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Northwestern University

Built Environment

Our vision is to improve the built environment at Northwestern so that we lessen our harm to the environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Northwestern’s buildings and spaces—located on campuses in Evanston, Chicago, and Doha, Qatar, with facilities accommodating the activities of thousands of students, researchers, faculty, staff, and visitors each year—account for 80 percent of the University’s carbon footprint.

Recognizing the dangers of climate change, we regard reducing energy-related greenhouse gas emissions—while still meeting the needs of the Northwestern community—as a top priority. We aim to reduce the University’s normalized energy consumption by 20 percent below 2010 levels by the year 2020 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

An active partner of the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® program since 2015, Northwestern follows the program’s Guidelines for Energy Management and uses its Portfolio Manager software to benchmark and track University energy, water, and waste performance.

The Built Environment Working Group is the hub for sustainability efforts involving Northwestern’s buildings and grounds.

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