University Park, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Governors State University (GSU), with 7,750 students and more than 1000 employees, is committed to contributing positively to the society and environment of the region it serves. To meet this commitment, the university recently partnered with Energy Systems Group (ESG) for an energy audit and the implementation of energy conservation measures.
“The university is dedicated to reducing our carbon footprint,” said Susan Rakstang, Associate Vice President for Facilities Development and Management at the GSU. “All of the energy conservation measures will also have financial payback.”
GSU is implementing many of ESG’s recommended projects. One major renovation is the replacement of two inefficient 750 horsepower boilers with 10 smaller modulating boilers. “The new system will allow us to heat targeted areas of the university rather than wasting energy and money activating the whole system,” said Rakstang.
The energy performance agreement with ESG guarantees that energy and operational savings over a 10-year period will cover the cost of building improvements. ESG projects that GSU’s carbon footprint will be reduced by more than 3,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. This is equivalent to one of the following annual environmental benefits:
- Reduction of emissions equivalent to removing approximately 600 vehicles from the road
- Creating enough energy to power more than 400 homes
- Planting about 700 acres of forest
Grants from the Illinois Clean Energy and Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will also help GSU replace lamps and light fixtures throughout the university. While many fixtures were retrofitted 10 years ago, new technologies have vastly improved efficiency through extended lamp lives and reduced energy consumption.
“Energy Systems Group is committed to implementing a comprehensive energy efficiency and facility improvement program that will augment GSU’s fulfillment of its goals, commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship,” said Jim Adams, ESG president.
“Our ultimate goal is to tread lightly on the Earth. Our hope is to use our resources wisely and continue to educate our students in a clean and healthy environment,” added Rakstang.
These improvements maintain the university’s ongoing commitment to environmental responsibility as affirmed by GSU President Dr. Elaine P. Maimon who signed the “American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment” in 2008. In doing so, Maimon joined nearly 500 other presidents nationwide in recognizing the unprecedented scale and speed of global warming and its potential for large-scale, adverse health, social, economic, and ecological effects.