Blue and Gold make GREEN: Sustainability at Augustana
Sustainability is more than environmental awareness. It is a goal of responsible stewardship of our earth, understanding that humans are intricately tied to and dependent upon the complex systems of the natural world. As a community, Augustana College is striving towards sustainability in numerous ways.
- In the fall of 2007, the Augustana College Board of Trustees adopted a detailed action plan to reduce our environmental footprint.
- The Board of Trustees is committed to sustainable design in new buildings, striving to meet the "silver" standard as defined by LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). The first such building will be the new Student Center, with construction scheduled to begin in 2009.
- A new Campus Sustainability Committee, composed of representatives from the student body, staff, faculty, and administration, directs and monitors efforts towards sustainability.
- Within the curriculum, Augustana offers a wide variety of courses that focus on the environment and sustainability.
- Augustana offers several majors that focus on the environment, including Biology, Geography, and Geology. In addition, a new interdisciplinary major in Environmental Studies should be in place before the 2009-2010 academic year begins.
- Multiple sections of a popular Environmental Literature and Landscape Learning Community are offered annually. In this pair of courses, students study environmental issues through an environmental conservation course (GEOG 307) and a literature course (ENGL 315). \
- A recently renovated college-owned student residence, Local Culture House, is now a transitional living option for upper-class students. Students and professors in the Environmental Learning Community undertook the renovation project in 2007 and completed much of the work themselves. The house promotes ecologically friendly living.
- Campus Facilities Services has worked for several years to improve the efficiency of our light fixtures and our heating and cooling systems by updating and modernizing equipment and more carefully controlling thermostats. In spite of increased enrollment and a larger faculty, campus-wide natural gas use decreased by 1.5% from the '04-'05 to the '06-'07 years.
- President Steven Bahls has signed a commitment to reduce campus energy use annually by 2%.
- Augustana Dining Services now offers locally grown produce and meats as part of its Farm-to-Fork program.
- Augustana Dining Services donates its used cooking oil to be processed into biodiesel, and it donates food wastes to be composted by local farmers.
- Augustana's recycling program, run by Facilities Services, has won awards for the last 2 years. Augustana has placed first of all participating Illinois colleges and universities in the per-capita weight of recyclables in the RecycleMania competition.
- All of the white paper used on campus for printing and photocopying is FDC certified 100% recycled.
- An Augustana ID card now is a free bus pass, providing unlimited miles on MetroLINK. All buses have bicycle racks as well.
- Global Affect, a long-standing student organization that promotes environmental awareness, this year initiated Project Pedal. Through this program they gave away 14 new mountain bikes to first-year students who signed a pledge not to bring cars to campus.