Springfield, IL- The Illinois Department of Corrections has launched its first Sustainability Initiative, a plan to build a culture of conservation within the agency to empower staff and offenders to be better stewards of natural resources.
“The Department recognizes the important environmental and economic benefits in becoming more sustainable,” said Illinois Department of Corrections Director Salvador “Tony” Godinez. “We are dedicated to using common sense solutions and innovation to define our approach in implementing sustainable practices in our daily operations.”
A cornerstone of the Sustainability Initiative is improving the economic and environmental efficiency of IDOC operations. That means conserving energy and water, recycling and composting waste, and growing more food. The multifaceted program will save taxpayer dollars and help create job training opportunities to provide offenders with the skills they need to take advantage of Illinois’ fast-growing “green collar” sector upon their release.
While the Sustainability Initiative identifies department-wide goals, it also calls for a “bottom up” approach to encouraging sustainability throughout the agency. Each facility has a sustainability committee that will be tasked with driving innovation and creative practices at the local level while keeping in the mind the unique attributes of their facilities.
Several IDOC facilities have been involved in sustainability projects for some time. The Menard Correctional Center, for example, has been recognized at both the state and national level for leadership in sustainable practices and programs, such as biodiesel production and the manufacture of certified green cleaning products. Other examples include the Horticulture program at Logan Correctional Center and the recycling programs at Centralia and Shawnee correctional centers. The department will build on these successful efforts, which will serve as templates for similar initiatives throughout the agency.
In conjunction with the Sustainability Initiative, the Department has also launched a new website which outlines the agency’s efforts to implement sustainable practices at facilities statewide. For more information please visit the website at: http://www2.illinois.gov/idoc/aboutus/Pages/Sustainability.aspx