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Norris University Center


When the Norris Center staff set a goal to become Green Office Certified, they understood it would be a significant undertaking, given the size and scope of their facilities. The leadership team identified Green Leaders, and the staff set out to make improvements to existing sustainability efforts.

They accomplished some dramatic changes, including the replacement of five water fountains with new filtered water bottle filling stations. Facilities Management staff has also spent significant time replacing outdated lighting technology throughout their spaces with energy and cost-efficient LED’s.

The most impactful effort they made to advance their Green Office agenda was the creation of a student employee role tasked specifically with sustainability in and around the Norris Center. This position was designed to tap the passion Northwestern students feel about a sustainable world, and it accomplished just that. In fewer than six months, their student employee, Laura Beshilas, undertook multiple projects to help lead their sustainability initiatives.

Laura was responsible for an inventory waste and recycling containers, both in Norris and throughout its satellite venues. She relabeled hundreds of them to match Northwestern’s new single stream recycling program. Laura spent time with all of the Green Leaders and documented their efforts. She also worked with Student Affairs Marketing to create a digital media campaign focused on sustainable efforts and outreach. Laura’s focus and dedication culminated in the completion of the Green Office Certification process, just in time for her to graduate from Northwestern in 2016.

The Norris University Center team is proud to be Green Office Certified. They celebrate the achievement and remain committed to sustainability as they honor their mission to provide spaces, services, and guidance that promote student learning, community engagement, and cultural inclusion.