Anniversary: 30 Years of Sustaining Illinois' Economy

Anniversary presentation videosAnniversary MementoAnniversary event

Protecting Our Environment and Promoting Sustainable Development

ISTC held its 30th Anniversary Celebration on Nov. 9 and 10, 2015.The Nov. 9th speakers, which included former founders and leaders of the Center as well as researchers and others we have worked with over the years, gave presentations about our early years as well as what are some of the current environmental issues that need to be addressed. In addition, Prairie Research Institute Executive Director Mark Ryan and ISTC Director Kevin O’Brien discussed sustainability issues and the work of ISTC. Check here for a copy of the complete program booklet. A memento booklet of the history of ISTC is also available here.

For 30 years the agency now known as the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center has worked to bring the financial and societal benefits of sustainable development to the citizens of Illinois.

Early efforts of the Center were to help industry meet regulations, help characterize the dangers of hazardous wastes and understand the scale of their generation in the state. Its early work in cataloging wastes and methods to reduce them were important contributions to regional and national databases.

Soon Center researchers began developing technologies to reduce the volume and toxicity of hazardous materials and to invent more environmentally sustainable materials that can do the same job. The metal finishing and plating industry as well as the printing industry received particular attention because those are major employers in Illinois.

  • ISTC has assisted thousands of Illinois companies, cities and organizations in minimizing resource use, toxic materials generation and waste.
  • It has developed patented technology to bring more sustainable processes to Illinois industry.
  • It has helped decision makers to understand threats and opportunities of emerging issues in environmental sciences.
  • Its programs have assisted multi-national corporations and individual citizens to save energy and water and reduce waste.

Today ISTC, as the applied research arm of the state of Illinois, along with its parent Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois, serves as a testbed for developing systems-oriented expertise for anticipatory research and outreach, and a capacity for rapid deployment and response to ever-changing issues in the world around us.

ISTC works closely with state and local governments, industry, non-profits, and citizens to ensure that our research portfolio and information products align with current priorities, economic goals and future needs.

Early equipment for hazardous materials work
Center groundbreaking ceremonyCenter laboratory ribbon cutting