Northwestern recognized by EPA as a sustainability leader
University receives the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year — Sustained Excellence Award for the third year in a row
- Link to: Northwestern Now Story
Northwestern University has received the ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year — Sustained Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the third consecutive year. In 2020, Northwestern became the first university to ever receive the prestigious award.
The Sustained Excellence Award is the highest honor given by the ENERGY STAR program, and honors organizations that display continued leadership and long-term commitments to climate action and energy efficiency.
The University was also the first school to receive the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award consecutively (2018 and 2019).
“Northwestern is proud to have our energy efficiency efforts recognized again by the EPA,” said Craig Johnson, executive vice president for Northwestern. “Our strategic partnerships and engagement across campus have fostered a community-wide effort to reduce our carbon footprint and environmental impact.”
Northwestern’s other notable achievements in sustainability over the past year include:
- Developing a new long-term partnership with clean energy integrator Ameresco, Inc., to reduce the University’s carbon footprint across its Evanston and Chicago campuses and provide learning opportunities for students;
- Reducing energy-use intensity in buildings by 20% since 2010;
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 15% since 2012;
- Adding a sustainability training module to Northwestern New Employee Orientation to provide an overview of how individuals can incorporate sustainability into their workplace; and
- Launching a print management program, which has replaced desktop printers and aging copiers with ENERGY STAR-certified multifunction units, supporting elimination of abandoned print jobs.
Sustainability initiatives at Northwestern are led by sustainNU, a University-wide program that engages students, faculty and staff in reducing Northwestern’s impact on the environment to cultivate an ecologically sound, socially just and economically sustainable culture on campus.
sustainNU is in the process of finalizing the University’s next Strategic Sustainability Plan, whose development included a comprehensive external trend analysis, peer institution benchmarking, and broad engagement with Northwestern and external stakeholders — including alumni, city officials from Evanston and Chicago, and community groups.
“We know it’s going to take all of us working together to tackle the climate crisis, and the 2022 ENERGY STAR Award-winning partners are demonstrating what it takes to build a more sustainable future,” said EPA administrator Michael S. Regan. “These companies are showing once again that taking action in support of a clean energy economy can be good not only for the environment, but also for business and customers.”
Winners are selected from a network of thousands of ENERGY STAR partners. For a complete list of 2022 winners and more information about ENERGY STAR’s awards program, visit energystar.gov/awardwinners.
About ENERGY STAR
ENERGY STAR® is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, providing simple, credible and unbiased information that consumers and businesses rely on to make well-informed decisions. Thousands of industrial, commercial, utility, state and local organizations — including more than 40% of the Fortune 500® — rely on their partnership with the EPA to deliver cost-saving energy efficiency solutions. Since 1992, ENERGY STAR and its partners helped American families and businesses avoid more than $500 billion in energy costs and achieve more than 4 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions. More background information about ENERGY STAR’s impacts can be found at www.energystar.gov/impacts and state-level information can be found at www.energystar.gov/statefacts.