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Green Cup trophies

Students Reduce Energy and Water Use During Green Cup

December 8, 2017
This year’s annual Green Cup competition came to a close this month with the Wildcats saving big. Students saved a total of 34,536 cubic feet of water (equal to almost half the volume of an Olympic-sized swimming pool) and 167,972 kWh of electricity (more than enough to power 13 homes for a year.)

Lighting Upgrades Make Parking Garages More Efficient

December 8, 2017
Visitors to several parking garages on Northwestern’s Evanston campus might have noticed things looking a little brighter this fall. Lighting upgrades in four garages will improve light levels and save energy.
water meter

Understanding and Managing Campus Utility Use

December 8, 2017
Northwestern’s Strategic Sustainability Plan set a goal of reducing energy consumption by 20 percent by 2020 (from a 2010 baseline). Several projects are underway that will provide tools for better understanding and managing energy use.


bike lane

Sustainable Transportation Moves Ahead

November 14, 2017
Northwestern is moving forward in increasing access to environmentally friendly modes of travel and becoming a leader in sustainable transportation. Recent developments include the completion of a new protected bike lane along Sheridan Road and a tour that brought city transportation officials from across to country to the Evanston campus.
charging station

Northwestern Upgrades Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

November 14, 2017
At the end of November, the electric vehicle (EV) charging stations on the Evanston campus will be getting an upgrade. The existing charging stations will be replaced with new ChargePoint CT4023 charging stations, and the number of stations in each garage will be doubled.

Get Involved in Campus Sustainability Efforts

November 14, 2017
Northwestern students, faculty, and staff from across schools and administrative areas can all contribute to sustainability efforts on campus by getting involved in sustainNU initiatives.

Go Green this Holiday Season

November 14, 2017
The holidays bring about many celebrations, and these events can be planned with sustainability in mind. From the food served to the amount of waste generated, to the gifts you give, you can reduce your impact when hosting events on campus around the holidays and all year round.


bike repair station

Northwestern Travel Gets Greener

October 19, 2017
This fall has been an exciting time for sustainable transportation at Northwestern. The recently released Northwestern Strategic Sustainability Plan identified sustainable transportation goals in three focus areas: commuting and campus travel, cycling, and electric vehicles. There are already new developments in each of these areas.
House by Northwestern

Taking Sustainability on the Road with House by Northwestern

October 19, 2017
The Solar Decathlon challenges college students from around the world to design and construct a solar-powered house and compete against other schools doing the same. The 2017 competition took place in Denver, Colorado, and it was an unforgettable experience for the Northwestern team, House by Northwestern.
choose to reuse

Northwestern Dining Offers Take-Out Meals without Wasteful Packaging

October 19, 2017
Northwestern students who are struggling to fit meal times into jam-packed schedules now have a new option for eating on the go without generating a lot of waste. Students who join Northwestern Dining’s new Choose to Reuse program can get take out from Elder Hall in reusable containers.



Kresge Hall Receives Northwestern’s First LEED Platinum Certification

September 30, 2017
A 63-year-old Northwestern University academic building is now officially its greenest. Thanks to extensive renovations, Kresge Hall has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum status, the highest sustainable building certification awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Northwestern Receives Silver Rating for Sustainability

September 22, 2017
This year Northwestern completed its first submission for a sustainability ranking through the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Sustainability’s Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS). The University was ranked as a STARS Silver Institution.


picnic group

Engaging the Community in Waste Reduction

August 31, 2017
This July, Northwestern University welcomed Evanston neighbors and guests to the free annual Community Picnic. The event invited community members to enjoy the campus and share a meal. It also highlighted the University’s commitment to reducing waste with composting and recycling support provided by sustainNU.

Understanding Northwestern’s Carbon Footprint

August 31, 2017
Northwestern is committed to minimizing the University’ environmental footprint, and understanding our current impact is the first step in this process. This is why Northwestern recently completed its first comprehensive greenhouse gas emissions inventory.
tour group

Creating Partnerships by Showcasing Northwestern’s Buildings

August 31, 2017
On August 15, the AIA Chicago (American Institute of Architects) brought together more than 30 architects and construction professionals to tour Ryan Center for Musical Arts and the Kellogg Global Hub. The event showcased two of Northwestern’s newest green buildings and offered tour participants an opportunity to learn about more sustainable building design and construction.



Saving Energy in Labs with Better Ventilation

July 27, 2017
The laboratories on Northwestern’s campus turn out cutting edge research, and they also use a lot of energy. Recently, the Facilities Management team worked with the Office for Research Safety to make upgrades to the ventilation systems that will maintain healthy air quality while cutting energy consumption in labs.

Reducing Waste and Doing Good when Moving Out

July 27, 2017
Each spring when students move out of campus residences, the sustainNU team collects food and clothing for donation through the “Take It or Leave It” program. The program reduces waste while benefiting local charities. This year, nearly 10,000 pounds of goods were collected for donation.
bike repair

Northwestern Wins the Bike Commuter Challenge

July 27, 2017
For the second year running, Northwestern won its category in the Bike Commuter Challenge, an event designed to celebrate and promote cycling as a healthy and environmentally friendly mode of transportation. Northwestern cyclists logged more miles than any other participating team, riding nearly 8,300 miles during the friendly two-week competition among companies and organizations.
House by Northwestern

Northwestern Students Building a Greener Home

July 27, 2017
This summer, a dedicated team of students is busy building House by Northwestern, Northwestern University’s first entry to the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. The team is excited to see their design for a solar powered house coming together in advance of the competition, which will take place in Denver in September.



Lighting Campus More Efficiently

June 16, 2017
Upgrading outdoor lighting on Northwestern's Evanston campus will dramatically cut electricity use, saving over 300,000 kilowatt-hours per year, or the same amount as the annual energy use of 22 homes.
club car

Northwestern Rolls Out More Electric Vehicles

June 16, 2017
Northwestern is committed to reducing the University’s greenhouse gas emissions, including emissions from transportation. One strategy for cutting emissions from transportation involves converting the University’s fleet to include more vehicles that run on cleaner, greener technology. This spring, Facilities Management made strides toward diminishing our fleet’s impact with the purchase of 16 all-electric Club Cars.

Northwestern Joins the Bike Commuter Challenge

June 15, 2017
Each year, Northwestern competes in the Bike Commuter Challenge, an event organized by the Active Transportation Alliance. The event encourages new and experienced cyclists to get on two wheels and enjoy the benefits using a bicycle for daily travel needs. It’s also a chance to compete with other local colleges and universities for bragging rights, fun, and prizes.


steam trap

Full Steam Ahead for Energy Efficiency

May 18, 2017
Every year, Northwestern uses over 1 billion pounds of steam to heat buildings and water, run kitchen equipment, and more. Improvements to the system that distributes the steam have cut energy costs by $2 million dollars annually. It was all thanks to an effort to repair and maintain components known as steam traps.
Take it or leave it

Start the Summer Sustainably – Donate, Recycle, or Store Your Stuff

May 18, 2017
The end of the academic year is rapidly approaching, and students who graduate or leave for the summer often find they have many things that they do not want to take with them. Northwestern is working to reduce the number of unwanted items that end up in landfills by providing easy ways to donate, recycle, or store everything from bikes and electronics to clothing and packaged foods.

Celebrating Earth Month at Northwestern

May 17, 2017
April was a big month for Mother Earth at Northwestern. The campus community celebrated the planet with events and exhibits focused on waste, climate, environmental justice, transportation, food, energy, and resource conservation.



Northwestern Sustainability Leaders: Elizabeth Adamczyk

April 17, 2017
Students, faculty, and staff members from across the University are making significant contributions to sustainability efforts at Northwestern. Northwestern staff member Elizabeth Adamczyk is a long-time cycling advocate who serves as co-chair of sustainNU’s Transportation Working Group.
weighing waste

Students Measure Dining Hall Waste

April 17, 2017
On February 16 and 23 Northwestern Dining hosted Weigh the Waste events during lunch in Sargent Dining Hall and Allison Dining Hall. The results are in, and the winner is Sargent Dining Hall.

Get Riding During Bike 2 Campus Week

April 17, 2017
From April 21 to 28, Northwestern will compete with other Chicago-area colleges and universities in Bike 2 Campus Week. The event is a friendly competition that encourages cycling as a healthy and environmentally-friendly form of transportation.
Earth Month

Celebrate Earth Month

April 17, 2017
In honor of Earth Day, April 22, Northwestern is offering opportunities to learn, volunteer, and celebrate. Join in to support sustainability efforts on campus and to learn how you can contribute through simple, everyday actions.



Explore Sustainable Campus Features with a New Map

March 23, 2017
Learning about the sustainable features of Northwestern’s Evanston campus just got easier with the launch of a comprehensive online Sustainability Map. The map recently went live on the University’s campus maps web page for use by students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

Sustainability Excellence Awards Recognize Campus Green Leaders

March 23, 2017
Each quarter, the sustainNU program presents Sustainability Excellence Awards to members of the Northwestern community who have contributed to efforts to reduce the University’s environmental footprint. The honor is presented in conjunction with the Human Resources Service Excellence Awards, which recognize staff members for exemplary work.
garden photo

Student Group Feature: Wild Roots and Plant-It-Purple

March 23, 2017
Northwestern students are trying their hands at growing their own produce in gardens located on campus in Evanston. The gardens offer students opportunities to contribute to local, sustainable food production while enjoying working together outdoors.
purple divvy

Purple Divvy Bike to Return in April

March 23, 2017
Last November, Northwestern worked with the Divvy bike share system to introduce a purple Northwestern-branded Divvy bike. The bike covered a lot of miles before it was removed from circulation at the end of January. It will be back for more adventures this April.



Reducing Waste at Northwestern Dining

February 9, 2017
In the month of February, Northwestern Dining started a push to encourage students to use reusable cups in the Dining Halls rather than disposable to-go cups. This initiative is part of a broader effort to reduce waste from dining facilities on campus.
death by design

One Earth Film Festival Screening at Northwestern

February 9, 2017
On March 8, Northwestern will host a screening of Death by Design, a documentary that explores the startling environmental and social impacts of the electronics industry. This event is part of the One Earth Film Festival, which runs March 3 through 12 at venues across the Chicago area.
Trash tacklers

Making College Athletics Green

February 9, 2017
Groups at Northwestern are taking action to make sporting events more sustainable. Efforts range from improving energy efficiency in facilities to reducing the amount of waste generated on game days.


solar tree

Funding Available for Student Sustainability Projects

January 23, 2017
The Northwestern Sustainability Fund (NSF) is a $50,000 pool established to support student-driven sustainability projects. The fund is currently accepting applications for the winter quarter, and the deadline to apply has been extended through January 24, 2017.
freezer challenge

Campus Labs Challenged to Maximize Freezer Efficiency

January 23, 2017
Laboratory users have essential roles to play in reaching Northwestern’s sustainability goals. The North American Laboratory Freezer Challenge encourages proper cold storage management practices to help reduce energy use in laboratories.

Northwestern Cuts Energy Use in the Battle of the Buildings

January 23, 2017
From September 1 through November 30, Northwestern competed in the U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR's Battle of the Buildings, a national competition to reduce energy use in buildings. The top performer among the University’s competing buildings was the Tarry Research and Education Building.