A wide shot of a ceramics studio, featuring students working with pottery wheels and other tools.

SAIC Will Be Carbon Neutral in 2020!


Dear SAIC Community,

Just as our work as artists, designers, and scholars has resonance beyond our campus, the actions we take as an institution can help advance an image for the wider world that responds to the most pressing issues of our shared society. One of those issues is climate change, and one of the most impactful ways we can lead climate action institutionally is by minimizing our footprint on the environment. Therefore, we are very happy to report that, as of January 1, 2020, SAIC will be a carbon-neutral campus.

This goal was more than a decade in the making. Since the School joined the Second Nature Carbon Commitment in 2008, SAIC has reduced its carbon footprint by 57 percent. SAIC will achieve carbon neutrality through continued operational changes and future offsets. Together, we’ve:
Reduced our energy use
We’ve made significant upgrades on campus to conserve energy, including by updating building automation systems and equipment and replacing lighting with energy efficient LEDs and occupancy sensors.

Supported renewable energy
We’ve invested in renewable energy credits to promote emissions-free electricity by offsetting all campus-wide electricity use, furthering our goal to meet the City of Chicago’s Renewable Energy Challenge Program of which we are a founding member.

Offset the rest
Where it is not possible to eliminate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, carbon offsets will allow us to reduce the impact of GHG emissions we produce.

Even as we reach this milestone, our commitment to this work continues, and we will pursue further strategies to reduce energy use and foster a sustainable culture here on campus.

Elissa Tenny

Tom Buechele
Vice President of Campus Operations