For more than 150 years, Illinois State University has prepared students to be informed and engaged citizens and leaders in their chosen fields. A strong commitment to a sustainable future ensures that the University’s tradition of excellence will continue. Promoting a healthy, safe, and environmentally sustainable campus is important to advancing the goals articulated in both the University's strategic plan, Educate, Connect, Elevate, and the University’s Sustainability Strategic Plan. Illinois State University is committed to creating an inclusive culture of sustainability among all members of the campus community through teaching, research, and service. The University strives to develop solutions to reduce our environmental impact and integrate best practices into campus operations.
Definition of Sustainability
Sustainability is a practice in which we consider the implications of our individual and collective actions, the interconnectivity among people and ecosystems coexisting within communities and across the globe, and a vision for an equitable and thriving planet for generations to come.
At Illinois State University, putting sustainability into practice means:
- Fostering a culture of sustainability through leadership, commitments, engagement, and traditions.
- Finding solutions through diverse, interdisciplinary collaboration, teaching, research, and innovation.
- Integrating accessible environmental stewardship into campus operations.
- The University will comply with and/or exceed applicable legislation, regulations, and codes, including those pertaining to state agencies where practicable.
- The University periodically will review and report to campus stakeholders and international organizations such as the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) on sustainability performance.
- The University will celebrate our accomplishments, communicate our challenges, and seek continuous improvement.
- The University will demonstrate an expanded definition of sustainability that values environmental stewardship, humanity, diversity and inclusion, wellness, and social justice.
Education is a lifelong process. Illinois State University seeks to enhance environmental stewardship and sustainability literacy among the Illinois State University community and beyond. The University will seek to:
- Amplify communication efforts in order to educate and engage faculty, staff, and students on the Sustainability Policy and University commitments to sustainability.
- Facilitate professional development opportunities and the expansion of sustainability-related and focused curricula, co-curricular, programming, and cross-disciplinary/cross-divisional initiatives.
- Provide opportunities that promote leadership and service in sustainability to develop a network of environmental leaders across the University.
- Recognize and reward sustainability accomplishments.
- Establish and enhance university traditions that celebrate sustainability with the expectation that all programs and events incorporate sustainability.
In campus planning, operations, and activities, Illinois State University will use resources in a manner that takes into consideration environmental, social, and economic impacts. The University will seek to integrate sustainability considerations into all business decisions, including but not limited to:
- Energy management.
- Procurement practices.
- Materials management and waste reduction.
- Landscaping and grounds maintenance.
- Building design, construction, renovation, and maintenance.
As a public institution of higher education, Illinois State University seeks to take a leadership role in the community.
The University supports an inclusive and collaborative approach to sustainability. The University will seek to:
- Establish partnerships with government, business, and community organizations that promote sustainability.
- Encourage sustainability-related research that benefits local communities, businesses, and organizations.
- Share experiences and provide outreach to the community wherever feasible.
- Increase awareness and inform the community on sustainability-related issues.