You are here

Sustainability

Sustainability

Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership
takes the lead on environmental sustainability

The award-winning Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership building — designed by Chicago-based Krueck + Sexton Architects — opened in 2007. Spertus Institute is proud to be the recipient of a number of prestigious awards including the Chicago Design Excellence Award from the American Institute of Architecture (AIA) and the Patron of the Year Award from the Chicago Architecture Foundation.

Green initiatives were important to us at Spertus from the start of the planning for this new facility. Sustainable design features and energy efficient operations were incorporated from the building's inception, and in 2008 the building was awarded a Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

As an institute for Jewish learning and leadership, our commitment to sustainability goes beyond our desire to do the right thing by being a good corporate citizen. Environmentalism and conservation are imperatives woven into the Jewish sacred teachings of tikkun olam (partnering with God to repair the world) and bal taschit (precepts against the destruction or waste of the earth’s resources).

Along with facility partner Venue Six10, we are proud to take the lead by continuing to improve the sustainability of our operations and encouraging our partners to do so as well. We hope our efforts stand as an invitation for those who share these values to join us in protecting resources today and for future generations.


Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership offers dynamic learning opportunities, rooted in Jewish wisdom and culture and open to all. These opportunities are designed to enable personal growth, train future leaders, and engage individuals in exploration of Jewish life.


Spertus Institute staff members recommend the following websites and organizations for those wishing to learn more about sustainability, both in general and within Judaism: 

 

Our award-winning facility is now
powered exclusively by renewable
energy, a transition that will save
6,200 tons of CO2 from entering
the atmosphere over the next
three years.

Here are other examples of sustainable design and energy efficiency at Spertus:

  • The windows are fritted (ceramic dots called frits are bonded onto the glass) to control heat gain and glare.
  • Advanced computer-controlled lighting and HVAC systems significantly reduce energy consumption.
  • A green roof (planted with special vegetation) allows rainwater to evaporate rather than enter the sewer system. It also absorbs air pollution and keeps the building cool in the summer.
  • Cleaning products are Green Seal certified.
  • Paints and building materials are low- or no-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds).
  • The Spertus kitchen, managed by Wolfgang PuckCatering, purchases locally and organically whenever possible, using seasonal menus to avoid serving fruits or vegetables that require long-distance transportation.
  • Food service disposables are made from biodegradable materials (no plastic containers) and no hydrogenated fats are used. In fact, fryer oil is recycled into biofuels.
  • Through recycling and composting, Spertus saves approximately 40 tons of waste from entering landfills each year.

For related books, videos, and websites, see the Environmentalism and Judaism Subject Guide >


Spertus Institute is pleased to be a member of the Alliance for a Greener South Loop. We recommend their
list of local resources >


EPA Green Power Partnership

Spertus Institute is proud to have been awarded membership in the EPA's 2014 Green Power Leadership Club, honoring organizations that demonstrate exemplary environmental leadership. View our profile >