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Communications and Engagement

Our vision is to foster a University-wide culture of sustainability and environmental stewardship.

Northwestern is committed to developing sustainability programs that encourage conservation and protection of the natural environment. Because our programs will succeed only if the University community is consistently informed and engaged, we will strive to weave sustainability into the campus culture, encouraging greater awareness of the environmental impact of our actions and the adoption of more sustainable practices.

The Communications and Engagement Working Group is the hub for outreach efforts and ensures that all five Working Groups maintain a common focus on Northwestern’s sustainability objectives. The group seeks to build the leadership capacity of students, faculty, and staff and to motivate them to conserve resources, reduce waste, increase energy efficiency, and reduce the University’s carbon footprint.

Key Focus Areas 

  • Programs and events promoting campus- wide sustainability efforts
  • Funding for hands-on learning and student-led sustainability projects
  • Community service opportunities
  • Green certification programs for spaces on campus

Key Objectives

Faculty and Staff Engagement

  • 5.1 Double the number of offices participating in Northwestern’s Green Office Certification Program annually and increase their engagement in sustainability initiatives.
  • 5.2 Establish a Green Labs Program by 2020.
  • 5.3 Integrate sustainability into programs and learning opportunities for University staff.

Student Engagement

  • 5.4 Restructure Northwestern’s Eco-Reps Program as a means of engaging students in residence halls.
  • 5.5 Facilitate collaboration among sustainability-focused student organizations and their involvement with the wider University community.
  • 5.6 Engage students in sustainability-themed events and activities.
  • 5.7 Incorporate sustainability into programs targeting student organizations.

Community Engagement

  • 5.8 Collaborate with Northwestern’s host municipalities to engage community members in joint sustainability initiatives.
  • 5.9 Partner with the Office of Alumni Relations and Development to build support for University sustainability initiatives.

General Awareness and Visibility

  • 5.10 Increase the visibility of campus sustainability activities among students, faculty, staff, and other key stakeholders.
  • 5.11 Promote Northwestern’s sustainability initiatives to audiences outside the University via publications and associations.

Download the Communication and Engagement section of the Implementation Roadmap