Recognition and Reports

Southwestern University has been awarded and recognized for its many environmental initiatives and accomplishments.


Southwestern is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). As a campus we participate in the sustainability tracking, assessment & rating system™ (STARS), a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Southwestern’s 2018 STARS Report

Environment America

Southwestern University ranked first on Environment America’s “America’s Top Colleges for Renewable Energy” report for renewable electricity use. Southwestern University purchases Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from wind farms equivalent to 100 percent of its electricity consumption, resulting in the highest Renewable Electricity Per Full-Time Equivalent Student in the country.

EPA’s Green Power Challenge

Southwestern has won the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference in the EPA’s College & University Green Power Challenge every year since 2011. The EPA says our yearly green power purchase of more than 18 million kWh is equivalent to the electricity consumption of more than 1,500 average American homes annually.

NWF Certified Wildlife Habitat

Wildlife habitat gardens are a haven for local birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. The SU community garden provides habitat and is recognized by the National Wildlife Federation as a Certified Wildlife Habitat®.

Princeton’s Guide to Green Colleges

The Princeton Review has named Southwestern University as one of the 399 most environmentally responsible colleges. The Princeton Review chose the schools for this ninth annual edition of its “green guide,” based on data from the company’s 2017–2018 survey of 648 four-year colleges concerning the schools’ commitments to the environment and sustainability. The survey asked college administrators to report on their schools’ sustainability-related policies, practices, and programs. More than 25 data points were weighted in the tallies for the “green rating score” on a scale of 60 to 99. Colleges with green rating scores of 80 or higher made it into this year’s guide; The Princeton Review assigned SU a green rating of 88.

Tree Campus USA

Southwestern University is recognized as a Tree Campus USA college after meeting the standards developed to promote healthy trees and student involvement. Tree Campus USA program recognizes college and university campuses that:

  • Effectively manage their campus trees.
  • Develop connectivity with the community beyond campus borders to foster healthy, urban forests.
  • Strive to engage their student population utilizing service learning opportunities centered on campus, and community, forestry efforts.