College celebrates green achievements; pledges to do more
BELLEVILLE – September 14, 2011. Lt. Governor Sheila Simon joined Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC) President Georgia Costello today in signing an Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact acknowledging SWIC’s current sustainability efforts and the college’s pledge to achieve more.
“In touring Illinois’ community colleges, I have seen firsthand the efforts colleges are taking to create a greener Illinois and help make us a leader in the green economy of the future,” Simon said. “I praise SWIC for all they have accomplished, and support their pledge to do more to create a greener Illinois that will create jobs and save taxpayers money.”
The Illinois Sustainability Compact encourages schools to meet various sustainability goals by 2015 and includes three tiers of commitment: bronze, silver and gold. Having met the bronze level, SWIC pledged today to meet the silver level, which includes goals such as setting measurable green objectives or targets and establishing a system to monitor and assess the college’s sustainability projects and goals.
“We are incredibly proud to have completed the bronze level for this Sustainability Compact,” said Costello. “Many individuals and different departments here at SWIC made this happen, and I know the college will again rise to the occasion to complete the silver level.”
To meet the bronze level goals, SWIC endorsed a college sustainability policy, established a sustainability office and committee, created a sustainability website and encouraged suggestions from employees and students on advancing sustainability at the college. SWIC has also implemented a school-wide recycling program with the goal of reducing the printing of handouts, collecting used batteries and toner cartridges, and installing additional recycling bins.
As chair of Illinois’ three river coordinating councils, Simon is a strong advocate for safe, clean and accessible rivers. Simon has also supported efforts to increase the use of renewable energy in Illinois and community college programs that are preparing workers for the green jobs of the future. She also serves on the Green Governments Coordinating Council, which works to save taxpayers money by making state government more sustainable and energy efficient.
Before the signing SWIC lead a “Green You Can Do” workshop for faculty, students and the public, to teach individuals how they can be more sustainable in their daily lives.