In the search for alternative energy resources, sustainable food production and environmental stewardship, researchers at the University of Illinois have access to a gigantic "living laboratory" — the 320-acre Energy Farm on the Urbana-Champaign campus' South Farms.
Under the leadership and management of the Department of Crop Sciences and College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Envionmental Sciences (ACES), the Energy Farm offers the space, resources, and expertise necessary for field research and production needs for University researchers, corporate partners, and collaborators. In total, the U of I has 3000+ acres of agricultural research space conveniently located adjacent to campus, allowing researchers convenient access to campus offices and laboratories.
Facilities & Services Sustainability
Facilities & Services Sustainability provides physical infrastructure, operational, and essential services for sustaining an environment that fosters the research, teaching, and public engagement activities of the university. The F&S goal is to support the university's education, research, and outreach missions by improving the physical condition of the facilities and ground, reducing energy consumption through education and use of alternative fuel sources, and increasing customer satisfaction by providing quality services in a responsive, reliable, and customer-focused manner. F&S Sustainability provides leadership, coordination, promotion, reporting, and a point of contact for several sustainability initiatives managed by F&S departments and is a resource to help connect students interested in promoting sustainability to the campus experts.
Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP)
The Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) is the primary campus sustainability manual approved and supported by the administrative leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. iCAP is renewed every 5 years to revisit relevant and necessary objectives required to achieve the overall goal for the University to reach net carbon neutrality by 2050 at the latest.
The 2020 iCAP has 56 objectives across eight main themes: Energy, Transportation, Land & Water, Zero Waste, Education, Engagement, Resilience, and Implementation.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign compiles its sustainability initiatives on the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) Portal. The portal also keeps a record of projects funded by the Student Sustainability Committee. Visit the iCAP Portal to see details of previously funded SSC projects.
Illinois Extension is committed to linking local communities to the University to develop programs, tools, and knowledge that will support needed change. Their mission is to align research to needs and translate research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.
Their work focuses on five ‘grand challenges.' Illinois Extension leaders work with a network of local stakeholders to define annual priorities that allow them to respond to evolving and emerging needs while still ensuring meaningful progress toward key outcomes in each of the five grand challenge areas. This blend of long-range focus and local accountability is a powerful strategy that ensures they stay true to their mission while serving communities across the state. Their five areas of focus are: (1) Energy and environmental stewardship, (2) Food safety and security, (3) Economic development and workforce preparedness, (4) Family health, financial security, and wellness, and (5) Youth development.
Illinois Geothermal Coalition (IGC)
The Illinois Geothermal Coalition is a group of corporations, non-profits, geothermal professionals, and researchers seeking to establish Illinois as a leader in geothermal energy. The coalition works to strengthen and advance the implementation and design of geothermal energy systems in the Midwest.
Illinois Sustainability Calendar
This is your one-stop shop for sustainability-, energy-, and environment-related events on campus. The Illinois Sustainability Calendar gets updated frequently, so bookmark it and check back often! We also encourage you to submit suggested events to this calendar.
Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC)
The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center's mission is to encourage and assist citizens, businesses, and government agencies to prevent pollution, conserve natural resources, and reduce waste to protect human health and the environment of Illinois and beyond. ISTC integrates applied research, technical assistance, and information services to advance efforts in the areas of pollution prevention; water and energy conservation; and materials recycling and beneficial reuse.
Illinois Water Resources Center
The Illinois Water Resources Center works with scientists, water professionals, and communities to address water resource challenges at both the national and state scales. Every year, they award roughly $40,000 to university-based researchers throughout the state and help scientists working on regional issues secure funding through the National Competitive Grants Program.
Institute for Geospatial Understanding through an Integrative Discovery Environment (I-GUIDE)
The National Science Foundation (NSF) Institute for Geospatial Understanding through an Integrative Discovery Environment (I-GUIDE) aims to transform geospatial data-intensive sciences through integration of cyberGIS, reproducible data-intensive analytics and modeling, FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) data principles, and innovative education and workforce development programs. This transformation catalyzes new convergence science necessary to drive advances across many fields ranging from computer, data and information sciences to atmospheric sciences, ecology, economics, environmental science and engineering, human-environment and geographical sciences, hydrology and water sciences, industrial engineering, sociology, and statistics. Through synergistic advances of these fields I-GUIDE is empowering diverse communities to produce data-intensive solutions to society’s resilience and sustainability challenges.
Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE)
The Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) is the University of Illinois’ central campus sustainability entity. iSEE is responsible for upholding and following through with sustainability initiatives as stipulated in the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP). iSEE operates on a three-pronged mission plan: research, sustainability initiatives, and education and outreach.
Prairie Research Institute
The Prairie Research Institute benefits the people, economy, and environment of Illinois, delivering impact to every corner of the state. Their teams focus scientific knowledge and data in geology, ecology and biodiversity, archaeology, water, weather and climate, pollution prevention, hazardous waste management, and sustainable energy.