The Field Museum of Natural History wins Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Award with assistance from Delta

Earlier this month, the Field Museum was recognized for its water and energy conservation and waste reduction with the Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Award. The award was given to 25 public and private organizations that demonstrate a commitment to sustainable business and operations.

Delta worked with the museum during the LEED certification process, and in March 2015, the Field achieved LEED Gold certification —no easy feat for one of the world’s largest natural history museums, in a nearly 100 year-old historically significant, landmarked building that houses nearly 30 million biological specimens and cultural artifacts that require precise environmental monitoring. The anthropology collections areas alone have 20 separate climate zones to account for differing temperature and humidity requirements! Read more about how they achieved gold here.

The Field Museum's Carter O'Brien and Ernst Pierre-Toussaint and Delta's Ben Shorofsky

The Field Museum’s Carter O’Brien, Ernst Pierre-Toussaint and Delta’s Ben Shorofsky

Delta Institute has been working with The Field Museum since 2013, advising them on sustainability improvements that have led to more energy efficient lighting, higher rates of waste reduction and diversion, and significant water savings. We’re currently working with them to research which new signage would increase food waste diversion the most at large events and in their cafeterias, to expand their rooftop solar array, and to make more changes that will save energy and water.

The Governor’s Sustainability Award recognized the Field for its efficient energy and water use and waste diversion, among other practices. Here are some highlights of their recent work:

  • Replacing 1,000 60W incandescent bulbs in Stanley Field Hall with LED bulbs, saving $10,000 in annual energy costs. The Field is replacing the rest of its 6,700 inefficient incandescent lightbulbs with LED bulbs.
  • Offsetting 100% of its electricity and natural gas use with renewable energy credits, and is exploring expanding its current 99 kilowatt roof-top solar array to over 318 kilowatts.
  • Offering composting in both The Field Bistro and the Explorer Café. This contributed to the Museum’s waste diversion rate nearly doubling within a single year. The rate has been steadily increasing monthly, climbing to 41.6% (430,000 pounds) in 2015.
  • Adding natural landscaping on its three-acre property that prioritizes biodiversity and native species, including green infrastructure strategies to mitigate stormwater and educational opportunities for visitors.

We highlighted the Field’s Director of Facilities Planning and Operations, Ernst Pierre-Toussaint in our Driven Doers series.

You can learn more about their LEED Gold certification here.

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