UIC won the Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Award for the 5th time!

pictured from left to right: Vytenis Milunas (UIC Facilities Management) Cindy Klein- Banai, Lisa Sanzenbacher, and Kate Yoshida (Office of Sustaianbility)

Pictured from left to right: Vytenis Milunas (UIC Facilities Management) Cindy Klein-Banai, Lisa Sanzenbacher, and Kate Yoshida (UIC Office of Sustaianbility)

UIC was honored yesterday, November 1, by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center and the Office of the Governor among 24 other companies and organizations at the 2016 Illinois Governor’s Sustaianbility Awards! We are among an elite group of committed leaders reducing environmental impact, contributing to the growth of a more sustainable Illinois economy.

So what made us winners this year? Well, as it says in the award booklet, over the past 2 years, University of Illinois at Chicago has continued to make significant and measurable progress in its sustaianbility initiatives through comprehensive planning and engagement, operational improvements, and experiential student learning. As part of these efforts, UIC developed the Sustainability Strategic Thinking Report: “To Green and Beyond – Excellence through Sustaianbility at UIC“. The report presents recommendations for UIC to apply sustaianbility principles and practices across its educational mission.


Jacob Obal - Food recovery networkThe College of Cycling at UIC joined with the Food Recovery Network to deliver unused food from the UIC Dining Services‘ cafeteria to a homeless shelter. The group makes weekly rides to the Pacific Garden Mission to deliver 30 to 80 pounds of food produced by campus kitchens. One month’s donations help serve over 1,550 meals that would have otherwise been disposed in a landfill!



UIC LEED The University of Illinois College of Medicine‘s new Learning Center is housed in an 83-year-old building. UIC’s Office of Capital Programs and UIC’s Facilities Management has retrofitted learning spaces, auditoriums, classrooms and spaces for small group study in order to increase engagement and retention. The anticipated LEED-Gold project included 70% efficient heat recovery system that saves approximately 16,000 therms of natural gas and 31,000 kWh of electricity (a savings of $8,000) each year!


energy-use-chartOther initiatives include UIC’s Utilities department installation of a new boiler that saves over 565,000 therms of natural gas annually. Water losses due to piping leaks have been repaired and the heat exchanger chemistry has been changed to 316 stainless steel where possible, leading to a savings of 2.5 million gallons of water each and every year. The energy savings performance contract with Ameresco is expected to save 19,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually!


Governor's Sustainability AwardUIC also won the Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Award in 2014, 2011, 2013 (for continuous campus improvements) and in 1995 (when it was called the Illinois Governor’s Pollution Prevention Awards). UIC was also recognized in 2012 and received the highest honor for the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact award. Click here for more information about previous awards.


Sustaianbility isn’t just about improving our environment. Sustainability is about getting multiple units, departments, and people involved to work towards a common good. So many folks at UIC are to thank for these efforts. THANK YOU, UIC!

UIC Climate Commitments Announcement Party