels convert solar radiation into direct current (DC) electricity. UIC tracks the amount of electricity produced, and anyone can see the energy created at any given day. For example, this year’s Independence Day created 347 kWh of electricity. How much energy did the PV panels create on your birthday? Find out here!

Since its installation in September 2011, the solar panels have produced a whopping 195 MWh! That’s  practically 67 MWh annually, or roughly 8% of the buildings energy needs. That’s 67,000 kWh renewable energy produced plus 67,000 kWh of energy not produced from polluting coal-fired power plants.

UIC is reducing the need to use energy from carbon-producing energy sources and therefore reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. In the 2009 UIC Climate Action Plan, UIC commits to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from 2004 levels by 40% by 2030 and by at least 80% by 2050, without accounting for offsets. The plan outlines various strategies to accomplish this by creating energy efficiency projects, improving transportation options, improving ground operations, recycling, and using clean and renewable resources. PV 2014

The PV panel project on top Douglas Hall has contributed to reducing greenhouse gases by 43 metric tons of carbon dioxide! Although that may not seem like a huge number, remember that is just one small classroom building- just imagine if all of UIC buildings acted like Douglas Hall!

Not only to the solar panels reduce carbon emissions, so do the other innovative energy efficient systems built for Douglas hall. Located underground just to north-west of Douglas Hall, one will stand on top of the 64 geothermal wells dug 500 feet deep into the ground. That’s deeper than the 28-story University Hall next to the well field! The building uses ground source heat pumps to tap into the geothermal energy to both heat and cool it. Douglas hall uses a closed-loop system with sensors, heat pumps and air exchangers, taking advantage of the relatively constant 50-degree F earth temperatures in the well field to maintain a comfortable indoor air environment year-round.

The other ingenious energy efficient aspects of Douglas Hall that helped it earn LEED Gold are automated shades to manage heat load and cooling sensors on the roof to detect the heat load inside the building. The system automatically adjusts lights, cooling/heating levels, and heights of window blinds in order to regulate the building temperature.

Through the Chevy Clean Energy Campus program, UIC has sold these carbon reductions to Chevy, who has committed to retiring these credits. Revenue from those sales will be used to support UIC’s Sustainability Internship Program and create more energy savings for the campus.

The photovoltaic system on the roof of Douglas Hall was partially funded by a grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.


Chevrolet Helps 11 Colleges Reduce Their Carbon Footprint


DETROIT – Chevrolet is purchasing carbon credits worth up to $5 million to help 11 colleges across the U.S. pay for energy efficiency-based carbon reductions and retiring the carbon credits to benefit the climate instead of using them to offset the emissions of Chevrolet vehicles or operations.


As part of its voluntary initiative to reduce 8 million metric tons of carbon from being emitted – the equivalent to the annual carbon reduction benefit of a mature forest the size of Yellowstone – Chevrolet during the last four yearshas supported U.S. communities in aggressively and ingeniously reducing their carbon footprint.


Campuses for the first time can access funding from the U.S. carbon market to fuel their large-scale energy efficiency efforts toward even greater progress, effectively using carbon performance methodologies to make money via their greenhouse gas reductions that result from energy efficiency.


“As we kept inching closer to our carbon-reduction goal, we wanted to support colleges going above and beyond to help combat climate change, and open the door for other companies to contribute to such campus clean energy projects,” said Greg Martin, executive director of sustainability, General Motors. “This helps ensure campuses can continue to receive funding from companies’ carbon purchases long after Chevrolet completes its carbon-reduction initiative next year.”


Before now, cash-strapped campuses struggled to invest in efficient building equipment or renewable energy systems to reduce their carbon load on the atmosphere.


Along the way, colleges save money on utility bills and engage students on how they too can help lead a clean energy future. Student leaders from Southern Oregon University spearheaded the securing of Chevy funding and are running an energy conservation campaign to engage students in the university’s conservation efforts. Boston University student interns helped lead their campus through its certification process, and convened a broader social media conversation on the importance of clean energy.


“With its ground-breaking carbon-reduction initiative, Chevy has built a clean energy legacy by showing how the voluntary carbon market can be leveraged to help finance lasting change,’’ said Verified Carbon Standard Chief Executive Officer David Antonioli. “It’s now incumbent on more forward-thinking companies to continue this important work to ensure that the campus clean energy program will one day reach every student and every campus.”


For the last two years, Chevrolet has been the largest U.S. corporate buyer of voluntary carbon credits by volume, according to nonprofit Forest Trends Ecosystem Marketplace. Of the nearly 8.2 million tons contracted from 36 projects, 69 percent have been retired. The balance is scheduled to be retired summer of 2015.


Chevrolet partnered with these colleges for their clean-energy performance: Ball State University, Valencia College, Portland State University, Spelman College, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, Boston University, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Grand Valley State University, and Southern Oregon University.


Join the conversation with students, university and climate leaders to share why clean energy is important via #CleanEnergyU.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.9 million cars and trucks a year.  Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at

Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition nonprofit development internship

GCRC Nonprofit Development Internship

Position Description:
The nonprofit development internship at Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition is intended to give current
students hands-on experience working to further the mission of an organization through outreach and
development. Interns will be given tasks that will develop and refine professional skills useful for careers
in nonprofit management and the various fields related to environmental sustainability. Through direct
outreach to foodservice operators and involvement at events, interns will be exposed to a large network
of nonprofit, industry and sustainability professionals and stakeholders.

Main Work Areas (this position may entail other duties):
● Lead Generation and Management
○ Develop a comprehensive lead list and contact schedule for potential foodservice
operator and supplier members
○ Create a comprehensive database of 3rd-party certified products and services through
lead lists & researching companies
○ Reach out to potential members to share information about Green Chicago Restaurant
Coalition and the benefits of membership. This may be done through calls, e-mails,
attendance at educational and networking events, and visiting restaurant locations
● Public Outreach
○ Represent GCRC at select meetings and events. This role will require speaking with
potential members and partners, as well as the public, about GCRC’s programs
○ Distribute Guaranteed Green brochures to various hotels, airports, and other locations
○ Assist in planning for and executing GCRC events, including fundraising and sponsorship
qualifications, educational events and networking opportunities

Desired Qualifications:
● Demonstrated commitment to and passion for environmental conservation and sustainability
● Candidates should be highly organized, flexible and effective time managers
● Ability to speak comfortably and intelligently about GCRC with a wide variety of stakeholders
and potential new member
● Must be self-directed and able to work independently
● Pursuit of a degree in marketing, business, environmental studies, or nonprofit management a

send your resume and a cover letter to Sarah at

Sustainability Campus Internship

Want to put your passion and energy to work and drive real impact on campus? Do you know how to
motivate your friends and rally students both on campus and on social platforms? Join our elite team of
Campus Interns and demonstrate a new generation of leadership. We have proven a balance of real world
and digital activation helps move students from curious to committed participants, making choices today
to create a better tomorrow.
Social Connections & Programs to Amplify Your Effort
Activate students through the myActions proven text, mobile and social platform to
• Share | Photos and green actions from students, clubs and events inspire others to do more
• Measure | Visualize the real-time impact of personal and campus actions
• Recognize | Celebrate achievements across a national network of students
• Double impact | Actions are matched by myActions Donors to support nonprofit causes
myActions on CampusTM is seeking spirited, smart and savvy students to inspire and activate their
campus. Develop partnerships with clubs, classes and extend current initiatives on your campus. We offer
technology, toolkits and professional marketing & partnership expertise to amplify the skills you have and
augment the areas where you wish to grow.
Responsibilities Skills Building Resources Real World Impact
• 2-4 hours per week
including 1 office hour
• Activate & grow your
network to recruit and
partner with campus
leaders on initiatives
• Demonstrate & share
green behaviors
• Motivate students online
and on campus
• Integrate with at least 2
campus events
• Build & review campus
plans & ideas with
marketing professionals
• Collaborate with national
network of sustainability
campus leaders
• Bi-monthly sessions with
programming specialist to
drive engagement
• Leverage data insights on
groups and performance
• Stipend, reference letter &
endorsement on Linked In
• Onboarding and support
from myActions program
• Campus Launch in a box
• Custom Campus pages,
program stats & admin
tools on tech platform
• Planning templates,
signage & awards
• Campus Infogr

UIC in the news!

UIC and the Office of Sustainability in the news:

Healthviews Sustainable

Business Magazine

Green Building & Design

Chicagoland Buildings & Environments

Chevy Carbon Credits

2014 Waste Audit


Determining the Trash. Pictured left to right: Rhea Rashad, Recycling Assistant, Joe Iosbaker, Recycling Coordinator, Kelly Ting, Graduate Assistant on the CCSE- All with the Office of Sustaianbility.

On October 28th The Office of Sustainability conducted a waste audit by taking bags of trash and recyclables from three major buildings on campus. We did so to collect data on the amount of recyclables being contaminated into the waste bins and vise-versa and hope to gain a better understanding on how well the UIC community is recycling into the appropriate three bin waste system found in many of our buildings around campus.

The Buildings chosen for the audit were the Science & Engineering Laboratory East (SELE), Student Center West (SCW), and University of Illinois at Chicago Hospital (UICH). These locations were specifically selected to get a range of different types of trash, for example, SELE demonstrates classroom and laboratory waste, SCW was chosen for it s commercial waste, while UICH would show hospital waste. A total of nine bags were taken from each of the three buildings audited consisting of three trash bags, three paper bags, and three bottle & can bags, which would provided a sample size of data. This has been the 5th waste audit conducted at UIC.


Joe Iosbaker and Rhea Rashad weighing the trash



We were relieved to find that the campus community was doing a great job at placing recyclables into the correct bin, and cross contamination was kept low. The data below, separated by building, demonstrates our efforts of a caring college community.


  • 83% of bottles and cans were correctly disposed of into the recycling bin
  • 98% of paper were correctly thrown into the paper recycling bin
  • 89% of trash was correctly placed into the trash bin


  • 93% of bottles and cans were correctly disposed of into the recycling bin
  • 93% of paper were correctly thrown into the paper recycling bin
  • 89% of trash was correctly placed into the trash bin


  • 96% of bottles and cans were correctly disposed of into the recycling bin
  • 100% (Wooh Hoo!) of paper was correctly thrown into the paper recycling bin
  • 83% of trash was correctly placed into the trash bin


     As a result of America’s most common drug of choice in the mornings, Coffee, the most encountered item in the trash was coffee cups. Also, many medical latex gloves, and medical equipment used to treat patients were prominent in the UICH trash.