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Columbia College Chicago
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Sustain Columbia

Columbia College Chicago is moving forward with its commitment to sustainability. Our home in Chicago's South Loop is inherently green since our campus is walkable and well served by public transportation. All of our buildings are adaptively-reused former office and warehouse buildings. And in 2010, the college constructed its first building, the Media Production Center at 1600 S. State St, which was LEED Gold-Certified. 

Columbia College Chicago is a finalist in the 2014 Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards, an annual competition aCLA 2014 finalistmong US colleges and universities that are signatories of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).  The awards program is sponsored by Second Nature, a national nonprofit that seeks to create a sustainable society by transforming higher education, and Planet Forward, an organization that engages innovators and publishes compelling ideas for some of society’s biggest challenges. Award winners will be announced in late Spring 2014. More information on the awards is at www.secondnature.org/awards

Columbia was also listed in the Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership Top Partner Rankings Top 30 College and University for our commitment to purchase renewable energy during our 2012 calendar year. The purchase of renewables helped our application in receiving LEED certification at our Media Production Center (MPC) at 1600 S. State St. We have since transitioned away from purchasing renewable energy to focus our budget on campus energy efficiency projects (via our Building Green Team).

For more information on other Sustainability initiatives, click the links in the right toolbar. For starters you can:


Sustainability on Campus: Get Involved! refill

1) BYOWB! (Bring Your Own Water Bottle)
Through the efforts of our building Engineers, we have been installing Water Bottle Refilling Stations across campus. The units promote reuse, waste reduction and water conversation. 

Find locations of water stations here.

In offices, water filtration units are installed for faculty and staff use. These units connect to exisiting water lines making it the need for a water cooler delivery service unnecessary.

2) Enjoy the Scener33 roofy. Check out the green spaces on campus.

There are two campus green roofs covering more than 20,000 square feet.  Look out the upper windows at 33 E. Congress  or sit in the upstairs court yard at 1600 S. State and take a peak at our roofs. The benefits of having a green roof include reducing the urban heat island effect by absorbing solar heat, removing carbon from the atmosphere and reducing storm water runoff.  (Photo from our 33 E. Congress Green Roof).

Take a walk through our Native Sculpture Garden located at 11th Street and Wabash Ave., populated with native plants that maintain a balanced ecosystem in the local climate.

Stop by our newest green space, the expanded Papermaker’s Garden at the corner of 8th and Wabash. Highlights include an 18-bed garden with plants grown and harvested by students in the Center for Book and Paper Arts, rows of trees providing a mini local habitat for wildlife, a rainwater capture cistern and a multipurpose performance area. The Paper Maker's Garden is an exemplary model for how cross departmental collaborations can intergrate sustainability into our curriculum.

3) Reduce Your Waste! We Recycle and Compost at Columbia. coffee cup
Look for the appropriate bins to place your waste. We recycling Paper, Plastics, Aluminum and Glass products. We compost food waste and paper products (there are Coffee Cup disposal bins in building lobbies!). And bring in used batteries and drop off in receptacles near our security desks in most buildings.

4) Transit Matters: Bike, Bus, Train, Carpool, Walk (or Skateboard)
Being in the South Loop, we have access to all means of transportation options. Look for ways to reduce your commuting footprint. Use your Upass on CTA, bike or DIVVY (wear a helmet), join a car-sharing service (use Columbia discounts for memberships), walk along the Lakefront (if that's your speed), or grind it out on your skateboard. View Columbia's Getting Here page for other travel info.

5) Don't forget to follow us on social media!facebook  twitter

sustain fact 2013

Sustain Columbia logo created by Sustainability Research Assistant Alycen Doods/Graphic Design '14.
Photos credited to Sustain Columbia employees.

Columbia is a member of the following organizations:
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