Elmhurst Recognized for Sustainability Initiatives

January 5, 2015 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications

Elmhurst College’s ambitious work in sustainability, both on campus and in the classroom, was recognized in October by the State of Illinois and also by the nation’s leading association promoting sustainability among colleges and universities.

On Thursday, October 23, during a luncheon to celebrate the Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Awards and to recognize schools belonging to the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn presented Elmhurst College with the Silver Level award.

Specifically, the award recognizes the College’s efforts to reduce waste through its food scrap composting program; its steady reduction in the use of copier paper over the last three years; its reduction in water consumption over a four-year period; a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions; and the College’s commitment to conducting regular greenhouse gas surveys to evaluate efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.

The Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact is a statewide program that encourages universities and colleges in Illinois to incorporate sustainability into their campus operations, academic and research programs, student activities and community outreach.

Also in October, Elmhurst College’s innovative First Year Seminar course, “Local Choices, Global Effects,” was highlighted during the annual conference of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), one of the largest thought-leader organizations in higher education sustainability. More than 2,000 participants were expected to attend this year’s conference, held in Portland, Oregon.

Gurram Gopal, an Elmhurst College business professor and a member of the College’s Sustainability Committee, presented “Sustainability Journey: from the Classroom to the Living Room,” highlighting the challenges faced in involving students, faculty, staff and the community in promoting sustainability efforts, and also sharing some of the College’s successes.

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