Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services,
Office of Facilities Management, UIC
Sustainable is an adjective that should describe every institution in this 21st century, but unfortunately, in an objective analysis of many institutions, it rarely does. The purpose of this paper is to provide a preliminary blue print, made for the University of IL at Chicago, which can be easily modified and applied to any urban academic campus.
In today’s highly politicized world, there are many misconceptions about sustainability. For example, many believe that sustainability doesn’t consider human comfort or high cost for application. However, sustainability is a conservative idea that not only saves the environment, but much too many administrations’ pleasure saves money. Sustainability also is based on the idea that by saving resources and decreasing the amount waste will increase not only current generations’ but also future generations’ standard of living. Just as the United Nations’ definition of sustainability states, “Sustainability is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (UN and Sustainibility ). There are five main principles behind the Idea: Respect life, Live within Limits, Value the local economy, Account for full costs, and Share Power (UN and Sustainibility ). In this proposal, the solutions incorporating these principles and their implementation processes will be stated. Problem:
In recent years, UIC has opened the Office of Sustainability and has been taking steps to improve the conditions on campus, which can proved us with the foundations needed for the future actions. While the office of sustainability at UIC has been working hard, based on the data collected by the Associate Chancellor of Sustainability, Cynthia Klein-Banai, the UIC has greenhouse gas emission of 300,000 Metric ton CO2 equivalents per year (Klain-Banai). Based on the Star rating system of 31 different four-year colleges, UIC has the rating of Bronze, with the Innovation rating of 0. UIC scored greatly below average in the fields of Education and Research, Operations, and Planning, Administration and Engagement, as well. The Lack of scores in these rating can be simplified for UIC in few basic categories. * Buildings and Grounds:
Weakness: Old Buildings and Infra-structure. Most of the Land is occupied by the buildings and parking structures, leading to increase in the greenhouse gas emission by built on land. Solution: Several new buildings are planned for the campus in near future, including the major ones, such as, UIC, and even many old buildings can be modified with few green building techniques, such as green roof, solar panels and updated ventilation systems. * Dining services:
Weakness: Many food products are not purchased locally; food waste is degraded at landfills. Solution: local small businesses are contracted for raw food supply, increase the vegetarian and vegan diet to descend on the energy-food chain pyramid; and compost the food waste in order to create bio-gas and lessen the impact on the environment. * Energy: Energy is the most important component of analysis, considering that more than 70% of the greenhouse gas emission is a result of it. Weakness: The University has not signed the Presidents climate commitment, pledging to reduce the campus’ net greenhouse emission. Many places still use incandescent light bulbs. Solution: Implement and sign Presidents climate commitment, change incandescent light bulbs with CFLs. Install solar panels and other environmentally friendly equipment, during renovation of all buildings and creation of the new ones.
Weakness: Since UIC is an urban campus, majority of population at UIC commutes every day, leading to a large foot print. Lack of discount for trains from sub-urban areas leads to increase in use of...