Sustainability Planning

Climate Action Planning

Northern Illinois University recognizes the urgency of addressing climate change by mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and by creating greater resiliency in our university community. NIU completed its first comprehensive greenhouse gas inventory for the years 2019 and 2020.  This inventory process is a four-step process that includes the tasks of:

  • Inventory planning
  • Data collection and greenhouse gas emission calculations
  • Data analysis for climate action planning
  • Setting greenhouse gas reduction targets for future progress tracking

As is typical for many universities, the majority of NIU’s annual greenhouse gas emissions come from energy and transportation. View the greenhouse gas emission inventories report (DOCX).

NIU has initiated the process of writing a comprehensive campus-wide sustainability plan.  Data from the greenhouse inventory will be used to create specific climate action plans, with the goal of reducing NIU’s overall carbon emissions.   

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 & 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 updated as more information is made available.

Contact Us

Courtney Gallaher, Ph.D.
Campus Sustainability Coordinator
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