Contact Information: Johnna Kelly 630-407-6022
Thursday, October 30, 2014
DuPage Recognized for Environmental Sustainability Stewardship
DuPage County was recently recognized by the State of Illinois for its commitment to environmental sustainability through innovative practices.
DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin said the recognition validates the county’s efforts to preserve the environment.
“DuPage County has a rich history of implementing sustainable and environmentally friendly initiatives on our campus. This recognition validates our commitment to meet our social and economic needs while minimizing the impact on the environment for future generations,” said Cronin.
In 2011, DuPage County became the first county in the state to receive the Governor’s Sustainability Award, which is administered by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois. The Governor’s Sustainability Awards program recognizes public and private organizations for significant achievements in protecting the environment though sustainable practices.
This year, DuPage County was once again honored for its initiatives that have impacted the environment through a reduction in energy consumption, recycling waste materials and utilizing resources in an environmentally responsible manner.
Public Works Committee Chairman Jim Healy said the county has made environmental sustainability a priority for campus improvement projects.
“Whether it’s constructing a new building, adding new light fixtures or phasing out older computers, we are consistently seeking sustainable solutions to every aspect of our daily operations. Our most successful campus projects have been multi-disciplined resulting in energy efficiency and cost-savings,” said Healy.
Within the past year, the County has constructed and renovated two buildings on campus that have been recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The County completed construction on the Jeanine Nicarico Children’s Advocacy Center in 2013, which has been certified as a gold level LEED Building (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design).
In addition, the county renovated the former juvenile detention center for the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. The rehabbed office space includes sustainable features such as energy efficient lighting, water-saving fixtures and a computerized heating and cooling system. These features are also included in other buildings around campus.
The county has also:
• Recycled more than 58,000 pounds of its own electronics;
• Replaced older vehicles with new, alternative fuel models;
• Converted a blacktop roof into a vegetative roof; and
• Incorporated permeable paver blocks in two parking lots to reduce water run-off and filter out contaminants before entering ground water.
Moving forward, the county has signed on to the Sierra Club’s Cool Counties Initiative, where it has committed to a regional effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In an effort to establish a Cool Counties action plan, the county created a Green Government Council, made up of environmental and sustainability leaders, who are identifying ways to conserve natural resources, reduce the region’s environmental impact and promote economic opportunities. The action plan is set to be released in 2015.
Environmental Committee Chairman Pete DiCianni said the county continues to work on other sustainable projects, including air and water quality, energy efficiency, alternative-transportation, waste reduction and diversion, emissions reduction and stormwater reduction.
“This second recognition from the Governor’s office reflects our ongoing commitment to conserve natural resources. Our multi-decade efforts progress leveraging innovation and new technologies. I expect our citizens will be hearing about DuPage environmental successes well into the future,” said DiCianni.