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ASG Sustainability Committee's work to make NU a leader in sustainability

January 2013 | by sustainNU

ASG logoThe ASG sustainability committee has been working on dozens of projects across campus to facilitate a culture shift towards environmental awareness. 20 students serve on the sustainability committee making it the largest committee in ASG history.

The committee’s early internal work led to the categorization of various aspects of sustainability relevant for college students. Aligning with these categories, five subcommittees were established including; Student Engagement, Awareness, and Education, Energy and Water, Purchasing and Waste, Student Groups and Event Consulting, and Legal and Financial Advising.

The Student Engagement, Awareness, and Education subcommittee is developing a marketing campaign highlighting the history and successes of sustainability at Northwestern and distributing hundreds of water-efficient showerheads and CFLs to off-campus students. The team will also assist the Green Cup coordinators and Eco-Reps during winter quarter.

The Energy and Water team aims to make tangible improvements in energy efficiency, usage of renewables, and water conservation efforts on campus. The subcommittee is looking into biofuel production, temperature regulation in campus buildings, and increased student involvement in the Main Library energy efficiency upgrades. The team has been working closely with ESW's wind and CEP teams, to help raise awareness, build administrative support, and ultimately implement these projects.

The Purchasing and Waste team surveys procurement and disposal of goods on campus. The subcommittee is working on highlighting Sodexo’s green initiatives, developing a "green Evanston business" coupon book, a community CarrotMob event, and sneaker-recycling program.

The Student Groups and Event Consulting team offers sustainability consulting services to student-run events and conferences, and is working to create a system for quantifying and incentivizing sustainable behavior among NU student groups. Currently, the team is consulting GES for their annual summit, and will be soon working with Dance Marathon to minimize waste and make the event carbon-neutral.

The Legal and Financial Advising subcommittee works to negotiate and resolve legal and financial issues that arise with the implementation of campus sustainability initiatives. They are working closely with Pura Playa, ESW's plastic reduction team, to analyze Northwestern's contract with Coca Cola. In the coming quarter, the subcommittee has been tasked with writing the bylaws and application guidelines for the campus green fund.

To get in touch with the ASG Sustainability Committee email: sustainability@u.northwestern.edu