Field Museum CEO Updates President Preckwinkle On How a County Energy Savings Grant Will Help Them Save Up to $400k

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle recently got a first-hand look at how a $25,000 energy savings grant from Cook County has helped benefit The Field Museum. Using Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant funds from the U.S. Department of Energy, the County’s Department of Environmental Control engaged the Delta Institute this past April to perform an energy audit for The Field Museum. The funding covered an analysis of energy efficiency measures the museum could implement, and audits of the various energy systems it has in place. Preckwinkle met on Aug. 2 at The Field Museum with its president and CEO, Dr. Richard Lariviere, and other members of the museum’s senior leadership team to discuss the grant and its benefits. “The Field Museum is an important civic and cultural institution for not just the Chicago metropolitan area, but is also a museum known around the world,” President Preckwinkle said. “We are pleased that Cook County could assist the museum in an innovative partnership which fits in well with one of our key priorities – energy conservation and environmental sustainability.” The Delta Institute analysis found that by implementing various energy efficiency measures – such as in high-efficiency lighting, insulation and demand-controlled ventilation systems – The Field Museum can ultimately save about $400,000 per year, which would amount to almost 22 percent of its current energy costs. “Conservation of natural resources and public education are at the heart of The Field Museum's mission,” said Jim Croft, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of The Field Museum. “We are very grateful to Cook County and the U.S. Department of Energy for making it possible for us to obtain the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant which will help Field take its energy conservation efforts to the next level. The grant has enabled us to identify important energy reduction measures to further reduce our environmental footprint and provide educational opportunities for our visitors and staff, bolstering our leadership position in sustainability and education.” Preckwinkle pointed out that the measures identified through The Field Museum analysis in many ways mirror the findings of the Sustainability Advisory Council she formed last year, which were released earlier this summer. Preckwinkle has committed her administration to the ambitious goal of reducing the County’s Greenhouse Gas emissions by 80 percent over the next several decades. “We know that building energy use accounts for two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions, and to achieve meaningful reductions in these emissions we must address many of the exact issues identified in The Field Museum study,” Preckwinkle said.