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Northwestern receives ENERGY STAR’s highest honor for fifth consecutive year

EPA Sustained Excellence Award recognizes outstanding contributions to energy efficiency
energy star
It is a Northwestern University priority to lead in decarbonization, renewable energy and sustainability, and this award serves as a call to action for the Northwestern community.

Northwestern University has received the ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year — Sustained Excellence Award for the fifth consecutive year from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after it became the first university to receive the award in 2020.

The ENERGY STAR program is the EPA’s gold standard for energy efficiency on campus and beyond. The Sustained Excellence Award is the program’s highest honor, recognizing businesses and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to energy efficiency and the transition to a clean energy economy. Over the past 30 years, these efforts have saved more than 5 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity.

“Northwestern’s commitment to energy efficiency is ongoing,” said Luke Figora, vice president and chief operating officer of Northwestern. “We will continue to prioritize energy efficiency and reducing consumption at the building and individual level. Our community is honored to be recognized again by the U.S. EPA with the Sustained Excellence Award.”

The University was also the first school to receive the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award consecutively (2018 and 2019). It is a University priority to lead in decarbonization, renewable energy and sustainability, and this award serves as a call to action for the Northwestern community.

Everyone on campus can support this commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability.

  • Get your office or lab certified. The Green Office and Green Labs certification provides guidance on adopting best practices for sustainable management and operations in campus spaces.
  • Learn what you can — and cannot — recycle. Understanding what is acceptable and what is contamination is critical for successful recycling.
  • Turn off and unplug. When you leave your office, room, or lab, remember to turn off and unplug your devices.
  • Use smart power strips. To reduce energy drawn by electronics when they are not being used, consider smart power strips and energy-saving settings on your computer.
  • Use task lighting. Task lighting can conserve power as an alternative to turning on all overhead lights.
  • Learn about resources available to you. Free charging stations for electric vehicles are available on Evanston and Chicago campuses. Familiarize yourself with these locations and other resources through sustainNU’s campus sustainability maps
  • Purchase responsibly. Think about the environmental impact of your purchases. Can you buy less? Buy items made from recycled materials? Buy items that are durable or reusable?
  • Consider energy use at home. sustainNU created a guide to help homeowners and renters make the most of the resources available through federal and local energy-saving programs.

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.

As part of April’s Earth Month celebration, sustainNU will host speaking events, a tree planting on Arbor Day and an arts and crafts market featuring local artists.

“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda creates unprecedented opportunity to build a clean energy economy, and private sector partners through programs like ENERGY STAR are leading the way,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan.

Winners are selected from a network of thousands of ENERGY STAR partners. Read more about ENERGY STAR’s awards program, including a complete list of 2024 winners.

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. 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. Learn more about the impacts of ENERGY STAR.

For Journalists: view the news release for media contacts