Sustainability Initiatives

From waste minimization and energy efficiency to sustainable dining and well-being, Butler is committed to creating a healthy and sustainable campus environment. The below list highlights several primary campus efforts, but it’s not exhaustive, as Butler is continually making strides toward sustainability in each of these key areas.

Read on to learn about specific sustainability initiatives or take our virtual or in-person Sustainability Walking Tour. 

campus-wide efforts

Explore the specific policies, decisions, actions, and strategies we use to make a tangible difference in University sustainability practices.

blue recycle bin with white recycle symbol

Recycling, Composting, and Waste

Through policies adopted by Butler’s Operations/Facilities and Building Services departments, we’re reducing and diverting waste to lower our environmental impact.

Black male in white shirt with blue backpack on bicycle

Sustainable Transportation

In addition to promoting a walkable campus, we seek to minimize the use of vehicles through bike, bus, and ride-share programs.

Chef Chad serving food

Food & Dining

Butler is committed to sustainable, local, and ethically-sourced food. Learn more about some of our most notable efforts toward making our campus dining as green as possible.

farming vegetables and flowers

Sustainable Grounds

We’re shifting perspectives on how a college campus should look. From landscaping to habitat protection, we lead by example, starting with our physical location.

Front exterior of Dugan Hall, with bicycles parked outside

Energy & Green Buildings

Butler prioritizes building and managing campus infrastructure for reduced energy and environmental impacts. Seven Butler buildings have earned Gold certification by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), and Silver is the minimum standard for new projects.


By acknowledging and addressing solastalgia, eco-anxiety, and eco-grief, Butler aims to create a resilient and supportive community that collectively works towards a sustainable future.

Drone shot of Butler campus


Two of Butler’s purchasing policies are designed specifically to uphold the University’s commitment to sustainable procurement. Purchases are made with both sustainability and diversity in mind.

Woman at podium giving presentation through computer


Through the implementation of new technology strategies, Butler is decreasing computing energy use through smart systems management.

Water Use & Management

We’re reducing water consumption and managing stormwater runoff through the installation of water-saving devices, restroom renovations, and a green infrastructure project in partnership with the City of Indianapolis.

stone bulldog outside Atherton Union

Responsible Investment

We’re reimagining our investment portfolio for transparency and global impact. In 2023, Butler University leadership approved the Responsible Investing Task Force to advise on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues when making investment decisions.