UI's Urbana campus has been named a Gold Level Compact School within the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact program.
The honor was announced May 30 by Gov. Pat Quinn's office and the Green Governments Coordinating Council.
The compact program was initiated in 2010 to outline environmental goals for higher education institutions and encourage them to integrate sustainable practices throughout their campuses. It recognizes achievement at the bronze, silver and gold levels.
UI officials noted in the award application that the campus had moved quickly toward achieving the goals of the Illinois Climate Action Plan (PDF) over the last three years, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 14 percent, water consumption by 16 percent and energy consumption by 19 percent.
"We have made sustainability a top priority on our campus, in our facilities, in our research and teaching, and in our use of all of our resources and our engagement with the community around us and with the state," said Chancellor Phyllis M. Wise, who also is a university vice president. "It is an honor to get recognition for our efforts."
Pradeep Khanna, associate chancellor and acting director of the Urbana campus's Office of Sustainability, said the award is important because it validates the work already being done and provides motivation for the work ahead.
"We are being recognized because there are so many people on this campus - from top to bottom - who have become committed to sustainability," he said. "And this is only a start. Right now there are dozens of green projects going on across campus, which will only add to the campus's position as a leader in sustainable practices."
In collaboration with the Office for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, Khanna said, the Office of Sustainability is developing a website that will allow people to monitor progress on any of the projects that are making the campus greener.
The iCAP Portal wiill be unveiled during Sustainability Week, Oct. 22-26.