Sustainability: What we are doing
Columbia College Chicago's Office of Campus Environment has worked diligently to create a more sustainable college campus. Here are some of the advances we have made thus far.
Columbia College Chicago joined the Lt Governor's Illinois Sustainable University Compact. More information can be found at Standing Up for Illinois.
Columbia College Chicago's President Warrick Carter has also signed theAmerican College and University President's Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). More information is available on the ACUPCC website.
Administrative Services has created policies regarding catering, green printing, inter-office mail, and surplus used computer equipment.
Facilities and Operations has created a policy regarding campus recycling.
All these policies are available on IRIS. To find them, log in to IRIS and click on the Policies/Procedures link. Policies are listed by name or available through the search function.
In 2005, with a grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Foundation, Columbia replaced thousands of inefficient fluorescent lights in all academic buildings. This has significantly reduced energy usage.
Building engineering staff is also retrofitting our HVAC systems to be more efficient. The 33 E. Congress and 600 S. Michigan buildings have been outfitted with new computerized management systems that save energy by creating a network of green classrooms. The heating and cooling will now be controlled by self-monitoring equipment with sensors and time-of-day scheduling that can be coordinated with class schedules.
Columbia has also installed motion sensors for lighting in newly renovated bathrooms and office suites as well as in many existing conference rooms, bathrooms, and some classrooms.
In the biggest move towards creating a greener campus, Columbia has purchased renewable energy certificates in an amount equal to 30% of its electrical energy from Community Energy, a Pennsylvania-based developer of wind energy. Columbia has also entered into a 2-year contract as of January 2007. In doing so, Columbia has been recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency as a member of the EPA's Green Power Leadership Club.
Columbia College participates in Earth Hour Chicago every March. Earth Hour is the highlight of a major campaign to encourage businesses, communities and individuals to take the simple steps needed to cut their emissions on an ongoing basis.
All renovation projects provide the highest level of environmentally sustainable design and products feasible within budget. All project architects are LEED-accredited professionals. The Media Production Center has also been designed as a green building.
Columbia has also installed motion sensor lights, faucet sensors, auto flush/low flow toilets, and hand driers in newly renovated bathrooms.
With the generous assistance of the Openlands Project, Columbia has installed a Native Garden at the northeast corner of 11th and Wabash. All the plants are native to our area and require much less watering.
Please view the recycling on campus portion of this site for information about what materials are recyclable on campus. Information on the progress of recycling efforts is available in our annual reports.
Even our academic departments are going green! In the fall 2007 semester, Columbia's Interior Architecture program introduced a MFA with a focus on recyclability in design, making Columbia among the first schools in the United States to reorient its academic architectural design training to include Cradle-to-Cradle techniques.
Herman Miller furniture products are purchased for offices, classrooms and lounges across campus. Herman Miller is a company using economic, environmental, and social criteria, known as the "triple bottom line" of sustainability.
New carpet is either from Interface – a zero impact manufacturer – or other suppliers with products with high recycled content and low off-gassing.