2015 Illinois Governor's Sustainability Award
On October 27, 2015, Western Illinois University Facilities Management received the 2015 Illinois Governor's Sustainability Award. Western was one of 19 companies and organizations that received the award this year. The Illinois Governor's Sustainability Award is the nation's longest-running state award for excellence in environmental performance.
In recent years, Western Illinois University has successfully integrated sustainability into campus policies, projects, and the culture of within Facilities Management, including hiring a facilities sustainability coordinator. Western’s strong commitment to reducing its environmental impact has also had a positive effect on the budget; effectively saving millions of dollars, across a multitude of projects. It’s the goal of Facilities Management to integrate sustainability into all aspects of the department. Facilities Management has successfully incorporated sustainability throughout WIU’s Master Plan, Strategic Plan, core values, and Design Guidelines. By utilizing these key documents, Facilities Management has been able to work from the top down to increase sustainable practices within the department and the campus community.
Western Illinois University has become increasingly more dedicated to improving efficiency, which can be translated directly into cost savings. Capitalizing on DCEO rebates/grants has been instrumental in these efficiency upgrades. In 2015, $200,292 in incentives from DCEO were received, with an additional investment of $419,181 by the university. These projects included lighting upgrades, installing variable frequency drives, high efficiency HVAC, pipe insulation, and steam traps. Another visible example of Western’s dedication towards increasing sustainability is their commitment to building green. The Macomb campus has one LEED Silver building and one in the construction phase, seeking silver status. Facilities Management has implemented a policy that all new construction and major renovations will seek, at minimum LEED Silver certification.To view the other award winners, visit ISTC's website.
Pictured, L to R: Mark R. Ryan, executive director of the Prairie Research Institute, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Mandi Green, facilities sustainability and safety coordinator at WIU; and Kevin O'Brien, director of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC), the administrator of the award program.