President Roger Taylor sent an email to campus on April 27 announcing that Knox was recently accepted into the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact at the Silver Level. This level is awarded to institutions that, according to the compact, “are ready to make targeted commitments to greening their operations and monitoring their performance.”
Once an institution is awarded a certain level—bronze, silver or gold—the only way it can progress to the next level is if it shows progress towards sustainability.
“I don’t know if it’s going to be radical change,” Taylor said. He added that the compact is more of a reason to continue pursuing the methodical changes in increasing sustainability that Knox has been pursuing in recent years.
As outlined by the compact, schools like Knox that are at the Silver Level have accomplished the four goals that must be completed before attempting to attain the Gold Level. These goals are fostering student involvement in sustainability issues, setting measurable sustainability objectives, establishing a system to monitor the progress of campus sustainability and implementing three new sustainability practices from a list provided by the compact.
Last year, Knox made the Sierra Club’s list of Cool Schools, institutions of higher education that make noticeable efforts in sustainability.
According to the information Knox filled out on the survey for Sierra Club regarding sustainability, Knox—as of April 20 this year—attains 55.4 percent of its energy from coal, 18 percent from wind, 18 percent from natural gas, 8.4 percent from nuclear energy and .2 percent from hydropower.
When asked where he thought Knox was faltering the most in its efforts in sustainability, Taylor said, “I would want to see folks not throw cigarette butts on the lawn.” He cited the campus clean up with other members of the Knox community, in which he discovered the most cigarette butts thrown on the ground near cigarette receptacles.