Top of Page
Main

Our Mission

CPS is committed to conserving, protecting and sustaining our natural resources by implementing programs that reduce our consumption of energy and water, minimize the generation of waste, and increase the renewable resources used throughout our district. Collectively, these programs will help us reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions resulting from human activity in the atmosphere.

By collaborating with local partners through utility energy efficiency programs, intergovernmental agreements, and recycling and compost programs, the district is leveraging all available resources to become more sustainable.

 

Commitments

Conserve Icon

Conserve

Reducing the amount of energy we consume can help to make our district more efficient and environmentally responsible.

Protect Icon

Protect

Maintaining, implementing and recovering healthy natural environments and delivering long-term equitable solutions will benefit current and future generations.

Sustain Icon

Sustain

 Investing in sustainable energy sources to power our district means a cleaner, better future for our students, staff and community.

Energy Efficiency Accomplishments at CPS

Energy efficiency projects rely on using improved technology, maintenance, and design strategies to save energy. CPS pursues energy efficiency through continued partnership with utility energy efficiency programs such as ComEd Smart Ideas and the Peoples Gas Energy Efficiency Program. These programs provide dollar-based incentives for equipment and operational improvements that save energy.

Chicago Public Schools lowered its overall energy spend from FY19 to FY20 by more than $4M (5.7 percent), with further improvement anticipated for FY21 and FY22.

Efficient Lighting with ComEd

$3,066,209
in Cost and Material Savings
178,840,061
kWh in Energy Savings

efficient-lighting-icon.svg

CPS has installed efficient lighting in district buildings through the ComEd Public Buildings in Distressed Communities program.

savings-icon.svg

Project savings: 178,840,061 kWh savings or $3,066,209 in cost and material savings.

mayor-initiative-icon.svg

Project aligns with Mayor Lightfoot's
INVEST SW initiative.

Efficient Energy with Peoples Gas

$2,837,373
in Cost and Material Savings
1,671,651
Therms in Energy Savings

natural-gas-icon.svg

Since the start of 2021, CPS has initiated 341 natural gas efficiency projects across school buildings with the Peoples Gas Energy Efficiency Program.

savings-icon.svg

Project savings to date: 1,671,651 therms and $2,837,373 in savings from rebates/project costs, study costs, and a staffing grant

energy-projects-icon.svg

Projects include:

  • Boiler tune-ups at 214 schools
  • Steam trap testing and replacement at 92 schools
  • Insulation projects at 13 schools
  • Building Automation System upgrades at six schools

Energy and Sustainability Programs

Virtual Commissioning

Virtual Commissioning is a program to assist our building engineers with developing and implementing an energy savings plan for their schools.

Virtual Commissioning

Virtual Commissioning is a program to assist our building engineers with developing and implementing an energy savings plan for their schools.

Renewable Energy

One of the strategies for pursuing energy reductions and reducing our climate impact is the use of renewable energy and the creation of an electric-based infrastructure. Foundational to our success in reducing our carbon footprint is the deployment of renewable energy resources throughout our portfolio. Renewable energy sources are those that are replenished on a human timescale such as sunlight, wind, hydropower, and geothermal heat. Renewable energy does not produce harmful emissions and in the case of solar panels, can be readily installed on buildings.

The use of renewable energy will help us meet the goals of the Chicago Renewable Energy Challenge, an initiative designed to accelerate the adoption of 100 percent renewable energy for all electricity use in municipal buildings by 2025.

CPS Goes Solar! Program

CPS Goes Solar! is a project designed to support Chicago Public Schools (CPS) in its effort to meet its goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2025, reduce its overall greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030 and 100% by 2050 per the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's recommendations, and educate students through classroom and real-world learning opportunities related to solar installations at their schools.

CPS Goes Solar! Program

CPS Goes Solar! is a project designed to support Chicago Public Schools (CPS) in its effort to meet its goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2025, reduce its overall greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030 and 100% by 2050 per the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's recommendations, and educate students through classroom and real-world learning opportunities related to solar installations at their schools.

Waste Management and Recycling

Chicagoans recycle less than 10 percent of waste citywide. 

CPS representatives participate in a regular meet-up facilitated by the Chicago Sustainability Task Force, a key step toward our goal of achieving net-zero waste by recycling, composting or otherwise diverting 90 percent of our waste.

Facilities: Construction, Operations, and Maintenance

Sustainability is a key tenant for CPS design and construction projects, but also extends throughout operations and maintenance in support of our goals to eliminate energy waste, provide a healthy indoor environment for students, and ensure all new construction and renovations are high-performance buildings. 

In the long term, we envision a continued shift towards more efficient and solar-powered schools that approach net-zero energy use. Net zero schools produce renewable energy that is greater than or equal to the total energy consumed over the course of a year.

Facilities: Construction, Operations, and Maintenance

Sustainability is a key tenant for CPS design and construction projects, but also extends throughout operations and maintenance in support of our goals to eliminate energy waste, provide a healthy indoor environment for students, and ensure all new construction and renovations are high-performance buildings. 

In the long term, we envision a continued shift towards more efficient and solar-powered schools that approach net-zero energy use. Net zero schools produce renewable energy that is greater than or equal to the total energy consumed over the course of a year.

Additional Resources

CPS Goes Solar! One-Pager
ENGLISH | SPANISH

Energy Accomplishments at CPS Infographic
ENGLISH | SPANISH

CPS Commercial Composting & Recycling Program Flyer
ENGLISH | SPANISH

Contact

For more information about Energy and Sustainability at CPS, contact Sandrine Schultz, CPS Director of Energy and Sustainability at sschultz2@cps.edu.