- Climate Action Plan
- Energy Policy
- Multimodal Plan
- Tree Care Plan
- UIC Climate Commitments
- Sustainability Strategic Thinking
As part of its commitment as a signatory to the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, UIC has to develop and initiate a comprehensive plan to achieve climate neutrality as soon as possible. This plan, UIC’s Climate Action Plan, is a list of list of strategies, goals and actions that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The UIC Climate Action Plan is a strategic document that outlines specific mitigation strategies to reduce UIC’s greenhouse gas emissions from 2004 levels by 40% in 2030 and by at least 80% in 2050, without accounting for offsets. This long-term plan will be evolving and will require updates based upon available technologies, new regulations and political administrations, the economy, behavioral changes and institutional factors.
Scientists, leaders, politicians, businesses and communities recognize that climate change is one of the most serious issues facing the planet today. Former Mayor, Richard M. Daley has made a commitment to enhance the environment and make Chicago the most environmentally friendly city in nation. To do this the city must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and UIC, an institution that aspires to be the nation’s premier urban public research university and has a Great Cities Commitment, is committed to do so as well.
UIC specific mitigation strategies to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions include:
- Energy Efficiency and Conservation
- Clean and Renewable Energy Sources
- Improved Transportation Options
- Improved Grounds Operations
- Recycling and Reduced Waste Streams
- Employment Strategies
The UIC Climate Action Plan also discusses the importance of education, research and public engagement in order for UIC to be a responsible steward of the environment through its operations, academics and research.
The UIC Climate Action Plan may outline strategies but unless these actions are implemented, UIC’s greenhouse gas emissions will remain the same or more likely increase over time. The success of the UIC CAP depends on the individual actions of its faculty, staff and students. The UIC CAP provides the opportunity to use the campus as a laboratory, an educational tool for UIC faculty, students and staff.
See how BRACE Illinois, of the UIC School of Public Health, shows the public health perspective in adapting to climate change. Learn more about climate change, climate change & health, climate change adaptation, and resources for community adaptation for climate change.
UIC seeks to vigorously improve efficiency in our operations which utilize non-renewable resources and contribute to the emission of greenhouse gases. 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.
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. The transportation recommendations of UIC’s 2010 Campus Master Plan served as the framework to examine current conditions and plan future improvements. The intent of the multimodal transportation plan is to improve the flow of pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles in and around campus to better serve the needs of all travelers, including persons with disabilities.
This planning process was developed in collaboration with the UIC Office of Sustainability and the Campus Master Plan Implementation Committee and was an almost 2-year process. More information about the project can be found at the CMAP website.
Future endeavors will be to seek and apply for grant funding to assist in implementing the plan, in coordination with our partners in the planning process – IDOT, CDOT, CTA, and others.
The purpose of the Tree Care Plan is to establish a clear set 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. Trees have the potential to provide many benefits to the campus, including improved aesthetics, removal of air pollutants, carbon sequestration, improved wildlife habitat and microclimate modification, among others. However, in order to maximize these benefits trees must be properly managed. This plan aims to lay out the steps necessary to achieve such management.
Specific objectives of the plan include:
- Develop a policy for tree maintenance, including pruning, planting, removals and preservation.
- Establish a campus tree advisory committee.
- Maximize the benefits of carbon sequestration and air pollutant removal provided by campus trees.
- Increase the use of the campus forest as an educational and outreach tool for the campus and surrounding community.
This plan is being established, in part, to fulfill one of the requirements for UIC to achieve recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree Campus USA.
The Chancellor’s Committee on Sustainability and Energy (CCSE) sets forth recommendations to achieve goals outlined in the UIC Climate Action Plan. In addition to committing to reduce the University’s carbon emissions to 40% below 2004 levels by 2030 and 80% below 2004 levels by 2050, UIC is also committed to creating a resilient campus and recognizes the impacts of climate change.
The CCSE is updating the goals of the UIC Climate Action Plan to include resiliency and the recommendations of To Green and Beyond: Excellence Through Sustainability at UIC- Sustainability Strategic Thinking Report (SST). These new goals are now the UIC Climate Commitments:
1) Carbon Neutral Campus. UIC will strive to achieve carbon neutrality with net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through reducing and offsetting emissions related to operations and travel.
2) Zero Waste Campus. UIC defines zero waste as a 90% diversion rate of landfill-bound material through techniques such as source reduction, materials reuse, recycling, and composting.
3) Net Zero Water Campus. UIC will use the same amount of water in its operations (irrigation, plumbing, etc.) as the amount of natural rainfall on UIC’s campus.
4) Biodiverse Campus. UIC will create a resilient campus landscape supportive of a variety of life, such as plants, animals, and people.
You can read in more detail by clicking on the photos below to access the UIC UIC Climate Commitments Overview or the UIC UIC Climate Commitments Aspirational Goals and Action Items.
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, the Sustainability Strategic Thinking Report To Green and Beyond – Excellence through Sustainability at UIC 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.