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CLC named in top two Midwestern community colleges for sustainability

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Apr 02, 2018

Among two-year colleges, CLC is the top in Illinois and among the top two in the Midwest for its efforts to promote environmental sustainability, according to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

AASHE officials have noted CLC’s campus farm and 10-hive apiary (managed beehives). Additionally, the college’s energy-efficient buildings, geothermal heat exchange system, green roofs and a stormwater management system all have helped CLC earn five national and regional “green” awards in the last 18 months. “Students, faculty and staff play a key role in our sustainability efforts,” said David Husemoller, CLC sustainability manager.

Indeed, the college’s green efforts have appealed to Dan Buranosky, a business major. After viewing “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” a 2017 documentary exploring former Vice President Al Gore’s ongoing efforts to fight climate change, Buranosky said he decided to “show leadership and take action rather than waiting for the climate change problem to solve itself.” An intern working with Husemoller, he has studied the energy efficiency and cost savings of campus LED lights. He also is studying recycling rates by installing more classroom signage, and is helping coordinate a proposed bike-sharing program with local municipalities.
Photo of Dan Buranosky and David Husemoller
Photo (from left): Dan Buranosky, student intern, and David Husemoller, sustainability manager, on the roof of CLC’s new, award-winning Science and Engineering Building.

“I’m extremely impressed with CLC’s culture of sustainability and opportunities to prepare for a career in the field,” said Buranosky, a member of the student Environmental Club. “It’s nice to see the college taking such a stand for the environment and helping students, faculty, staff and the community do our part to mitigate greenhouse-gas emissions.”

Buranosky plans to graduate from CLC in 2018 with an A.A.S, then earn a bachelor’s degree in business, with a sustainability minor, from the University of Illinois-Chicago, which has a Guaranteed Transfer Admission agreement with CLC. Eventually, he plans to be a sustainability manager for an organization. “CLC is a great place to find your passion,” Buranosky said. “It has helped me tremendously and has given me the real-world experience I wouldn’t have gotten elsewhere.”

Practical learning opportunities are evident in both the campus farm and apiary. Honey from the apiary is sold in Café Willow on the Grayslake Campus and other campus stores. The campus farm uses integrated pest management and organic methods to grow vegetables and greens for sale at the farm market and Café Willow. In return, CLC’s food service provider collects food scraps and returns them to the campus farm for composting, Husemoller said. Additionally, the Grayslake Campus has 66 acres of natural prairie, wetland and wooded areas, a seven-acre arboretum and more than three miles of walking trails.

To document sustainability efforts of 896 participating colleges and universities, AASHE provides a reporting platform known as STARS, an acronym for the Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment and Rating System™, said Husemoller. AASHE publishes the STARS scores for these participating institutions across 17 sustainability areas related to curriculum, community engagement, campus operations and administration.

In addition to the AASHE report, the college in January opened the Science and Technology Building on the Grayslake Campus. Designed for a LEED platinum rating, the highest granted by U.S. Green Building Council, the building contains solar panels, geothermal wells, a 1,500 square-foot green roof and a system that uses harvested rainwater to flush toilets.  

Husemoller added that the college’s new sustainability and wellness trail, which is scheduled to open this fall, will have interpretive signage that highlights CLC’s sustainable features and draws connections to community action, education and careers.

To learn about CLC’s environmental stewardship, visit or contact Husemoller at (847) 543-2643 or To discover more extraordinary things you might not know about CLC, visit throughout the year. Summer classes begin June 4, and fall classes start Aug. 20. For details, visit