NORMAL — Heartland Community College has received a bronze award in the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact awards program, but the school has its eyes on gold.
Adrienne Tucker, associate director of Heartland’s Green Institute, said, “We’re very much capable of going beyond the bronze.”
Heartland was among 21 colleges and universities to receive an award, with eight recognized at the gold level.
Heartland was the only school in The Pantagraph area to be recognized.
The bronze award required institutions to show they are “making a commitment to creating a sustainability program and engaging the campus community.”
To reach the gold level, institutions must demonstrate they are “integrating sustainability throughout their campus and working toward measured improvement.”
The objectives of the Campus Sustainability Compact include renewable energy purchases, water conservation improvements, sustainable transportation options and green building practices.
Tucker pointed to such things as the commercial-grade wind turbine that began generating electricity for the campus earlier this year, a campus-wide recycling program, an electric vehicle charging station and a pledge for new buildings to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification standards as steps toward the gold award.
These initiatives already are part of Heartland’s involvement in the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, she said.
“One of Heartland’s foundational commitments is to model stewardship and sustainability, and this award is a much-appreciated acknowledgement of our efforts,” Heartland President Allen Goben said in a statement.
The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, a unit of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois, presented the award to Heartland.