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Sustainability Initiatives

Sustainability Initiatives


Carl Sandburg College Sustainability Initiatives


Carl Sandburg College believes in sustainability and environmental friendliness in all areas of its operations. To this end the College partnered with Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI) in 1992 and has successfully completed four Guaranteed Energy Savings Contract (GESC) projects that have saved the College more than $2 million over the past 12 years. As a result of the Energy Conservation Measures (ECM) the College has pursued, the College enjoys a low-energy cost per gross square foot (GSF) of $1.85/GSF as compared to the average of $1.95/GSF across all community colleges in Illinois.


The College continues to look for ways to save energy, curb waste and produce energy through renewable sources. The College is a member of the Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN), which is a collaboration of 48 community colleges that are in partnership to address issues related to energy efficiency and conservation and development of the Illinois workforce through green-collar jobs training. For more information on IGEN, please visit:


The College will be working with its Energy Savings Contractor (ESCO) and College Architects in developing a “Green Action for Students” program, a program focused on building awareness, educating and engaging students on the importance and impact of their behavior on energy efficiency and conservation.


Following are some of the sustainability efforts put forth by students, faculty and staff over the past several years:

Fiscal Year 2012

  • Partnered with IGEN to replace all light bulbs with energy-efficient light bulbs in all rooms across the Main Campus in Galesburg and install occupancy sensors in all rooms across all campus locations.
  • Virtualized servers in the data center and moved applications to the Cloud
  • Continued deployment of Thin Computing devices across all campus locations
  • Board of Trustees using iPads for board packets. Packets are no longer handed out in bulk and hard copy or mailed to media; all available online
  • Using pitchers of water at meetings rather than bottled water
  • Faculty using iPads in the classroom this fall
  • Reduction in copies made, lowering our toner and print cartridges usage


Fiscal Year 2011

  • n-Computing Initiative – Reduced desktop computer energy by 1/10th
  • Glass, plastic and aluminum recycling across the college district
  • Community Garden funded by IGEN and Sponsored by the Sandburg Environmental Awareness Club (SEAC), The Children’s School and Community Volunteers
  • All technology equipment Energy Star rated
  • Board of Trustees using iPads for board packets. Packets are no longer handed out in bulk and hard copy or mailed to media; all available online
  • Human resources using IPads for the employment/hiring process to cut down on paper usage.
  • Using pitchers of water at meetings rather than bottled water
  • Faculty using IPads in the classroom
  • Reduction in copies being made lowered our toner and print cartridges usage
  • Use of remanufactured toner cartridges


Sustainability Initiatives

  • Five successful Guaranteed Energy Savings Contract (GESC) projects, making Carl Sandburg College the fourth lowest energy-consuming community college in Illinois at $1.88/gross square foot (GSF).
  • Successful institution‐wide recycling program that includes soda cans, paper and cardboard. Currently working on plastic and bottle recycling program.
  • Automatic temperature control settings throughout all the buildings for energy conservation.
  • Eco‐friendly and bio‐degradable cleaning supplies used by environmental services department.
  • Use of environmentally friendly Geomelt 55® coated road salt on college walkways.
  • Online purchase requisitions
  • Purchase orders emailed to vendors
  • Electronic payroll and expense payments to employees, students and vendors.
  • Reduction of copying – duplex printing and copying front and back to reduce paper use. Use recycled paper whenever possible in desktop printers
  • Make own notepads by having scrap paper padded and cut to desired size in our copy center
  • Reuse file folders, hanging folders, bubble wrap, Styrofoam packing peanuts, used envelopes (for inter-office mail), cardboard shipping boxes and refurbish telephones.
  • Added footer to outgoing emails: Please think green. Do not print this message unless it’s really necessary
  • Use our in‐house maintenance staff for remodeling purposes whenever possible
  • Practice preventive maintenance for all equipment and facilities
  • Glass and plastic recycling program started in 2010


Additional Activities by Individual Departments President

  • Began sending board meeting information to media in May 2003
  • Developed a Web page for board materials rather than mailing a report of the board meeting to all employees
  • Centralized duplex printing on energy-efficient Xerox multifunction systems across all campus locations.
  • Scan to PDF functionality, leading to less paper output
  • Centralized Copy Center for large volume copying and brochure printing
  • Energy Star rated computers, servers and monitors across all campus locations
  • Eco‐friendly recycling program
  • Automatic power off on all classroom computers at the end of each day
  • Server virtualization initiative, leading to decrease in the number of servers
  • All CRT monitors have been replaced with flat-panel monitors, which use less power and last longer
  • The monitors in the distance learning rooms have been replaced with flat-panel LCD televisions, which provide a clearer picture, use less energy and take up less area in the classroom
  • Laptops and projectors are available for check‐out for faculty and staff for conference or meeting purposes
  • Purchase high‐yield use and return toner cartridges for all printers
  • Use a conference phone to allow a large number of people to “attend” meetings
  • Use webinars for training purposes
  • Offer old computer and office equipment to the area K‐12 schools; what is left is auctioned off to avoid the landfill
  • Email institutional printer/copying usage report monthly to administrators to allow for monitoring


Academic and Student Services

  • Faculty use Blackboard Learning System to distribute resources to students
  • Use Web and electronic communications as the primary mode for interacting with prospective students and reducing the number of traditional paper mailings
  • The College has partnered with ITunes® University to make available podcasts and vodcasts to students
  • mySANDBURG portal allows single sign‐on access to all campus resources to students, faculty and staff
  • Google® partnership has allowed the College to host student email accounts on the Google Cloud Computing network
  • Online application, course search and registration
  • Reduction of mailings to students – rely on email, website and Facebook to communicate instead of mailing announcements, which reduces cost and waste
  • Equipment lending program – reduces the amount of equipment purchased by students so items can be reused each semester. For example, a student who needs a calculator for only one semester does not have to purchase one


Marketing & Public Relations

  • Limit or decrease the number of publications in print and use the Web whenever possible and effective (e.g. College Catalog, program brochures, etc.)
  • Take care in projecting publications to avoid leftovers
  • Emailing monthly newsletter to save printing and postage when possible
  • Send PDF proofs on almost all print jobs, instead of paper proofs
  • Provide news clips on the Web rather than printing them for archives
  • Encourage students and staff to get their information from the mySandburg portal and the campus TVs rather than printed materials, posters, etc.