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NU gets gold

December 2013 | by Illinois Sustainable Technology Center

 NU’s gold recognition from the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact AwardsThis October, in coordination with the Illinois Green Governments Coordinating Council, the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) presented the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact Awards (Compact) to recognize colleges and universities within Illinois for their sustainability efforts.

The Compact identifies objectives such as purchasing renewable energy, implementing green building practices, developing sustainable transportation options, improving water conservation, and incorporating sustainable dining practices. The program offers universities and colleges three levels of participation: bronze institutions make a commitment to creating a sustainability program and engaging the campus community, silver institutions are ready to make targeted commitments to “greening” their operations and monitoring performance, and gold institutions integrate sustainability throughout their campus and work towards measured improvement.

Northwestern University was recognized as a gold Campus Sustainability Compact award winner, due to its established and comprehensive sustainability program that enhances NU’s campuses and surrounding communities. This can been seen in NU’s participation in the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE) Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) and sustainability website redesign to include interactive and educational components for putting NU’s master sustainability plan into action.

The NU Office of Sustainability also leads bi-weekly meetings with various student organizations and staff members, who are working together to integrate sustainability into NU's culture. NU students have created an Eco-Reps program to educate and facilitate sustainability programs throughout the residence halls/colleges; and University leadership has set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent, below the 2005 baseline.

After receiving bronze recognition last year, we are thrilled to see our hard work rewarded with a jump to gold in 2013.