Sustainability Commitments

Climate Commitment

In 2022, NIU became a signatory to the Second Nature Carbon Commitment and are working to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 or sooner. We recognize the urgency of the climate crisis and are committed to transformative change to protect our future as an institution, and the communities that we serve. Our Sustainability and Climate Action Plan describes the efforts that NIU is currently taking related to mitigation of carbon emissions, adaptation and building community resilience.

Higher Education Commitment

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) is committed to the promotion of global sustainability by using institutions of higher education as agents of change. AASHE seeks to have higher education lay the foundation for a thriving, equitable, and ecologically healthy world. Their Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) program measures the efforts and goals of higher education institutions towards sustainability. The transparency and collaborative efforts of the program then provide a framework for understanding sustainability while enabling participants the ability to assess their own actions in comparison to other institutions.

Over 1000 institutions across more than 40 countries are registered in the STARS program. These participants report their achievements in five categories of credits: Academics, Engagement, Operations, Planning and Administration, and Innovation and Leadership. These institutions are then assessed by AASHE and given scores based on the credits they submit. STARS publicly publish all scores – awarding eligible scores a rank of bronze, silver, gold or platinum if they are high enough.

NIU is proud to announce it has registered for the STARS program and has begun the data collection process for an assessment of all five areas of credits. This data will be used to benchmark current sustainability activities on campus, and to identify key areas for improvement as we work towards creating an official sustainability plan for campus. The official score and report will be made public as they are published. This website will be updated as more information is made available.

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