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Awards and Recognition

Northwestern Recognition

Northwestern is recognized as a local, regional, and national leader in promoting sustainability. The University is proud to have received the following awards.

  • ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year (2018-2019) – Sustained Excellence (2020-2024):  
    2024_poy.pngNorthwestern University has been recognized for its commitment to energy efficiency, receiving the ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year - Sustained Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for five consecutive years. In 2020, Northwestern became the first university to ever receive this prestigious award that acknowledges the University's efforts to accurately track energy usage data, measure progress in reducing consumption, and engage the campus community in energy conservation. The Sustained Excellence Award is the highest honor from the ENERGY STAR program and is given to organizations that show continued leadership and long-term commitments to climate action and energy efficiency. The University was also the first school to receive the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award consecutively (2018 and 2019). These awards demonstrate the University's remarkable achievements and ongoing dedication to energy efficiency.
  • 2022 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School Postsecondary Sustainability Awardee: 2022-edgrs-logo-year-specific.jpgNorthwestern University has received the Green Ribbon School Postsecondary Sustainability award from the U.S. Department of Education, which recognizes the University's innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education. 
  • stars-web-sq.pngSTARS Gold: Northwestern was ranked as a STARS Gold Institution through the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Sustainability’s Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS) in 2020.
  • Illinois Sustainability Award: Northwestern University received the 2018 Illinois Sustainability Award. The longest-running environmental program in the state of Illinois, the award recognizes public and private organizations that demonstrate commitment to reducing their environmental impact.
  • STARS Silver: Northwestern was ranked as a STARS Silver Institution through the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Sustainability’s Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS) in 2017. 
  • Bicycle Friendly University Silver Status: Northwestern was awarded Bicycle Friendly University Silver status by the League of American Bicyclists in 2016.
  • U.S. EPA 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. 
  • Tree Campus Higher Education Recognition: Tree Campus USA is a national program created by the Arbor Day Foundation to honor higher education institutions for successfully overseeing their campus forests and for engaging staff and students in tree conservation.
  • Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Awards: Northwestern received Gold status from the Campus Sustainability Compact as a part of the 2013 Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Awards.
  • 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 ranks in the top 10 colleges and universities in the U.S. EPA’s Green Power Partnership. The University is the top green power purchaser in the Big Ten Conference.
  • Citizens Utility Board (CUB): The CUB Energy Saver Challenge honored Northwestern employees with Outstanding Work to Promote Energy Efficiency in April 2012.