The Illinois Environmental Council Education Fund engages in education and outreach and provides a forum for environmentalists. The Illinois Environmental Council serves as the environmental community’s eyes, ears and voice in Springfield. The two organizations – collectively known as IEC – work together to ensure a more healthful environment for Illinois residents.
IEC promotes sound environmental laws and policies. We encourage decision makers in the private sector to go beyond minimum standards to establish new environmental best practices. We credit those who lead, innovate, and inspire others to follow their example.
Since its founding in 1975 by a group of dedicated grassroots environmentalists, IEC has sponsored issue advocacy campaigns and projects. This has allowed environmental organizations to pool their resources to create a higher profile for our issues in Springfield and Washington D.C. About 50 environmental and community organizations and 100 individuals from around the state are members of IEC today.
IEC has supported environmental activists across the state and is building programs to cultivate the next generation of environmental leadership. IEC is working to establish stronger relationships among leaders in communities of color who are committed to environmental stewardship and sustainability. This approach reflects our values and will help the environmental community realize its goals.
IEC publishes annually a legislative briefing book that defines an environmental agenda reflecting our community’s core concerns. At the same time, we are making the case for spurring economic development and job creation through investments in clean energy and energy efficiency and the protection of open spaces. An environmental scorecard helps the public assess how legislators respond to IEC’s recommendations.
The first major issue-based campaign IEC led was the Common Group, which brought farm interests, sportsmen and conservationists together in 1982 to present a soil conservation agenda to the Governor and General Assembly.
One of IEC’s biggest success stories is the formation in 1994 of the Safer Pest Control Project, which continues to reduce the health risks and environmental impacts of pesticides and promote safer alternatives.
IEC helped rally a coalition of groups in 2002 to restore funding for open space acquisition. A little over a year later, IEC organized the Partners for Parks and Wildlife coalition to secure open space acquisition funding in the face of more proposed cuts under former Governor Rod Blagojevich.
IEC launched Mercury Free Illinois in 2005. Because of this campaign and efforts leading up to it, Illinois has cracked down on the sale and use of mercury in commercial, medical and school environments.
The Illinois Climate Action Network, established in 2008, is a coalition committed to helping end global climate change through legislative measures and citizen involvement throughout the state.
IEC gratefully acknowledges support from its sponsors, including these foundations:
Chicago Community Trust
Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation
Grand Victoria Foundation
Lumpkin Family Foundation