RPC Sustainability Initiative

In fall 2008, the Regional Planning Commission undertook a sustainability initiative that sought to identify and change behavior and company operations which could be considered unsustainable.

The result is a baseline inventory of data and current practices. Each division at RPC developed its own plan and list of actions it would undertake during the next five years. Actions range from purchasing 100 percent post-consumer-content paper to developing a window-blind policy to help control solar-heat gain.

The Regional Planning Commission realizes we have entered a time where unprecedented pressures on the natural world are imposing limits on our use of natural resources. If we are to ensure the ability of future generations to meet their needs, we must act now.

The RPC is working to establish a leadership role in Champaign County and in the larger region and, by its own example, promote sustainable policies and practices among public and private organizations with which it works, and the community at large.

The RPC’s Role

Local governments can set an example of relieving these pressures by reinventing our institutions to ensure programs and policies provide necessary needs while minimizing negative influences that reach far into the future.

Implementing Sustainable Practices

Reinventing the RPC will require input and commitment from all staff members. Brainstorming sessions will be held so individual departments can share ideas specific to their program and develop strategies to achieve a common goal. Successful implementation will make sustainability the easy choice for staff members and clients.

First Steps

  1. What can your department do differently?
  2. What can you do in your job?
  3. What can you do personally?
  4. How can the RPC help?

Themes to Address

  • Efficient energy use
  • Efficient water use
  • Mobility
  • Land use planning
  • Purchasing sustainable products
  • Reduce consumption
  • Managing waste
  • Whole cost accounting
  • Educating about sustainability
  • Providing fair compensation
  • Reduce CO2 emmissions
  • Green building design
  • Minimize toxins

Our Initiative

The Champaign County Regional Planning Commission has developed a sustainability initiative that is focused on taking concrete action toward sustainability in the shortest possible time. This includes an indefinite commitment to tracking progress, pursuing further actions, and regularly expanding the initiative. Sustainability principles will provide a road map for RPC staff and key decision-makers who will align daily activities with sustainability goals.

Methodology

The process will begin with creating a commitment statement, for adoption by the Commission. The work will be completed by a committee comprised of staff members from each RPC division plus resource persons from Planning and Community Development. Each division will describe its activities, evaluate current practices, identify opportunities, and a summary of goals, actions and performance measures. All participants will also address operational concerns that cross divisions, e.g. copying, computer use, etc.

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