• LCgogreen

  • Campus Sustainability


    Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!recycling

    L&C pursues each strategy in descending order of preference. We first attempt to reduce as much waste as possible, using double-sided printing and utilizing smart purchasing choices that cut down on how much waste we produce. Then, we seek to reuse as much of the waste we do produce, with, for example, art contests that use waste as media and a project that reuses old tennis balls to give to shelter puppies. The college has a Single Stream Recycling program that simplifies the process of recycling by allowing all recyclable materials to go in one bin.

    Almost everything can be recycled. The four exceptions to that rule are wet waste (paper towels and other bathroom trash), food, Styrofoam and hazardous/biological waste.
    The college offers several programs to recycle specific streams of waste that might not otherwise be recyclable. They include:

    • Battery Recycling - Batteries contain all sorts of heavy metals like mercury and lead. They can be brought to the Sustainability Center where we have a collection bin.
    • Printer Cartridge Recycling - Many people don’t realize that printer ink contains hazardous chemicals, nor do most people realize that the cartridges can actually be reused. We collect them at the Sustainability Center and ship them back to the manufacturers for reuse. Some manufacturers will even pay to take back old printer cartridges!
    • Pens, mechanical pencils and markers - Through Terracycle, L&C has found a recycling vendor for the large volume of pens, mechanical pencils and markers that we use on a daily basis. Each department’s division assistant serves as an initial collection point, but you can send your pens, mechanical pencils (not wood ones!) and markers to the Sustainability Center as well.
    • E-Waste - L&C hosts an e-waste event once per semester for the campus and the local community. Students, staff, faculty and local residents are invited to bring their electronic waste to these regularly scheduled events in an effort to stop some of the hazardous chemicals contained in these electronics from entering the landfill. Remember, as of Jan. 1, 2012, recycling e-waste is the law!

    Composting composting

    Food waste can make up close to 30 percent of any typical waste stream, and most recyclers don’t accept food. That's why L&C takes advantage of composting on campus.

    For several years, Dining Services has been “dehydrating” all the food waste from the back-of-the-house. The next best thing aside from composting, the dehydrator drastically cuts down on the amount of food wasted on campus.

    In April 2014, the college took it a step further, adding “post-consumer” composting to Dining Services’ previous ability to compost food that didn’t make it out of the kitchen, and helping the kitchen become a nearly zero-waste operation.

    All food, and even the compostable dinnerware, is now being hauled off by Always Green Recycling, and taken to St. Louis Composting, where it becomes the black gold you put on your garden every year.

    Buildings and Grounds

    Occupancy Sensors

    If a student or employee forgets to turn off a light when they leave a room in any campus building, the lights automatically go off to save electricity.

    Lighting Retrofit

    Lighting in all campus buildings has been upgraded to higher efficiency models, including Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) and Compact Fluorescent (CFL) bulbs.

    Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs)

    L&C has taken advantage of state rebate programs to install high efficiency VFDs on numerous pieces of equipment all over campus. One installation on a fan in the Olin Science Building, for example, will save the college approximately $5,000/year and paid for itself in less than a year. 

    Dashboards dashboards

    Flat touchscreen displays around campus give visitors a chance to track energy usage for each building on campus and learn about green features around campus grounds. View our dashboard content online.

    Water Bottle Fillers

    The college installed filtered water bottle fillers in

    • Reid Café
    • Commons Café
    • Nursing lounge
    • Ringhausen Music building
    • Trimpe 
    • Baldwin (near Enrollment)
    • more installed every year! 

    The bottle fillers allow people to get fresh filtered water on campus for free, helping them avoid not just the cost of buying a bottle of water, but also the hazardous environmental impacts associated with the petroleum intensive process that makes plastic bottles.


    An EcoRoad was installed in 2012 in front of the McPike Math and Science Complex on Lewis and Clark’s Godfrey campus to prevent stormwater runoff into nearby water retention ponds.

    The road boasts pervious pavement, which promotes rain seepage into the groundwater below the road, rather than running off the pavement. The project was paid for by a green fee, which is included in students’ tuition.

    Controlled Burns and Habitat Management

    Controlled burns are held on parts of campus and grounds owned by L&C with the objective of controlling the spread of invasive plant species, as part of the woodland’s overall management plan.

    Renewable/Alternative Energy Production


    L&C installed several solar thermal panels on the roofs of campus buildings, including the Confluence Field Station and Hatheway Cultural Center, which provide hot water for sinks and showers. Solar photovoltaic panels on the Trimpe ATC provide small amounts of electricity to campus, and provide a workforce training opportunity.

    Fuel Cell fuelcell

    Lewis and Clark President Dale Chapman announced in 2013 that the college would be the recipient of one of the nation’s first alternative energy, state-of-the-art fuel cells, which was installed on the Godfrey campus in April 2014.

    The college was one of three Midwest schools chosen to install and operate a fuel cell.

    A fuel cell generates electricity from natural gas by a chemical reaction, which produces an electrical current that can be directed outside the cell to do work, such as powering an electric motor or illuminating a light bulb or a city.

    L&C’s fuel cell will generate 5kW power, provide a teaching opportunity for L&C faculty in an important alternative energy technology, offer Ameren a fuel cell demonstration site for its strategic partners, and provide data on fuel cell technology associated with dashboard systems for both Ameren and L&C’s Sustainability program master plan.

    The fuel cell is located outside the Hatheway Cultural Center in a gated area, and the waste heat is used to heat the Olympic-sized swimming pool inside the building.


    Commuting is the single largest contributor to L&C’s greenhouse gas emissions profile and represents the biggest challenge to overcome in the effort to achieve campus net carbon neutrality by 2058. In addition to offering Madison County Transit (MCT) bus service that leaves campus every 30 minutes, the college is currently undertaking several other strategies to combat commuter emissions. 

    Green Pass Program

    Green Pass is an incentive program that provides monthly awards to participants who utilize alternative transportation - carpool, take the bus, ride a bike or walk – to campus at least once per week. 


    L&C has partnered with Ridefinders, a regional rideshare program, to help promote carpooling to campus. As a partner, the Office of Sustainability is the campus point of contact for the Guaranteed Ride Home program. If you participate in Ridefinders and your carpool partner leaves you stranded (for whatever reason), the Guaranteed Ride Home program provides you with up tofour free taxi rides (up to $125 value) to your destination each year.

    Electric Vehicle Charge Stations evchargestations

    L&C has installed electric vehicle charge stations and provided them free of charge to both the campus and regional communities. Charging stations on the Godfrey campus currently 


    • Level II charger Nursing Building-cabin lot
    • Level II charger River Bend Arena and the Math Building parking lot
    • Level III fast charger Weber Workforce Building (coming soon)
    • Level II charger Security building-security use only (coming soon)


    The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center's Confluence Field Station also has a charge station to electrify your ride.


    Inside and out of the classroom, L&C inspires its community to “Think Green. Live Green.”

    Green Curriculum

    The college not only features a number of sustainability-centered academic programs and courses, both credit and non-credit, but also infuses sustainability into the general curriculum.

    Student Organizations and Activities

    The college offers an opportunity for students to get involved with campus sustainability through the Student Sustainability Association, annual Earth Week activities and events and through the Sustainability Center, located on the Godfrey campus.

    Sustainability Center

    The center includes a lounge where students can host meetings, study, research or just hang out, and a library of resources available for check-out, from books on sustainable ethics, to pamphlets with specific steps to reduce water and energy usage, to movies about sustainable farming practices.

    Green Speaker Series

    Guest speakers visit campus throughout the year to touch on various sustainable topics from green building to transportation and more.

    Outreach Programs waterfest

    L&C gets the general community involved in sustainability through various outreach efforts, including the annual Water Fest, where elementary school children come to campus to learn about water quality and conservation issues; RiverWatch, a program that trains citizen scientists to monitor water quality issues in their communities, and through NGRREC's Field Station, which is open weekdays for self-guided tours and 11:30 a.m. Friday for guided tours.


    Climate Action Plan

    Given the economic uncertainty of these times, L&C is taking a cautious and conservative approach to its estimates for achieving climate neutrality. We project achieving carbon neutrality in 50 years, or Fiscal Year 2058. View the plan.


    Lewis and Clark’s commitment to “going green” has been formalized through signed agreements with the following entities:

    • American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC)
    • American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Sustainability Education & Economic Development (SEED) Center
    • Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN)
    • St. Louis Green Business Challenge
    • Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA)/Midwest Solar Training Network (MSTN)
    • Institutional Memberships
    • U.S. Green Building Council