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Yellow tulips in front of yellow NKU bikes


  • NKU hires first Sustainability Operations Coordinator
  • NKU joins the Cincinnati 2030 District, a powerhouse cohort dedicated to reducing energy and water usage by 50%, transportation emissions by 50%, and increasing occupant health in buildings by 50% by 2030.
  •  Battery and ink cartridge recycling expanded to whole university
  •  NKU celebrates Campus Sustainability Month in October with a variety of events for students, faculty, staff, and the community


  • Sustainability Strategy is published and implementation begins.


  • Drafting of the 2017 Sustainability Strategy begins


  • The Office of Energy Management is created and the University’s first full-time sustainability practitioner is hired.


  • The President’s Climate Commitment Task Force publishes the first NKU Climate Action Plan


  • The Commonwealth of Kentucky adopts administrative regulations for high performance building standards NKU student volunteers complete the University’s first greenhouse gas emissions inventory.


  • NKU is the first university to be recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree Campus USA.


  • NKU enters into an agreement with TANK, thereby allowing anyone with an NKU ID to access local bus routes for free NKU becomes a signatory of the American College and University’s Presidents’ Climate Commitment and, in doing so, commits to emitting net zero carbon emissions by 2050.


  • NKU enters into Energy Savings Performance Contract Students lobby for a formal recycling program and NKU begins to collect glass, plastic, books, and other recyclable items.


  • First official NKU Earth Day celebrations


  • NKU performs a campus-wide lighting retrofit project to reduce energy consumption and cost

Mid 1990's

  • The Animals, Plants, and Earth Society, a student organization now known as the Environmentally Concerned Organization of Students (ECOS), is founded.

Late 1970's

  • Environmental Impact Committee formed to advocate for the preservation of natural greenspaces on the campus grounds.