The Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges: 2012 Edition recognized DePaul for its green building initiatives, conservation efforts, use of alternative energy and environmental academic programs.
DePaul received bronze level recognition from the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact in May 2012 for its university sustainability efforts.
DePaul is a major user of the CTA’s U-Pass program. Each undergraduate is provided with a bus/rail pass as part of the tuition and fee package. This pass allows unlimited use of CTA buses and trains. Over the past several years, DePaul students utilized U-Pass for an average of 1.5 million transit rides per academic year—a significant level of use that keeps many cars off the street.
DePaul has partnered with the I-GO car sharing program which houses three hybrid vehicles on campus for students and staff to lease for any amount of time from an hour to a week. DePaul is currently looking at expanding the I-GO program.
Biking to and around campus has become a more friendly activity with an increase in campus bike parking spaces to just under 1,000. One recent development is the addition of rental bikes for those who do not have a bike on campus.
Public Safety now has several hybrid vehicles as part of its overall fleet.
Major operating plant equipment is being replaced with high-efficiency-rated equipment. This applies to the heating/cooling plants, ventilation equipment and other major infrastructure.
All primary lighting systems have been retrofitted to high-efficiency ballasts and energy-saving fluorescent lamps. Wherever possible, incandescent and flood lamps have been replaced by CFLs.
DePaul has recently installed solar lighting at two locations on Lincoln Park Campus. Solar arrays and collectors are powering a significant number of exterior security light fixtures. DePaul is committed to additional solar installations in the future.
DePaul is a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Challenge and has completed in excess of $6 million in energy related projects in the new millennium, focusing mainly on lighting and HVAC system retrofits.
Building temperatures have been set higher in the summer and lower in cold months. During the holiday break, most buildings are kept at 55° (for freeze protection). This results in significant energy savings.
DePaul is purchasing five percent of its electrical energy requirement from renewable resources.
DePaul has finished several mechanical equipment upgrades that are resulting in less energy use and a reduction in the institution's carbon footprint.
In 2009 DePaul was awarded LEED Gold for its new Monsignor Andrew J. McGowan Science Building. In 2012 it earned Silver LEED certification for its DePaul Art Museum.
Several Loop Campus buildings are completing retro-commissioning audits and project activity that will lead to increased efficiency in building operation and will save energy. All future interior renovation projects will include specifications geared toward improving energy and operational efficiencies.
A green roof was installed at the DePaul Center building in the Loop.
DePaul has begun to use organic products in its landscape maintenance operation.
Indoor cleaning product specifications have been revised to reduce the use of toxic substances.
DePaul has modified its paint and carpet specifications with an eye toward using low VOC products on an on-going basis.
DePaul has been actively involved in recycling for more than 25 years. Currently, containers are available around the campuses for the community to "clean sort" recyclables. In addition, vendor "in-plant" sorting extracts certain recyclable products (i.e. plastics, aluminum and glass) out of the general waste stream. As a result of both efforts, DePaul recycles an average of 70 to 80 tons of materials each month—not including all of the cardboard that the food service provider recycles bi-weekly. Recently, $50,000 was spent to add even more containers across all buildings.
DePaul purchases recycled paper products and paper products that have been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and Rainforest Alliance. Recycled products are also utilized during construction and remodeling projects in the form of recycled plastics for toilet partitions and other specialty finish elements.
Facility Operations continues to partner with Environmental Sciences to help promote recycling efforts by the students in the residence halls. To better encourage faculty and staff, Facility Operations has placed a significant number of additional recycling bins and containers in university buildings.
Water bottle refill stations throughout campus have reduced the amount of waste from empty bottles by nearly 30 percent.
DePaul has established numerous battery and cell phone recycling collection points on campus to assist the university community in the proper disposal/recycling of these products.
DePaul supplements the in-plant sorting with the placement of recycling containers across the campus that help to improve quantities of materials recycled while helping to educate the campus community. $50,000 was recently spent to add even more containers across all buildings.