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Sustainability Related Student Organizations

There are 30+ sustainability focused student organizations on campus at the graduate and undergraduate level. See descriptions for some of these below.  An additional list can be found on sustainNU's website.


A group of ~50 students across the seven Northwestern schools, the Sustainability Committee in ASG works on a myriad of projects from improving Northwestern's built environment (ex. building retrofits, green roofs, the first off-campus housing compost pilot), to education (ex. student organization sustainability training, working with the deans of Weinberg as well as ISEN/EPC to expand sustainability course offerings and have them counted as part of distribution requirements), and to advocacy (ex. creating the first ever student organization sustainability fund to lower barriers to entry, serving on the CIO selection committee to select a candidate who prioritizes fossil fuel divestment and other ESG principles).

They also advocate for the 30+ sustainability focused student organizations on campus at the grad and undergrad level, working closely with faculty and admin in roles relating to sustainability (sustainNU, Facilities, etc), and Evanston City Council.

The Athletics Sustainability Committee is a student organization made up of athletes and non-athletes that strives to make Northwestern and community athletics greener. They collaborate with administration to brainstorm and implement ways to make our facilities, arenas, fields, locker rooms, etc. more environmentally friendly, whether it be by improving recycling efforts, minimizing energy use, of reusing equipment. ASC has organized annual clothing drives and tennis ball donations to dog rescues, as well as participated in trash tackling events with Northwestern Athletics and the Chicago Cubs.

Engineers for a Sustainable World at Northwestern (ESWNU) is an action-based group mobilizing students through education, training, and hands-on projects related to environmental sustainability. Membership is not limited to engineers, but rather includes students from all schools at Northwestern, and entails working in student teams with faculty and professional advisers to further sustainability both locally and internationally. Our projects range in focus from renewable energy to urban agriculture, environmental technology, and much more. We are currently focused on building a fully automated indoor farming system in the sub-basement of Ford and constructing a modular solar powered charging station for the Northwestern public.

The purpose of the Environmental Engineering Undergraduate Society (EnvEUS) is to foster community in the environmental engineering department. We plan to promote collaboration between students, professors, and alumni. In addition, professional development and social events will assist in networking and provide knowledge of potential career paths. Students will also be given the opportunity to put classroom skills to practical use by participating in competitions and projects focused on environmental sustainability.

Northwestern Global Brigades aims to bring aid to the under-served regions of Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua, Ghana, and other countries serviced by the international Global Brigades effort. We work to provide aid through holistic development while creating unique opportunities for Northwestern students interested in leadership, networking, and international travel and service.  Global Brigades empowers over 130,000 community members annually with the aim of ultimately helping them to reach their health, economic, and infrastructure goals. The Global Brigades holistic model functions by collectively developing a community’s infrastructure as well as its health, economic, and infrastructure systems so that it can ultimately become self-sustaining.

GREEN House is a special interest residential community located in the North Campus fraternity quad. To the surprise of many residents, the building's name is actually an acronym for "Group Residence for Environmental Engagement at Northwestern." There are about 40 residents in the residential community who take interest in promoting environmental sustainability and awareness. Residents from a variety of majors and interests find their niche in GREEN House because all are welcome to join!

The Northwestern Energy Technology Group (NETG) is a TGS-funded club seeking to advance the research and development of sustainable energy technologies by providing educational and collaborative opportunities for Northwestern students.

NETG's mission is to promote informed discourse about energy issues, and to provide opportunities for collaboration both among Northwestern University students, as well as between students and external people and organizations. This is done through hosting talks and panel discussions, traveling to energy technology facilities, and organizing social events that encourage networking with other energy-related organizations.

Northwestern University Outdoors Club is a group of students dedicated to preserving and exploring the outdoors. Everyone and anyone is welcome to join, lead, or plan trips. Prior experience is rarely necessary. During our 54 years of existence on the Northwestern campus, we have gone backpacking, canoeing, hiking, climbing, camping, skiing, snowshoeing, spelunking, and more. Through outdoors education workshops and member trips, we strive to engage with the outdoors responsibly and learn how to be the best stewards of our public lands.

NUsolar is a large-scale engineering team dedicated to the design and manufacture of fully solar powered vehicles. Our mission is to promote innovative and sustainable transportation developments through successive generations of composite-based, high efficiency vehicle 

designs. Our team welcomes students from all majors, with opportunities available to engineers and non-engineers alike. Become a member of our aerodynamics team, help design the battery pack containing over 400 lithium ion cells, or work to develop strong financial partnerships with Northwestern and industry-- all of these opportunities and more are available on NUsolar.

Real Food at NU is a student-led campaign at Northwestern University looking to shift the university's food system to one that is more socially just and environmentally sustainable. NURF creates informational graphics, hosts a variety of events (including bringing in speakers, documentary screenings, and cooking events), and works with COMPASS and NU Dining to spread awareness about and work to combat food and environmental justice issues.

Students for Ecological and Environmental Development (SEED) is the oldest environmental advocacy group on campus. SEED’S mission is to pioneer, teach, and model environmental stewardship so as to inspire our future leaders to act in ways that protect and sustain our planet. We seek to engage and educate the Northwestern community on environmental issues by making them relevant and relatable. Some activities and events we host are Green Cup, a month-long competition between on-campus housing to reduce water and power consumption, Philfest, a bluegrass musical festival, and other speaker and philanthropy events. 

The Wildlife Club's purpose is to create an inclusive community on campus comprised of future scientists, environmental activists, animal lovers, and any student who has a passion for wildlife and is concerned with the global biodiversity crisis. The Wildlife Club's goals are to be an advocate on campus for wildlife conservation through activism, to provide career-building opportunities in the field of conservation, to engage with the Northwestern, Evanston, and Chicago communities through discussions and citizen science projects, and build relationships between Northwestern and Chicago-based zoological research institutions. Long-term goals include on-campus wildlife surveys, regular club-sponsored trips to zoos, aquariums, and museums, outreach and research partnerships with these institutions, hosting professional speakers and career fairs on-campus, and petitioning the university for more wildlife-related academic opportunities.

Our mission is to connect students to the earth and each other, to serve the evolving educational and social needs of the Northwestern community, and to inspire students to think critically about the food we eat by starting conversations about sustainability, social justice, and our food system. We live our mission by growing fresh produce for the Northwestern and Evanston communities using sustainable practices and by using the garden as an educational tool to empower students to produce their own food, to creatively solve ecological problems, and to share their knowledge with others. Wild Roots Garden provides a space for students to connect to the land and to each other through workdays, events, and other programming and through the creation of a community of garden stewards.

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