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Program Areas

Northwestern’s Strategic Sustainability Plan

Northwestern’s Commitment to Sustainability

Northwestern is committed to fostering environmental and ethical stewardship; providing a living-learning environment that supports student-, faculty-, and staff-led sustainability initiatives; and improving our built environment and natural ecology.

As one of the world’s leading academic institutions, Northwestern strives to be exemplary in addressing sustainability, climate change, and the opportunities and challenges they pose. The University is dedicated to creating a greener campus by reducing waste, conserving water and energy, and promoting sustainable modes of transportation.

Northwestern recognizes the power of teaching and research in driving increased awareness and public understanding, knowledge transfer, discoveries, and new technologies. We are committed to achieving the greatest impact by offering courses, supporting research, and creating partnerships that focus on sustainability, renewable energy, water conservation, and climate change.

Strategic Sustainability Plan

Northwestern’s Strategic Sustainability Plan is a comprehensive planning resource that supports and guides the University’s sustainability programs. The plan identifies targets for reducing University greenhouse gas emissions and waste; outlines strategies for increasing efficiency in energy, water, and resource use; offers measures for incorporating sustainability into University purchasing and operational practices; and sets goals for encouraging the participation of academic and operational stakeholders in the University community.

The Strategic Sustainability Plan sets the framework for a range of action plans targeting five key program areas:

  1. Built Environment
  2. Transportation
  3. Resource Conservation
  4. Experiential Learning
  5. Communications and Engagement

Download the Strategic Sustainability Plan

Implementation Roadmap

The Implementation Roadmap complements the Strategic Sustainability Plan by detailing how Northwestern’s sustainability objectives will be met and our success measured. The current roadmap, valid through fiscal year 2021, specifies incremental milestones for achieving needed transformations but also allows flexibility for exploration, discovery, and creativity. The roadmap will be adapted as goals are reached and as new, more ambitious goals are set by the Working Groups.

Download the Implementation Roadmap