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Making Every Day 'Earth Day' at ACT

Earth Day—the world’s largest environmental movement— is about recognizing the impact we have on the planet, and putting a plan together to protect the earth, one small action at a time.

While ACT has grown from a small Iowa City downtown office on Washington Street since our founding in 1959 to a full-fledged four-building, 400-acre campus today, we remain a dedicated employer and a committed steward of the land we maintain.

ACT campus courtyard overlooking the Ferguson Conference Center

Much like the care we place in helping people achieve education and workplace success, we care about supporting a sustainable environment for our community, our customers, and our team members. As one of Iowa City’s largest employers, we have a responsibility to take care of our own backyard. And we’re proud of the progress we’ve made to make a difference!

Our commitment to a sustainable Iowa includes several programs to achieve our goals of:

  1. Minimizing the use of energy, water, and other natural resources.
  2. Minimizing material sent to the landfill.
  3. Providing our staff with a safe and healthy work environment.

ACT meadows in the fall

ACT’s corporate sustainability policy, environmental management program, and land management plan drive our efforts and ensure accountability.

In the beginning, our efforts were humble. We reduced ACT’s energy consumption by replacing fluorescent lights with LEDs. From there, we constructed Iowa’s first LEED Platinum Data Center. Now, our ongoing work with vendors ensures we recycle paper, plastic, metal, and electronics. We have achieved Zero Landfill certifications for our paper products, and we are in the process of pursuing Zero Waste certification with the US Green Building Council.

Our work is far from over, as being a good steward of the Earth’s resources requires ongoing efforts and tireless conviction from many stakeholders—team members included.

We are humbled and proud to have our campus named a “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP). With the dedication of our skilled grounds crew, ACT carefully maintains more than 400 acres of land containing two ponds, native grasses and wildflowers, meadows, and rented hay ground. As the weather warms, team members can enjoy our on-campus wilderness paths, with opportunities to spot deer, birds and different native species along the trails.

Bench on the walking trail overlooking one of two ponds on the ACT campus

Our sustainable practices are small steps individually. Together, these steps continue to move us toward a healthier environment—one that includes a dedication to pursue environmental management practices and a commitment to the proper stewardship of our land.

This Earth Day, people in more than 193 countries share our joy and commitment to making our little blue planet a better, more beautiful and healthier place for all.

If you’re a local business looking to “go green,” we encourage you to connect with the Iowa Sustainable Business Forum. For certification, check out the U.S. Green Building Council. For tips on celebrating Earth Day as an individual, learn more from Earth Day Network.

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About ACT

ACT is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people achieve education and workplace success. Grounded in 60 years of research, ACT is a trusted leader in college and career readiness solutions. Each year, ACT serves millions of students, job seekers, schools, government agencies and employers in the US and around the world with learning resources, assessments, research and credentials designed to help them succeed from elementary school through career.