Northwestern University has announced a sustainability program that, among other things, seeks to reduce energy consumption at the school by 20 percent from 2010 levels by 2020.

The program also calls for adding a new solar photovoltaic power system with up to 100kW electric capacity each year, achieve at least gold LEED status for all new construction projects and achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The program also calls for increasing campus commuters’ use of public transprtation by five percent and bike commuting by 10 percent from 2016 levels by 2021.

And it calls for diverting at least 50 percent of total waste from landfills by 2020.

The program also calls for giving students more opportunities for hands-on experiential learning about environmental issues and “foster a university-wide culture of sustainability and environmental stewardship.”

NU President Morton Schapiro said, in a statement announcing the plan Tuesday, “We have an obligation to future generations to reduce our carbon footprint, yes – but also a tremendous opportunity to contribute to global climate solutions.”

A copy of the plan is available online.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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