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Northwestern presents sustainability plan at national summit

Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Summit features presentation on sustainNU

John D'Angelo

John D’Angelo, vice president of facilities management at Northwestern University, presented the University’s vision for sustainability today, May 16, at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) national Better Buildings Summit in Washington, D.C.

D’Angelo spoke about sustainNU, a University-wide program that uses social media, newsletters, green certification programs, outreach events and partnerships across departments to encourage members of the Northwestern community to adopt more sustainable behaviors.

Running May 15 to 17, the Better Buildings Summit is part of the DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge, an initiative aimed at driving leadership in energy innovation. Partners in the program share best practices in energy efficiency and work toward innovative solutions for reducing energy use in homes, commercial buildings and industrial plants.

Northwestern joined the challenge in 2015 and committed to reducing the University’s energy consumption by 20 percent by the year 2020.

As part of the Better Building Challenge, partners develop “implementation models” that outline energy management practices. The models are published each year in conjunction with the Better Buildings Summit so other institutions can learn from and build on one another’s knowledge.

In addition to sustainability awareness outreach, Northwestern’s implementation model empowers students, faculty and staff to identify and act on opportunities to reduce the University’s environmental footprint through energy conservation and waste reduction. The strategy is designed to align with and support the objectives outlined in Northwestern’s Strategic Sustainability Plan, which is expected to be released later this year.

Northwestern remains committed to becoming more energy efficient and accelerating the momentum around energy efficiency and sustainability nationwide. Participation in the Better Buildings Challenge enables the University to further these efforts through collaboration with key program partners across multiple sectors.   

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