Godfrey, Ill. – Lewis and Clark Community College continues to make strides in both sustainability education and practices, which has earned recent recognition in the form of a 2011 Governor’s Sustainability Award.
This marks the 25th year of the Illinois Governor's Sustainability Award, presented by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) in recognition of 25 Illinois companies and organizations for their significant achievements in protecting the environment, helping sustain the future, and improving the economy. Organizations who are winning for the first time receive the Sustainability Award, while past winners are recognized with a Continuous Improvement Award.
"These businesses and organizations have shown that it is possible to create and maintain conditions under which people and the environment can exist in productive harmony, and fulfill the social and economic requirements of present and future generations,” said Manohar Kulkarni, director of the ISTC, a unit of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois.
Between 2008 and 2010, the college recorded a 14.4 percent reduction in energy use on its Godfrey campus from energy conservation measures recommended as a result of a comprehensive energy audit and carbon footprint assessment begun in 2008. That year, the college completed a Climate Action Plan (CAP), detailing a cautious and conservative approach to its estimates for achieving climate neutrality within 50 years (or by FY 2058).
Lewis and Clark implemented some of the measures – structural and policy-oriented – almost immediately.
Four primary energy conservation measures are credited for the energy savings:
- The Lewis and Clark custodial team transitioned work shifts to take advantage of daylight and reduce the amount of hours buildings needed to be lit, and heated or cooled.
- The Information Technology department instituted an automatic shut-down of all computer labs on campus at 8 p.m. every day, reducing energy use with minimum financial and human investments.
- Before the end of 2010, all building interior light bulbs were replaced with high efficiency fluorescent bulbs and many incandescent pathway lamps were replaced with LED pathway lighting fixtures. The remaining exterior pathway lights will be replaced with LED fixtures as funds are available.
- Completed in 2011, the installation of occupancy sensors in most rooms on campus ensures that lights are not on in rooms when they are unoccupied.
The outcome of all energy conservation measures are recorded on an ongoing basis in conjunction with the CAP, which charts a course for carbon neutrality with reduced emissions and energy needed for campus operations.
“Reducing energy use on campus is not only about saving energy and money for the school, or even reducing our own campus footprint. It is about modeling best practices as an institution that can be adopted by individuals to make an even greater impact for our region, creating a more livable, sustainable community,” said Marcia Lochmann, director of Sustainability and Public Engagement at Lewis and Clark.
L&C’s multi-faceted method to advance sustainability is approached with the idea that transforming the behavior of individuals is necessary in order to change the way the institution is able to operate. Best practices are modeled at the ground level through infusing ideas about sustainability into lessons and classroom techniques, and then on a grander scale within the larger community.
Lochmann, along with Water Resources Sustainability Coordinator Ted Kratschmer, accepted the award at a ceremony on Oct. 27 in Champaign, Ill.