Where We Are, What We Have Done to Meet Sustainability Goals

Back to Top Report Summary

In April 2010, Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC) established the Office of Sustainability as part of the college’s commitment to the Illinois Community College Sustainability Network, now named the Illinois Green Economy Network. The office provides leadership, guidance and resources to help the college implement the many sustainability projects it is undertaking.

Back to Top Collegewide Projects

  • Board of Trustees authorized the creation of a full-time administrative position, Director of Sustainability. August 10, 2009
  • The SWIC Board of Trustees amended the Strategic Plan October 21, 2009, to include Priority F: Develop collaborative practices and curricula that promote and implement sustainability and position the College as a regional model.
  • SWIC President Costello appointed the President’s Sustainability Leadership Team November 20, 2009.
  • A Green Committee made up of staff and faculty meet regularly to plan sustainable activities and to address sustainability issues.
  • A “Think Green. Be Green” link was added to the SWIC website.
  • SWIC Organizational Leadership Team committed to e-mail as primary communication means with students.
  • Barnes & Noble piloted electronic (non-paper) book adoption system and offers roughly 100 textbooks in digital form.
  • Barnes & Noble initiated “one planet” program to distribute books that are not being repurchased to Missouri Book Services where books are supplied to Third World countries or turned into recycled papers.
  • Offices and departments initiated enhanced recycling and energy saving activities; reduced printing of handouts; collect and recycle batteries; emphasis on turning of monitors and shutting down machines; installation of additional recycling bins; recycled paper in computer labs; recycling of CRT computer monitors; installation of energy printers; and recycling of toner cartridges.
  • Ecology Club formed with a biology professor as sponsor.
  • Director of Sustainability writes a monthly sustainability column for the electronic employee newsletter, Insider Chat.
  • Completed Server Virtualization Project providing a cost savings of $148,053 and an annual reduction in utility costs of $93,788.
  • Public Information &Marketing office has changed the way it handles the news clips process. Previously, hard copies were made of all the newspaper articles and then sent intercampus to various employees of the college. Now, all of the clippings are scanned electronically and are posted on an internal drive that members of the college can access from their computer.
  •  Public Information &Marketing representatives encourage clients to use as many electronic outlets as possible, instead of printing out fliers, posters, etc. Several options are offered, including the SWIC website, iSTORM/eSTORM, student e-mail blasts, plasma screens, outdoor sign and Facebook.
  • Public Information & Marketing has transitioned the college’s employee newsletter, Insider Chat, to a strictly electronic version, instead of printing/mailing hard copies. Clients are encouraged to transition over to electronic newsletters.
  • The Foundation Office has purchased a digital-imager.  The office initiated scanning office records and creating virtual files.  This has resulted in a significant paper reduction. 
  • Community Education has changed the format of its Community Education schedule from an 8 ½ x 11, 40 page publication, to a single-page mailer.  Since 90,000 schedules were printed in fall of 2010, this is a huge reduction in printing and paper.  The full schedule will now appear on the website only. 
  • SWIC Express- SWIC employees and students receive a free Metrolink pass and are encouraged to use public transportation.
  • The Vice President for Community Services was appointed to the bi-state committee on Technical Planning, and the Director of Sustainability was appointed to a bi-state committee on Community Engagement as part of the bi-state region's Regional Plan for Sustainable Development.
  • Director of Sustainability has assumed the role of college contact for Ridefinders.

Back to Top Sam Wolf Granite City Campus Projects

  • A major renovation of the Sam Wolf Granite City Campus (SWGCC) Student Services area was completed.  Sustainable/efficiency features include:   the installation of carbon dioxide sensors to adjust air handlers to support the building occupancy; installation of automated system to manage lighting and HVAC systems; installation of energy efficient rooftop units; installation of efficient lighting fixtures with motion-activated energy efficient systems; installation of no-wax floor tile; and installation of a natural lighting system.
  • The exterior upgrades in the SWGCC renovation included the development of a storm water management system, rain gardens, bio-swales, retention ponds, parking lot reconstruction using re-used and recycled asphalt and the installation of bicycle racks.
  • SWGCC renovation project cross connected heating water boilers in boiler plant to achieve better efficiencies, reduce use of natural gas, and removed one boiler from service.
  • SWGCC Renovation Project installed lighting controls to work in conjunction with daylight monitoring in main entryway.
  • SWGCC Renovation Project includes plantings for rain gardens that meter and naturally filter water runoff.
  • The SWGCC library has reduced the number of hard-copy periodical subscriptions purchased.  Many online databases offer the same periodical choices for patrons to use.
  • The SWGCC library has reduced the number of hard copy reference materials purchased, relying on the online databases for patrons to use.

Back to Top Belleville Campus Projects

  • Thirty servers have been virtualized by IT.
  • The Belleville and Sam Wolf Granite City Campus libraries have implemented procedures to replace hard copy information to faculty members by sending emails with regards to the library materials that are placed in reserve collection as well as new book lists that are available.
  • The Belleville and Red Bud Campus libraries recycle monthly copies of newspaper subscriptions.
  • The Belleville and Red Bud Campus libraries have implemented procedures to use recycled paper for in-house handouts and on-hold items lists as well as cutting letter sized paper into 2” x 3” scratch paper.
  • The Belleville and Red Bud Campus libraries have implemented procedures to receive withdrawn library materials from other libraries to add to the collection rather than purchasing newly printed materials.
  • Human Resources implemented on-line database on college website for all job listings (employers/job seekers).
  • Public Safety implemented the ARMS (Public Safety Automated Records Management System).  Working with IT, server software and user software has been installed.  The system went live on January 3, 2011.
  • Sustainability has become a top priority in all aspects of the Physical Plants.  When looking at green cleaning, there was an opportunity to reduce energy usage by eliminating night shift cleaning district wide. By rescheduling cleaning times, Physical Plant estimates energy savings to be between 4-8% through the reduction of energy consumption between the hours of 12:00-6:00 a.m.
  • Physical Plant  monitored solid waste disposal deposited in dumpsters to determine levels of waste streams from buildings, and thereby modified waste hauling program by eliminating a dumpster and resizing other dumpsters to reduce tips by waste hauler, in effect reducing the number of trips the waste hauler had to make and consolidate program.
  • Renovations at the Belleville Campus have taken a sustainability approach in their design such as – low flow shower heads, flush toilets for single/double flush, low flow urinals, redirection of hot water lines to eliminate long wait for hot water, more efficient lighting in chemistry labs and shower/restroom/ workout rooms, and increased insulation values in ceiling.
  • Physical Plant adjusted set points on heating and air conditioning systems.
  • Physical Plant evaluated lighting and energy needs between the hours of 12:00-6:00 a.m. and set up a system to power down nightly.
  • Physical Plant adjusted grass cutting heights to reduce fuel consumption.
  • The Physical Plant is conducting an energy audit with assistance from The Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC).
  • Payroll Office no longer prints payroll direct deposit statements.
  • The college held its first Green Expo in 2011 at the Belleville Campus with participation of 30 vendors and attended by approximately 500 people.  Recycling opportunities, green vendors and nonprofit organizations participated in the event.  A Green Fine Arts Market was held in conjunction with the Green Expo and featured eco-friendly activities and demonstrations.  Tree seedlings were provided to participants and "green" academic programs were featured.
  • The Belleville Campus Print Shop purchased new digital press that uses vegetable based inks.
  • An Environmental Film Festival was hosted by the Ecology Club in April 2011 in the Belleville Campus Theatre.

Back to Top Red Bud Campus Projects

  • Installed two energy efficient printers; replacement of the Administrative Office copy machine with a more efficient/networked machine; recycle bins located around campus to recycle aluminum cans, plastic, and paper; recycle newspapers, paper and envelopes turn off all computers, lights, and copy machine every evening.
  • The 2010 Green Fall Festival offered fun “green” games and activities, free pony cart rides, a bounce house and an inflatable super slide.  Presentations included Green Jeopardy with Marla Esser, Sustaining Spaces; Greening the Home with Walter Arenstein, and a presentation by Jack Norman from the Kaskaskia Valley Audubon Society.  Energy efficient vehicles were on display courtesy of Weir Chevrolet Buick GMC, Red Bud.  
  • Monroe/Randolph Transit bus service for students
  • Red Bud Campus Library sustainable initiatives include:
    • Recycling one month’s copies of 12 newspaper subscriptions (+/- 135 issues)
    • No longer printing the daily holds list if less than five items
    • No longer printing/using identification slips for On Hold items; use recycled paper
    • Cut recycled office paper into 2”x3” scratch paper
    • Encourage and assist with two-sided printing and other paper-saving layouts
    • Provide recycling containers for printer paper
    • Receive books withdrawn from other libraries that are relevant to library collection, rather than purchasing newly printed books
    • Send overdue/lost item notices by email when possible
    • Over half of all periodicals are now electronic

Back to Top East St. Louis Community College Center Projects

  • Recycling bins placed in all offices for paper (Sept. 2007-present); recycling bins for aluminum, plastic and glass installed in SWIC’s ESLCCC Bldg. A hallways (Jan. 2009-present); composting all coffee grounds and fruit waste (Sept. 2009-present).
  • Educational Garden:
    • The Garden was maintained throughout the 2010 summer months by ESLCCC staff members and the ESLCCC Student Activity Council.
    • Over 200 lbs of produce was harvested from the garden (mainly tomatoes, but we also harvested a variety of peppers, zucchini, green beans, various greens, okra, cucumbers, and many different kinds of herbs). Dishes were prepared with produce from the garden to share with staff members. Salsa is being canned and shared with the whole ESLCCC staff.
    • A Celebration of the Harvest was held on Oct. 15 in which Operation Food Search sent representatives to do a cooking demonstration using fresh produce from the garden. Over 50 staff and students attended this celebration.
    • The Garden was awarded an additional College Activity grant of $500 to enhance the garden operation for the upcoming growing season.
  • ESLCCC Community Education staff members have recycling bins for paper by their desk. Either the staff members take these recyclables to their home recycling or they dump it in the bins at the end of the hallway. The bins at the end of the hall way are emptied by ESLCCC staff members and taken to their home recycling. Aluminum, plastic and cardboard recycling bins are also at the end of the hallway. ESLCCC Site Supervisor recycles the aluminum and plastic in his home recycling and uses the cardboard on the ESLCCC Educational Garden. Shredded paper is also used in the Educational Garden.

Back to Top Curriculum Initiatives

  • The Auto Collision Repair Technology Program integrated waterborne paint technology into existing ACRT curriculum.
  • The Technical Education Division developed a Construction Management Technology (CMT) Sustainability Certificate.
  • The Construction Management Technology Coordinator offered training to colleagues on how to incorporate concepts of sustainability into their programs and curriculum.
  • The Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration program completed installation of a geothermal unit that is used for purposes of demonstration and training.
  • The Electrical/Electronic Technology Program completed installation of a five-panel photovoltaic system used for purposes of demonstration and training.
  • The Construction Management Technology Program purchased a blower door assembly and infrared camera for purposes of demonstration and training in the field of energy auditing.
  • The Technical Education Division at Sam Wolf Granite City Campus installed a solar panel array on the ITC to be used for instructional purposes.
  • The Business Division, Math & Science Division and the Sam Wolf Granite City Campus Physical Plant worked with the Culinary Arts Coordinator to install raised-bed herb gardens for use by the Culinary Arts Program at the Sam Wolf Granite City Campus. This project allows students in the program to grow herbs for use in the cooking classes.
  • Geothermal heat pump system became operational for instructional use at Sam Wolf Granite City Campus.
  • Credit and non-credit “green” courses are offered each semester.
  • Ten faculty members participated in Greening Your Curriculum workshops (Fall 2010) and will be implementing sustainable concepts into their curriculum (Spring 2011).
  • The Technical Education Department developed and received approval to proceed with a proposal to convert a gas powered car to an electric car to be used in the training of various technical education curricula.

Back to Top Community Initiatives

  • Provide public outreach to schools, community and homeowners.
  • Formed a SWIC AmeriCorps task force to identify green service projects.
  • The Kids’ Club (day care) initiates new art activities featuring sustainable items; samples food grown in their garden.
  • Ongoing sustainability at Programs and Services for Older Persons includes; paper recycling, can recycling, snack bag recycling, used eyeglass collection site, cell phone collection site.  The Retired Senior volunteer Program provides volunteers to not for profit sites that provide either used clothing and furniture or end of the day unsold food to those in need.
  • The Programs and Services for Older Persons Foster Grandparent Program participants worked with children at IMPACK in Sparta, IL on a community garden project.
  • Earth Day celebration 2010:  Educational exhibits and product demonstrations were presented at Belleville Campus.  Green products and factsheets were distributed.  The Director of Sustainability spoke to a group of students and faculty at Red Bud Campus.
  • Sustainability Center staff participate in PSOP activities.
  • In conjunction with WITS recycling, an electronic recycling day was held monthly at the Belleville Campus (Fall, 2010).  To date (August-November), 27 tons of electronics have been collected.  Recycling days start again in February 2011.
  • Secured $500 grant from Randolph County Housing Authority to conduct a speaker series at schools specifically in Randolph County.
  • SWIC partnered with the St. Clair County Health Department, American Water Company, and the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department to install a prescription drop box in the Sheriff’s Department.  Discussions are being held to install one in Randolph County.
  • SWIC has partnered with Southwestern Illinois Resource Conservation and Development, University of Illinois Extension, St. Clair County Health Department, Randolph County Health Department, Regional Chamber and Growth Association, Regional Office of Education, Home Builders Green Council, and many others to advance sustainability education in the Metro East.
  • The Sustainability Center participated in the Benchmark division of Recyclemania.
  • A committee was formed to establish a prescription drop box at the Chester Police Department.  Sponsors (committee members) included Chester Memorial Hospital, City of Chester, Randolph County Health Department, the Chester Police Department, and the Girl Scouts.  Drop box completed on May 2, 2011.

Back to Top Work Force Education/Green Jobs Training

  • SWIC is partnering with Metropolitan Training Alliance on weatherization grant. 
  • “Green” offerings through Selsius 
  • SWIC is partnering with Illinois Department of Employment Security to identify local needs.
  • Contacts regarding green job development include: Illinois Brotherhood of Electrical workers; SIUC; Workforce Investment Boards; Health Departments; Madison County Planning; Southwestern Illinois Resource Conservation and Development; Home Builders Green Council, others

Program Areas/Events


Public School Outreach2,280
Community Education1,852
Homeowners Workshops78
Green Jobs Development275
TOTAL 6,475