Ways DePaul Invests in Sustainable Practices

Earth Day is coming up so I wanted to share with you all a few ways that DePaul has invested in sustainable practices!

1. Solar Energy Initiatives

DePaul University has made significant investments in solar energy, installing PV solar panels on several campus buildings. For instance, the installation of PV solar panels on the McGowan South and 990 West Fullerton buildings has resulted in the generation of nearly 100,000 watts of energy. These panels not only reduce the university’s reliance on third-party energy providers, but also contribute to a substantial reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, estimated at 83 tons annually, which is equivalent to planting over 3,000 trees each year. There are also 240 solar panels on Clifton-Fullerton and in summer 2018, DePaul installed 289 panels on the roofs of McGowan North and 1150 Fullerton!

990 W Fullerton Building, solar panels installed on the roof

2. Recognition for Sustainability Efforts

DePaul University’s commitment to sustainability has earned recognition from prestigious organizations like The Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges and the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact. These acknowledgments highlight DePaul’s efforts in green building initiatives, conservation practices, alternative energy usage, and the integration of environmental academic programs, showcasing the university’s dedication to creating a more sustainable campus environment.

3. Transportation Sustainability

DePaul’s engagement in sustainable transportation practices is evident through its participation in the CTA’s U-Pass program, providing undergraduate students with unlimited access to CTA buses and trains. This initiative significantly reduces the number of cars on the streets, with students collectively utilizing U-Pass for an average of 1.5 million transit rides per academic year, thereby contributing to decreased carbon emissions and promoting eco-friendly commuting habits.

Most students use their U-Pass to commute throughout the city.

4. Efficient Infrastructure Upgrade

DePaul University is continuously upgrading its infrastructure to enhance energy efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint. Major operating plant equipment, including heating/cooling systems and ventilation equipment, are being replaced with high-efficiency rated alternatives. Additionally, retrofitting primary lighting systems with high-efficiency ballasts, energy-saving fluorescent lamps, LED lamps, and lights that turn off automatically if not being used further demonstrates the university’s commitment to reducing energy consumption and promoting sustainable practices.

5. Waste Reduction and Recycling Initiatives

DePaul University implements comprehensive waste reduction and recycling initiatives across its campuses. With over 40% of its waste stream being recycled through “clean sort” containers and vendor sorting, the university actively contributes to waste reduction efforts. Furthermore, initiatives such as composting food waste, using recycled paper products, and establishing battery and cell phone recycling collection points demonstrate DePaul’s holistic approach to waste management and environmental stewardship.

6. Saving Water

Fresh water consumption has been reduced with the installation of low-flow shower heads at all residence halls, reducing landscape watering requirements, and continuing the installation of motion activated sink faucets and dual flush toilets. DePaul students are saving 18 gallons of water per day and 468.1 gallons of water per month by using low-flow showers and high-efficiency toilets on campus. They also save tons of water with these efficient water-refill stations!

Water refill station


                                                                                                                                                                                                                             — Saira

Find more info on DePaul’s sustainability here!