Illinois Sustainability Awards in the news

CLC wins state sustainability award, listing on two prestigious media outlets (Lake County News-Sun)

In recognition of its efforts to promote environmental sustainability, the College of Lake County recently has made the list of top two-year colleges in Sierra magazine and the Princeton Review. Additionally, CLC received Oct. 23 the Illinois Sustainability Award from the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Smart Energy Design Assistance Center honored with Illinois Sustainability Award (University of Illinois News Bureau)

The Smart Energy Design Assistance Center at Illinois was among the 27 winners of the Illinois Sustainability Award. Since 2004, SEDAC has been reducing the energy footprint of the state of Illinois through design assistance, outreach, research and education. Housed in the College of Fine and Applied Arts, SEDAC is a public-private partnership with 360 Energy Group.

CU Mass Transit District wins award for sustainable practices (Daily Illini)

The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District was awarded the Sustainability Award for environmentally sustainable practices for the second time in five years.

Village receives 2018 Illinois Sustainability Award (Village of Hoffman Estates)

The Village of Hoffman Estates was honored for its sustainability efforts on Oct. 23, along with twenty-six other Illinois companies and organizations. The state-wide Illinois Sustainability Awards were presented by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC), a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The winners were announced during a ceremony at the Union League Club in Chicago. The Village previously received the award in 2011 and received an honorable mention in 2014.

Nicor Gas Emerging Technology Program Receives Sustainability Award (Nicor Gas)

Nicor Gas’ Emerging Technology Program (ETP) is the recipient of the 2018 Illinois Sustainability Award for its efforts to implement innovative and sustainable technologies and its demonstrated commitment to sustaining environmental, social and economic health. The ETP, a part of energySMART, Nicor Gas’ energy efficiency program, assesses promising new technologies that have the potential to generate natural gas savings. It is the only gas ETP program of its kind in Illinois and the largest in the Midwest.

IFB honored for NLRS activities (FarmWeek)

Hundreds of field days, workshops and webinars educating tens of thousands of individuals about sustainability resulted in the recognition of Illinois Farm Bureau as a winner of the 2018 Sustainability Award. The award, given by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, honors IFB’s ongoing efforts to create awareness of, improve and implement environmental sustainability practices across the state.

27 Illinois Organizations Honored for Achievements in Sustainability

Twenty-seven Illinois companies and organizations were honored on October 23 for their significant achievements in protecting the environment, helping sustain the future, and improving the economy. The winners were announced during a ceremony at the Union League Club in Chicago. Read winners summaries in the ceremony program booklet.

“Illinois’ success as an economic and cultural leader depends upon our responsible management of natural resources, as well as sustainable development,” said Kevin OBrien, director of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, which administers the awards program. Every year, a group of champions represents the highest models of sustainable commerce, resource use, and governance – the winners of the Illinois Sustainability Awards.

Since 1987, ISTC has presented Sustainability Awards to organizations in Illinois that have demonstrated a commitment to environmental excellence through outstanding and innovative sustainability practices. Any Illinois public or private organization is eligible to apply for the award. Winners are selected through a rigorous process of review and examination by ISTC technical assistance experts.

The 2018 award winners are listed below. Photos of winning teams can be requested from

More information on the Illinois Sustainability Awards program, lists of previous winners, and information on technical assistance services are available from the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center,  a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

2018 Illinois Sustainability Award Winners

  • Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District – Urbana
  • College of Lake County – Grayslake
  • dormakaba USA Inc. – Steeleville
  • Downers Grove Sanitary District – Downers Grove
  • DuPage County – Wheaton
  • First Presbyterian Church of Danville – Danville
  • Golden State Foods McCook – McCook
  • Greenville University – Greenville
  • Hilton Chicago – Chicago
  • Illinois Department of Corrections – Springfield
  • Illinois Farm Bureau – Bloomington
  • INTERRA, Inc. – Bolingbrook
  • Lakeshore Recycling Systems – Morton Grove
  • Lewis and Clark Community College – Godfrey
  • Madison County Planning & Development Department – Edwardsville
  • Menasha Packaging 21G – Edwardsville
  • Nicor Gas – Naperville
  • Northwestern University – Evanston
  • Riggs Beer Company – Urbana
  • Sheridan Correctional Center – Sheridan
  • Smart Energy Design Assistance Center – Champaign
  • Solberg Manufacturing Inc. – Itasca
  • South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium – Chicago Heights
  • Sterling Lumber Company, LLC – Phoenix
  • Village of Hoffman Estates – Hoffman Estates
  • Village of Mount Prospect – Mount Prospect
  • Village of Mundelein – Mundelein

New Illinois Sustainability Awards case study: Loyola University Chicago

ISTC’s latest case study features 2017 Illinois Sustainability Award winner Loyola University Chicago. Loyola is an urban Catholic Jesuit university located in near the Chicago lakefront. In 2015, they released a climate action plan which called for them to be carbon neutral by 2025.

Loyola incorporates several tools to ensure that sustainability issues are front and center to their students, staff, and communities. They include:

  • Extensive use of gardens to manage storm water run-off and provide native
  • Integration of sustainability issues into undergraduate curriculum providing
    a environmental foundation for all students
  • Building, renovating, and managing campus structures to a high standard
    of energy efficiency
  • Engaging the wider community in sustainability initiatives

Loyola’s actions have resulted in a variety of annual reductions and cost savings, including:

  • 1,469,000 gallons of water saved
  • 616 tons of material diverted from landfill
  • 683,575 kWh reduced from high-performing buildings
  • 19,288 mtCO2e reduced
  • $130,000 dollars saved from natural gas use reduction

New Illinois Sustainability Awards case study: Aisin Manufacturing Illinois

ISTC’s latest case study features 2017 Illinois Sustainability Award winner Aisin Manufacturing Illinois, which is based in Marion. Aisin manufactures a wide variety of products for the automotive industry, including sunroofs, grill door shutters, back door components, center pillar garnishes, roof rails, and door handles. They serve various customers, including Toyota, General Motors, Lexus, and Subaru.

AMI utilizes several tools to continously improve on their sustainability efforts. These include:

  • An ISO 14000 Management System;
  • Employee opinions and improvement suggestions are incorporated into the environmental planning process;
  • Environmental “Go Green” incentives for employees that extend outside of the workplace;
  • Community outreach initiatives that promote a wider adoption of sustainability practices; and
  • Use of outdoor space around the facility to improve habitats for plants and wildlife.

As a result of these projects, Aisin:

  • Achieved $212,982 in energy savings from 2008-2013;
  • Avoided emitting 1,709 tons of carbon dioxide;
  • Diverted 12,040 tons of material from the landfill from 2009-2016;
  •  Recycled 2,214 tons of material in 2016; and
  • Paid $9,268 in incentives to employees for green purchases in 2016.

For more details on Aisin Manufacturing Illinois’ sustainability projects, read the case study.