Facilities Management is committed to sustainability...by designing, building, operating, and maintaining our built environment in a way that minimizes our impact on the natural environment. This includes building and renovating buildings to become Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified and a constant focus on energy efficiency and life-cycle analysis to evaluate the environmental and economic benefits of every project. Learn more about Northwestern’s commitment to sustainability by visiting the Office of Sustainability’s new website.
Please visit the following webpages to learn what Facilities Management is doing to further sustainability at NU:
Northwestern’s two campuses consume almost 250 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually and uses 1.8 million MMBtu of heating and cooling at our Central Utility Plants. Our goal is to reduce our energy use at the building level and at our plant. Facilities Management is currently engaged in one of the most ambitious energy efficiency programs in the country with over $40 million committed to energy conservation projects.
RECYCLING AND WASTE
NU produces more than 4,000 tons of waste annually and recycles almost 2,000 tons or about 32 percent. Reducing waste and increasing our diversion rate are an important part of our campus sustainability efforts. Northwestern has recently launched new initiatives to increase recycling, to re-use our food grease to make bio-diesel fuel and to compost our food waste.
Our campus is constantly growing and updating to meet the needs of our community. This often leads to the construction of new buildings or large renovation projects to make campus space more functional. We meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards in all new construction projects with a goal of gold-level certification or higher.
The Evanston and Chicago campuses span 265 acres. We aim to keep our campus, including Lake Michigan, as healthy as possible through several techniques, such as planting adaptive, low-maintenance, and drought-tolerant plants where possible to limit the need for fertilizer and irrigation.
Northwestern uses 423 million gallons of water every year. The university is working to reduce its campus water use by at least 25 percent as well as limit our impact on Lake Michigan and beyond. This is being accomplished through installing low-flow devices and monitoring irrigation and run-off.