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Get to Know sustainNU


sustainNU is a University-wide program that aims to engage students, faculty, and staff in reducing—and eventually eliminating—Northwestern’s contribution to climate change. In doing so, we will lead the way toward a greener, healthier, and more sustainable future.  
Check out these articles from our archives to learn about sustainNU program areas, sustainability initiatives, and national recognition.

Built Environment

Did you know Northwestern has 13 LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified buildings? Read about our first Platinum building, Kresge Centennial Hall, and check out our other Green Building Profiles to see how Northwestern champions sustainable design. 
This year, Northwestern won the prestigious 2018 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year award from the Environmental Protection Agency. Northwestern was the first university to win the award since 2003. This award demonstrates Northwestern’s commitment to combating climate change. Learn more about this recognition at Northwestern Earns ENERGY STAR POY
Want to know how Northwestern monitors and conserves energy? Check out this article, which outlines our energy management practices. 

Campus Sustainability Map

Need to pump your bike tires or locate bike parking? Looking to charge your electric vehicle? Or curious about where renewable energy is generated on campus? Check out the sustainability map, which highlights sustainable features on both the Evanston and Chicago campus. Simply go to the Northwestern Map and select “sustainability” from the left side of the page.  

Resource Conservation

Northwestern collects mixed recycling, meaning paper, aluminum, plastic, glass, and cardboard all go in the same bin. To learn more about this process, and answer any questions you may have, check out: Can I recycle this? 

Strategic Sustainability Plan

Northwestern’s Strategic Sustainability Plan describes objectives for its five program areas, which include built environment, transportation, resource conservation, experiential learning, and communication and engagement. This plan was published in 2017 and lays out a roadmap for achieving the University’s sustainability goals through 2021. 

Student Engagement

Look forward to some friendly competition! sustainNU hosts Green Cup, an annual contest between all the residences on campus challenging students to reduce their energy and water usage. The competition has previously been held in the fall but will now occur in the spring. However, you can start implementing green living practices now to get an edge in the competition! Read about last year’s winners and get ready to win the Green Cup!  

Annual Sustainability Report Card

Each year sustainNU compiles a report covering milestones and accomplishments in our five program areas, the built environment, transportation, resource conservation, experiential learning, and communications and engagement. Check out the stats in our 2016-2017 Year in Review Sustainability Report.