How Northeastern Goes Green

Thanks to high-impact changes in building construction, recycling practices, and other features of campus life, Northeastern has earned distinction as a green university.

The university was a 2007 signator to the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment and reaffirmed its support for the 2015 Paris Climate Accord in mid-2017. Year after year, the university appears in the Princeton Review’s Green Campus Survey and GreenMetric Ranking of World Universities. And participation always runs high in the student-led Recyclemania, an annual recycling competition among U.S. educational institutions.

Results by the numbers

In 2013, Northeastern became Boston’s first educational institution to join the Real Food Challenge when it pledged to purchase at least 20 percent of food supplies from local, sustainable sources by 2020. The campus boasts five LEED-certified buildings: Dockser Hall, Gold 2009; International Village, Gold 2010; George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security, Gold 2014; East Village, Silver 2015; Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex, Gold anticipated in 2018

Recycling, Boston campus (in tons, 2017)


1.1 Batteries
104.6 Bottles and cans
226.4 Cardboard
678 Compost, food (pre- and post-consumer waste) through student-led “Be Green” program, launched in 2012 with NU Dining Services
281.2 Compost, landscaping
32.4 Electronics
152.5 Grease, “brown” drain-trap
19 Grease, “yellow” fryolater
12.3 Mattresses
250.6 Mixed paper
5.2 Petroleum, antifreeze
27 Trash2Treasure annual event-goods redistributed
190+ refillable water-bottle stations reduce bottle waste
9M+ plastic bottles removed from waste stream to date

38% of campus waste recycled in 2017