University saves $12 million in energy conservation

In light of Sustainability Week starting Nov. 1, the University announced that through its $25 million in energy conservation investments over the past four years, it has saved $12 million in energy up to now.

Overall, the reduction of energy consumption in buildings on campus decreased by 22 percent since fiscal year 2007. This exceeds the University’s goal of reducing energy consumption by 10 percent in three years.

About $2.2 million of the $19 million in local funds came from student fees for sustainability initiatives. The remaining $6.5 million came from grants.

University Vice President and Chancellor Phyllis M. Wise said she is impressed with the progress the campus has made toward sustainability both by funding new initiatives and setting challenging goals that help conserve energy.

“Going forward, we are committed to achieving the goals we have set because this campus is a national leader in proactively implementing the most forward-thinking sustainability measures and encouraging sustainable habits,” Wise said in a press release.

The announcement comes ahead of Sustainability Week, which will be four days full of events, speakers, walks, bike repair sessions, poster sessions, a costume contest among other events.

Campus and community members can join Wise on the Nov. 2 Quad Walk, where participants can walk around the Quad and hear mini presentations about various sustainability projects. People can join the walk starting at 4 p.m. in front of the south entrance at the Illini Union, 1410 W. Green Street in Urbana.

Sustainability Week provides a forum for the University to engage the campus and community, listen to people’s interests and share aggressive goals the University has developed, said Associate Chancellor and acting director of the Office of Sustainability Pradeep Khanna in a press release.

This week-long event allows more than 10 environmental registered student organizations on campus to share their initiatives and be committed to the effort to find a greener tomorrow.

“The millenial generation is striving to create a better community for tomorrow which incorporates green practices big and small,” said student body president David Pileski in a press release.

For more information on Sustainability Week, visit “sustainability.illinois.edu/2011SustainabilityWeek.html “:sustainability.illinois.edu/2011SustainabilityWeek.html.