This Thursday, October 23, Oakton Community College will be recognized by Governor Quinn and the Illinois Green Governments Coordinating Council for reaching the Bronze Level on the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact. The Compact as served as a set of guidelines for us to better track and shape our initiatives. As a College, we have committed to reaching the Silver Level by highlighting and developing a number of sustainability initiatives throughout our operations and practices.
Reaching the Bronze Level required that we:
- Endorse a written statement, declaration or policy acknowledging support for sustainability–Oakton has been on a green trajectory for several years now and a special emphasis on creating a “Green College” was placed in our previous Strategic Plan–resulting in the creation of a Green Committee. With the current Strategic Plan “Connecting What Matters”, our efforts to green the campuses have been acknowledged and we look forward to continuing the work that we have started as we strive to meet the Silver Level of the Compact in 2015.
- Designate a focal point to lead and/or coordinate sustainability efforts across the campus–Currently made up of 20 staff and faculty representing several departments as well as a student representative, the Green Committee has been guiding the College towards sustainable options in purchasing, new construction and general operations, providing communications and opportunities for involvement across the Oakton Community. In addition, the position of Sustainability Specialist was created and filled in 2014 to work with the Green Committee in supporting green initiatives across the College.
- Create a website that highlights the institution’s sustainability programs with the purpose of increasing awareness and generating interest–Our website showcases some of our current and recent initiatives and is currently under revision to include even more detail on the green initiatives underway. We look forward to sharing them all with you! In addition to the website, the “Keeping it Green at Oakton” blog as well as a Facebook page were created in order to keep the community better informed of our progress and opportunities for involvement.
- Create opportunities for students and faculty to provide suggestions for advancing sustainability on campus— In addition to suggestion boxes posted at events where the Green Committee hosts information tables, students, staff, faculty and community members are all encouraged to contact us to find out more about our sustainability initiatives, to offer suggestions on areas for improvement and find ways to become more involved. In addition to the venues noted above, we also encourage individuals to contact the Green Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We at Oakton are extremely proud of the progress we have been making in sustainability and look forward to sharing more about our efforts as we move forward on our commitment with the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact.