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Related: UI President Mason announces strengthened sustainability focus for university

Highlights of Current Sustainable Practices and Initiatives at
The University of Iowa

April 22, 2008

  • The UI Energy Conservation Advisory Council, created in 2004, made energy conservation and sustainable energy a campus-wide effort and currently is investigating how to achieve up to 90 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The UI is actively investigating the use of alternative fuel sources, including wind, hydroelectrics, synthesis gas, solar, and biomass fuel and aspires to increase renewable energy use up to 15 percent of its energy by 2013.
  • The UI is ahead of schedule in its progress towards achieving a 6 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2010, as required by its membership in the Chicago Climate Exchange.
  • One coal-fired boiler at the main power plant was converted to burn oat hulls from nearby Quaker Oats, reducing in 2007 the amount of coal the plant burned by 27,000 tons and resulting in lower carbon emissions. A second boiler is now being converted. Planning is under way to eventually power the Oakdale Campus entirely from renewable sources, including possibly using methane gas from a local landfill.
  • A Waste Characterization Sorting Project identified amounts of key waste components, so that specific recyclable products can be diverted from the landfill. More than 75 percent by weight of all UI waste is recycled. The paper and cardboard recycling program alone nets approximately 22 percent of the UI’s conventional waste stream.
  • Plastics and aluminum are collected in all areas of Kinnick Stadium and a student-proposed food-composting project has already turned 35 tons of campus food waste into landscaping compost, for use on campus.
  • Recycling awards, which allow the implementation of several recycling projects   totaled  $59,075 in 2007/08.
  • The University of Iowa has developed comprehensive Campus Design Standards to ensure energy conservation is designed into new and renovated projects.  The standards generally exceed State codes and standards. A Building Commissioning Program will ensure buildings operate to optimal designed conditions. Sustainable design practices have been employed on all projects over the past decade; including three buildings registered for LEED Certification.
  • UI Parking and Transportation supports alternative transportation through Cambus (3.7 million riders annually) and discounted community bus passes. 75 vans carry 805 members of an employee van pool program, and there are several formal and informal car pools operating. Active bicycling on campus is supported by funding biking programs and the installation and upgrading of bicycle parking spaces.

Find more information at

STORY SOURCE: University Relations, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1000.

MEDIA CONTACT: Steve Parrott,, phone 319-335-0552, cell 319-530-6972