North Central College - Naperville, IL

College to observe Earth Day April 18 with new Sustainability Compact

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April 14, 2011—North Central College will observe Earth Day 2011 with the public signing of a new Sustainability Compact in which the College will pledge to strive toward achieving significant green initiatives within the next five years.

North Central President Harold R. Wilde will sign the new compact at 3:30 p.m. Monday, April 18, in Centennial Hall of the Harold and Eva White Activities Center, 325 E. Benton Ave., as part of an hour-long event that begins at 3 p.m. Eric Heineman, sustainability policy advisor for Gov. Pat Quinn, is scheduled to attend, and the event is open to the public.

The Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact outlines environmental goals that colleges and universities—both public and private—may adopt on their campuses. The Compact includes objectives such as purchasing renewable energy, implementing green building practices, developing sustainable transportation options, improving water conservation and incorporating sustainable dining practices. Participating institutions are recognized by the state for achieving bronze, silver or gold status, depending on level of commitment.

“At North Central, sustainability is impacting all aspects of campus life, including operations, academic programs, student activities and community outreach,” says Abby Hahne, sustainability coordinator. “Our goal is to inspire students by serving as a role model for integrating smart, sustainable decision-making into everyday campus functions.”

North Central previously signed a Sustainability Compact in 2008, but the state has revamped the process. The College currently meets criteria for bronze status, and with the new Compact the College will pledge to achieve gold status.

“By signing the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact we are making a commitment to establishing long-term, strategic goals and practices, further developing a sustainability culture on campus that starts with introduction materials in new student orientation through graduation robes made of recycled plastic bottles,” Hahne says.    

The 41st anniversary of Earth Day is Friday, April 22.

At North Central College, sustainability is the collective effort of students, faculty, staff and visitors working toward the development of a socially just, environmentally responsible and economically functional campus community. The College’s sustainability strategy incorporates alternative transportation options, green-friendly buildings and landscape practices, commitment and involvement, policies that encourage reducing usage of energy and water, practices that promote recycling and reduce waste, and encourage sustainability in dining hall operations.

Sustainability highlights in recent years include the elimination of trays in the dining hall; the creation of a community garden; the opening of the Residence Hall/Recreation Center, which is designed to meet Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) standards; implementation of the Cardinal Red Bike Program, which makes bicycles available to students on a per-term basis for free; participation in the Zipcar program, which allows students, faculty and staff to reserve a car online or by mobile phone; and implementation of the Cardinal Shuttle to encourage ride-sharing transportation.

Contact: Ted Slowik, director of PR and media relations, 630-637-5307