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Anthony Santarelli
The support and enthusiasm both inside and outside of the university are tremendous.

Profile: Anthony Santarelli

Director of Program Development, Illinois Green Business Association

Anthony Santarelli, an agricultural and consumer economics graduate, loves developing creative solutions to help make the world cleaner and more sustainable through his work with the Illinois Green Business Association.

“The most enjoyable part is being able to see the areas where teamwork can lead to actual impacts in the world and ways that it can save resources,” Anthony says. “A good program for a business can have a really far reach if it’s designed properly.”

The association’s three main programs include green certification, in which an IGBA representative works with a business to assess nine potential sustainability practices. Anthony first got involved with green initiatives while in college.

“We created a group called CORE that focused on recycling efforts in the community,” Anthony says. “At the time, Champaign wasn’t offering recycling at the city level, so we were working on a campaign to demonstrate the need and demand. Eventually the city required recycling.”

The almost countless student organizations at the University of Illinois give students like Anthony wide opportunities to follow their passions.

“The U of I Facilities and Services environmental compliance office posed a question,” Anthony said. “Actually, it was more of a challenge: How are you green, Green Street? From there, CORE did research and found green business certification programs in California; we decided that we wanted to try the same thing here.”

Through the course of his time at U of I, Anthony observed support for students both within and outside the university.

“I think the connection with the community is fairly strong, and it seems like everyone wants to help students get where they want to go,” Anthony says. “The support and enthusiasm both inside and outside of the university are tremendous."