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Going Green: Can You Guess Which Business Schools Lead the Way?

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Earlier this month, the Global Hub at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management earned LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification, becoming only the second building on the Northwestern campus to earn the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest green building rating.

The 415,000-square-foot Global Hub, which opened in March 2017, was designed with a low carbon footprint in mind. It is the largest of Northwestern’s 12 LEED-certified buildings. “Achieving LEED Platinum certification for the Global Hub underscores Kellogg’s strong commitment to sustainability,” Kellogg Chief Operating Officer William Garrett said in a press release. “A world-class facility demands world-class practices, and the Global Hub checks all of the boxes: It minimizes its carbon footprint, is comfortable and healthy for its occupants, and encourages collaboration and a sense of community.”

The building is a marvel of modern architecture and design. It taps into geothermal energy systems underneath the ground for efficient heating and cooling and uses nearly 6,000 fixtures of LED lighting to reduce energy use. The building also has an advanced ventilation system to circulate fresh ar and uses daylight sensors to minimize the need for artificial lighting.

Overall, the Global Hub earned 85 out of a possible 110 points on the LEED scale, including:

  • 26 out of 35 points for energy and atmosphere,
  • 7 out of 14 points for materials and resources,
  • 8 out of 10 points for water efficiency,
  • 23 out of 26 points for location,
  • 11 out of 15 points for indoor environmental quality, and
  • 10 out of 10 points for the design process and regional priority categories.

“We are proud to have successfully integrated best-in-class sustainability with a stunning architectural design, proving that excellence in design and sustainability are not mutually exclusive,” said Bonnie Humphrey, director of design for facilities.

Of course, Kellogg isn’t the only business school to embrace environmentally conscious building practices for its new facilities. It’s a practice we’re seeing across the board at various top schools.

For example, Harvard Business School has a Sustainability Plan that was adopted in October 2014 to reduce greenhouse gases, improve energy efficiency, reduce water usage and waste, and more. Already, the university has cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 49 percent, its energy use by 33 percent, and its water use by four percent.

MIT Sloan School of Management’s newest building, the Joan and William A Porter 1967 Center for Management Education, also known as E62, was designed with energy efficiency in mind as well. Among its sustainable features are light-sensitive window shades, a green roof, and an irrigation system that minimizes water use by responding to changes in weather.

And not to be left out, UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business designed its recently constructed Chou Hall to become the nation’s greenest academic building. In addition to LEED Platinum certification, Chou Hall was designed to attain WELL certification, an added accolade given to buildings that promote user health and well-being. Toward this goal, its design includes rainwater cisterns and 24,300 square feet of exterior windows in addition to efficient heating, cooling, and lighting systems.  

Kelly Vo
Kelly Vo is a writer who specializes in covering MBA programs, digital marketing, and topics related to personal development. She has been working in the MBA space for the past four years in research, interview, and writing roles.