ISU remains on top for sustainability

Vidette Archive: ISU has been recognized for their recycling, alternative transportation and other sustainability efforts for the fourth time.

Vidette Archive:
ISU has been recognized for their recycling, alternative transportation and other sustainability efforts for the fourth time.

Illinois State University was recognized in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 332 Green Colleges: 2014 Edition once again as a college committed to environmental sustainability.

This marks the fourth consecutive year ISU has been included in the Guide to Green Colleges. Every year, ISU submits the proper paperwork to be considered and has won every time.

The Guide to Green Colleges takes into account several criteria to determine which four-year universities are the most environmentally committed. Some of the criteria are colleges and universities that demonstrate a notable commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation.

For ISU, the guide highlights Illinois State’s energy conservation and alternative transportation initiatives, recycling program and wellness and environmental programming. The Center for Renewable Energy was specifically noted as showing a superior interdisciplinary renewable energy major.

“It is recognition for our efforts,” Melissa Nergard, director in the Office of Sustainability, said. “It also helps when we are recruiting these students. They know coming here it is an environmentally friendly school, it’s a safe campus and we not only strive to have a healthy learning environment, but a spiritual environment where you can step out on the Quad and get that relaxation you need.”

A form of campus infrastructure ISU utilizes toward environmental commitment is an initiative in the energy management program. It is an ESCO or an energy services contract. This provides a long-term commitment for infrastructure upgrade including Milner Library and a heating plant among others.

In terms of ISU’s activities in environmentalism, RSOs count toward this criteria. A few of these RSOs include the Renewable Energy Society and the Student Environmental Action Coalition.

With this acknowledgment, the past four years have shown a positive correlation with student enrollment in environmentally friendly programs.

“Specifically employers, not just corporate, but non-for-profit, are working toward better social systems or environmental systems,” Nergard said. “So since we offer that programming it really gives our students a leg up and an advantage.”

In addition, ISU from 1857 has been environmentally conscious with its founders.

Jesse Fell planted all the trees on the quad and created the Fell Arboretum, Nergard said.

A free PDF downloadable version of the complete Princeton Review Guide to the 332 Green College can be found at

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