Campus sustainability is a central tenet of Illinois State University’s strategic plan, Educating Illinois 2013-2018. Sustainability is an evolving, environmentally conscious philosophy focused on maintaining and improving the services the University offers without compromising resources for future generations.
In support of this campuswide effort, the College of Education is excited to transition The Statewide Standard from print to a new electronic publication. This transition will facilitate the delivery of timely, comprehensive content and require fewer environmental and financial resources. These resources will be reallocated toward the enhancement of dynamic program and professional development offerings for current students and alumni.
Using comprehensive analysis and data provided by the Environmental Paper Network and University Marketing and Communications, the college gauged the impact of the previous distribution strategies used to print The Statewide Standard. While the publication has been printed on 100-percent recycled paper for several years, the other resources used were not as environmentally friendly.
In spring 2013, 42,700 copies of The Statewide Standard were created. That required the use of 132,000 sheets—11 tons—of recycled paper. The printing process required a net energy use of 184 million British thermal units (Btus), equivalent to the energy use of two homes for an entire year. The 31,101 pounds of greenhouse gases used for production equates to the average annual emissions of three cars. The process also consumed more than 28,000 gallons of water, generated more than 6,000 pounds of solid waste, and required the purchase of 167 million Btus of energy. These figures are eye-opening, and they do not include the carbon footprint left in the shipping and transportation of the publication.
The transition to more efficient, responsible processes could wait no longer. This effort is one among many taking place at Illinois State University that is helping to make the institution a leader in environmental stewardship. We hope you are as excited as we are about the new direction of The Statewide Standard!