CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today recognized Loyola University of Chicago for its commitment to campus sustainability at the 2013 Sustainable Schools Symposium. The symposium is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to make Illinois a national leader in sustainability. The annual event is an opportunity for K-12 schools and universities to exchange ideas to enhance sustainability at education institutions in Illinois, and identify new programs to apply across the state.
“Green schools benefit students and the entire community,” Governor Quinn said. “Today’s symposium will help Illinois’ schools continue to expand sustainable practices and make our state a greener place to live.”
The 2013 Sustainable Schools Symposium featured panel discussions, exhibits and speakers who addressed topics such as best practices for sustainability on schools and campuses and ways to reduce energy costs. Attendees also had the opportunity to participate in tours of Loyola’s campus and observe first-hand the progress the university has made in implementing sustainable practices.
In addition to keynoting the luncheon, Governor Quinn recognized Loyola University of Chicago for achieving Gold status as part of the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact. The Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact outlines environmental goals that colleges and universities -- both public and private -- may adopt on their campuses. The compact includes objectives such as purchasing renewable energy, implementing green building practices, developing sustainable transportation options, improving water conservation and incorporating sustainable dining practices.
Loyola University’s green activities include an innovative clean energy program and biodiesel lab, urban agriculture such as roof-top gardens, vertical gardens, Farmers’ Market and aquaponics, and ChainLinks (Loyola’s campus bike-share project). The Lake Shore Campus features several state-of-the-art, high-performing green buildings including the Klarcheck Information Commons, Cuneo Hall, Damen Student Union and soon-to-open Institute of Environmental Sustainability.
Governor Quinn also proclaimed April as Earth Month in Illinois, during which the Governor’s Office and many state agencies will hold events and programs aimed at educating and activating Illinoisans about conservation and sustainability. Last week, the governor ordered lights extinguished at several major state facilities to observe Earth Hour, including the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago.