Sustainability at Elgin Community College

by Yesenia Lopez for SUST 210

The city of Elgin is a northwest suburb of Chicago, IL, that has been noticed for its recent changes and its efforts in promoting sustainability. The city has drawn up a detailed plan of action to establish a more sustainable community. Elgin is also home to Elgin Community College, which is an affordable option for the first two years of a college career and a good choice for technical school. The college is also undertaking significant initiatives in various areas of sustainability.

As reported here by the Elgin Courier News, “In 2010 ECC gave sustainability its own division at the college: Sustainability, Safety & Career Technologies.” The college also created a sustainability committee that focuses on different things they can implement at the campus to make it more sustainable. The campus also joined the Illinois Green Economy Network, which involves community colleges all over Illinois that work toward creating a more sustainable future through curriculum development, campus planning, job readiness preparation, and other initiatives.

ECC's Health and Life Science Center

ECC’s Health and Life Science Center

In recent years the college has undergone many changes/additions to its campus, and they are not done yet, as future plans include the addition of a sustainability center.  Current sustainability efforts at the campus include planting of native vegetation in wetlands at the Spartan and Rener Drives, as well as participation in the Prairie at Home program. Small changes that are underway are the installation of water bottle refilling stations, and effort to make office and classroom processes as paperless as possible, and getting the college’s new buildings LEED certified. These two new buildings include the Health and Life Science Center and the Renner Academic Library, which were constructed with renewable resources.

ECC's Library

ECC’s Library

It is exciting to see current and future efforts by ECC. They are on the right track and these accomplishments and goals should spark great interest from the community. The addition of sustainability within different parts of the academic and technical curricula is also a great advancement; not a lot of schools in the area offer such choices, and thus ECC is making a substantial contribution to fostering sustainability within the region’s educational landscape.

McFarland, E. (2012, June 18). ECC sustains green efforts with passion for native plants. Elgin Courier News. Retrieved December 6, 2013, from

Each week during the Fall 2013 semester, students in Prof. Mike Bryson’s SUST 210 Sustainable Future online class at Roosevelt University will contribute blog posts on suburban sustainability issues to the Schaumburg’s Sustainable Future website.


About Suburban Sustainability

Founder and editor of the Schaumburg's Sustainability Future social media project (est. Earth Day, 2011)
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