Current Initiatives

Each and every member of the campus community whether student, faculty, or staff can make a difference through small adoptions of more sustainable practices. These changes not only benefit the university, but the individual and greater community as a whole.

Our football gameday recycling and zero-waste event efforts current initiatives are lightening the load on landfills while providing public demonstrations of sustainable behaviors. The energy dashboard and developing greenhouse gas emissions inventory will help the campus community understand how UNL operates, and we anticipate with greater awareness, new ideas for increased sustainability will arise.

If you are looking to engage and/or grow in your sustainability knowledge, please visit the Engagement and Continuing Education page.

Football Game Day Recycling

Go Green for Big Red is a recycling initiative that started out as a partnership with the City of Lincoln since 2009. Right now we partner with Recycling Enterprises to ensure that the university premises stay litter-free on Husker football home game days. Tailgaters at university parking lots are provided green plastic bags to divert their recyclables from the landfill. More than 500 community members have donated over 1,500 hours of community service to ensure the continued pursuit of its initial goal.

Volunteers are provided with free aluminum water bottles, t-shirts, food and drinks for their 2-3 hours of service. If you are interested, please contact the Recycling office at: recycling@unl.edu or by phone 402.472.9139.

Zero-waste Events

If you are planning an event on campus, please consider making it a "Zero Waste Event." UNL Recycling Coordinators can help.

According to the Zero Waste International Alliance, communities that achieve more than 90 percent diversion of waste from landfills and incinerators are considered acceptable in achieving zero waste. Some recent Zero Waste Events coordinated through the Recycling Office include the Jazz in June 2015 concert series and the 2013 and 2014 luncheon following the Chancellor's State of the University Address. Please contact the Recycling Office early in your planning process so that sufficient help is available at: recycling@unl.edu or by phone 402.472.9139.

Energy Dashboard

UNL's commitment toward sustainability also includes engagement opportunities for the university community. As a pilot project, the building occupants at the following 16 buildings at both City and East Campuses will be able to get feedback on their energy use in real time and help shape their energy conservation behavior. These building energy dashboards will inspire energy reduction and empower occupants to become active participants in energy management.

Visit the energy dashboard here.

City Campus
  • Andersen Hall
  • Avery Hall
  • Harper
  • Schramm
  • Smith
  • Henzlik Hall
  • Nebraska Hall
  • Nebraska Union
  • Oldfather Hall
  • Outdoor Adventure Center
  • Westbrook Music Building
East Campus
  • Barkley Center
  • Hardin Hall
  • Keim Hall
  • Nebraska East Union

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory

UNL's greenhouse gas inventory (GHG) is currently being conducted. This inventory includes annual greenhouse gas emissions for the university since 2010. The plan is to include the emissions from Scope 1 and Scope 2 categories.

Scope 1 sources are carbon emissions from on campus co-generation, university fleet activity, refrigerants and other chemical use, fertilizer use, and campus livestock. Scope 2 sources include the emissions from purchased electricity. Scope 3 emissions are the carbon emissions from indirect sources related to university operations including commuting, air travel, waste emissions, etc. The current GHG inventory does not consider Scope 3 emissions.