by Michelle Dyer, Chief Operating Officer, Second Nature

On March 17th, I had the honor of addressing an audience of higher education professionals at the Greentown Lake County conference.

The panel, entitled “Greening of the Campus: How Educational Institutions Combat Climate Issues,” kicked off with a welcome from representatives of our host, College of Lake County (a signatory to the ACUPCC): President Jerry Weber and Acting Assistant Vice President for Workforce Development Ali O’Brien. We then transitioned into a lively panel discussion featuring Richard Schultz, Sustainability Center Coordinator at Kankakee Community College; Kana Wibbenmeyer, Associate VP of Facilities at Loyola University Chicago; and David Agazzi, Vice President, Administrative Affairs at College of Lake County and Former Chief Financial Officer of Joliet Junior College.


Panelists addressed the questions:

  • How has sustainability been integrated throughout your campus culture?
  • What were some strategies used to incorporate sustainability into both curriculum and operations at your institution?
  • Who are the important players for funding, buy-in, etc.?

 

Loyola University Chicago Information Commons building

Loyola University Chicago Information Commons building

 

I was very impressed with the sustainability efforts at all three schools, particularly the ways they are bringing a sustainability lens to the academic experience of their students, and the beautiful high performance buildings being built. Loyola’s story of pursuing sustainability goals while also turning around a serious financial situation in a short time resonated with me in this difficult economic climate, reinforcing our position that the sustainable path is also the best economic path.