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sustainNU - Office of Sustainability

Awards and Recognition

As Northwestern University pursues its commitment to leadership in sustainability, we would like to acknowledge those who go above and beyond in greening our campuses and curriculum.

Student Excellence in Sustainability Award

This award is given to a student who has displayed outstanding leadership and dedication through their involvement in sustainability at NU. In their research, contribution in a student organization, coursework, or an innovative and empowering initiative, this student has demonstrated a tremendous contribution to the success and vitality of creating a culture of sustainability at NU.

Past Winners:

  • Miranda Cawley, Medill 2016
  • Matthew Glazer, PhD 2015 
  • Shaina Wagner, School of Comm 2016
  • Dave Snydacker, PhD 2016
  • Christina Cilento, SESP 2017
  • Mike Ziebel, Weinberg 2015

Green Office Excellence Award

The Green Office Excellence Award is for staff and faculty members who are part of an office or department participating in Northwesterns’s Green Office Certification. We want to recognize those community members who have identified innovative initiatives to reduce energy, water, or waste, or who have engaged their fellow employees in greening their physical environment.

Past Winners:

  • Dan Foley, Norris University Center
  • Marcela Swenson, Administration and Planning
  • Elizabeth Adamczyk, University Library
  • Sue Oldenburg, University Library
  • Erini Kikilis, Office of Alumni Relations and Development

Faculty and Staff Excellence in Sustainability Award

This award is given to a faculty or staff member who has displayed outstanding leadership and dedication through their involvement in sustainability at Northwestern. In their teaching, research, daily activities, or an innovative and empowering initiative, this member of the community has enhanced sustainability at Northwestern as well as our local and global community.

Past Winners:

  • Phil Hockberger, Feinberg School of Medicine
  • James McKinney, Facilities Management
  • Maggie Waldron, School of Education & Social Policy
  • Jen Thennes, Office of Sponsored Research
  • Dave Grosskopf, Facilities Management


Any member of the University community may nominate a student for the quarterly Student Excellence in Sustainability Award or an employee for the quarterly Green Office Excellence Award and/or the Faculty and Staff Excellence in Sustainability Award at any time. The Office of Sustainability will facilitate a small group consisting of faculty and staff to review the nominations and make a final selection.
 Please submit the Excellence in Sustainability Award Nomination Form to the Office of Sustainability.

Recipients will recognized at the Quarterly Service Excellence Luncheons and will receive recognition on our website and other communications, as well as an award.

We would love to hear your feedback or answer your questions. Please contact Stephanie Folk or call 847-467-4286.

NU Recognition

Our hard work to decrease the ecological footprint of NU is paying off. Check out the recent honors we’ve received recognizing our commitment to sustainability.

  • U.S. EPA 2015 Green Power Leadership Award: Northwestern University received a 2015 Green Power Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The award recognizes the country’s leading green power users for their commitment and contribution to helping advance the development of the nation’s voluntary green power market. http://www3.epa.gov/greenpower/awards/winners.htm
  • 2014 Tree Campus USA recognition:Tree Campus USA is a national program created by the Arbor Day Foundation to honor higher education institutions for successfully overseeing their campus forest and for engaging staff and students in tree conservation.
  • Illinois Green Governments Coordinating Council: Northwestern University achieved gold standard recognition established by the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact in October 2013.
  • Green Power Challenge: Northwestern University has been ranked in first or second place for the past three years in the Big 10 EPA College & University Green Power Challenge.
  • Green Power Partnership: Northwestern was ranked 4th in the EPA’s 2015 Top 30 College & University list for the largest green power users among higher education institutions within the Green Power Partnership.
  • Citizens Utility Board (CUB): The CUB Energy Saver Challenge honored Northwestern employees with Outstanding Work to Promote Energy Efficiency in April 2012.
  • 3Degrees:3Degrees, a company providing green power and carbon offset products, affirmed that Northwestern secured Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) representing the generation of 96,005 megawatt hours (MWh) of renewable energy as of February 2013.
  • 3 Phases Energy: In May 2012, Northwestern University was recognized for extraordinary environmental leadership through the support of renewable energy by 3 Phases Energy.
  • The Prairie Research Institute: Northwestern received Bronze in the 2012 Governor's Sustainability Awards from the Prairie Research Institute and Gold in 2013.
  • USGBCAssociation for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE): NU is an AASHE member, which has several online resources for students as well as an annual conference.
  • United States Green Building Council (USGBC): NU is an USGBC member.