The East Peoria Chamber of Commerce recently named Illinois Central College the 2014 Green Company of the Year. This is the fifth year for the award, which is given annually to the Chamber business member who exhibits efforts to “go-green” in its designing, selling or funding of eco-friendly products and services.
East Peoria Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Rick Swan said the designation helps recognize the importance of local businesses leading the way in being more eco-friendly.
“Preserving our resources is vital to our future,” he said. “We want to recognize businesses that make that ‘extra’ effort.”
“Being recognized as the 2014 Green Company of the Year is an honor,” said ICC Executive Vice President of Administration and Finance Bruce Budde. “The entire college community is engaged in our green initiative, and this award validates the efforts of the administration, faculty, staff and students to incorporate sustainable practices into our curriculum, our daily operation, and activities. Our goal is to practice what we teach and engage in a process to do our part to ensure a sustainable future for our community.”
The green initiative is nothing new to ICC. It was one of the first colleges in the state to pass a sustainability policy in 2009 and has so far developed three green-designed buildings. The U.S. Green Building Certification LEED® Program awarded one of those buildings, ICC’s CougarPlex Athletic Facility, a silver certification last year. The college has included sustainability topics in its curriculum since the 1980’s and began a recycling program in 1993, a full two years prior to the state mandate.
ICC is currently developing a Climate Action Plan to reduce the college’s carbon footprint and reach a goal of becoming climate neutral. A Sustainability Committee is developing new ways to incorporate the environmental commitment into all facets of college operations, including green purchasing, green cleaning, green building practices and greening the curriculum. A self-performed sustainability assessment through the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education recently resulted in a bronze rating for the college.
For more information on sustainability at ICC, visitwww.icc.edu/green.