LEED Silver is the minimum Butler standard for all new construction and major renovations, but Gold or higher is achieved when possible. Even small renovation projects on campus incorporate the LEED sustainability concepts. More information about LEED can be found here.

​As of 2019, Butler has seven LEED Gold buildings.

  • Pharmacy addition: Gold in 2010
  • Schrott: Gold in 2013
  • Hinkle Administration wing: Gold in 2016
  • Athletic annex: Gold in 2017
  • Fairview: Gold in 2017
  • Irvington: Gold in 2018
  • Lacy School of Business: Gold 2019

Butler University is a signatory of Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment, and strives to become carbon neutral by 2050. The Butler University Sustainability and Climate Action Plan (BUSCA) outlines goals and strategies to achieve this. Butler is also utilizing Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System reporting tool, and received the STARS Bronze rating in Spring 2017.


  • Butler contracts with Ray’s to compost pre-consumer (back of house) food waste at Atherton Dining Hall. Approximetly 800 pounds of food waste is hauled weekly.

Food Recovery Network:

  • Butler is a member of the Food Recovery Network—a student-led initiative to rescue excess prepared food from dining halls and sporting events and donate it to area shelters. Butler’s Food Recovery Network chapter rescues food two-three times weekly and works primarily with the Julian Center to coordinate donations. The organization received Butler’s prestigious Brady Award in April 2016 for outstanding student organization of the year.

Campus dining:

Bon Appetit operates dining services at Butler. As part of Bon Appetit’s organization mission, they focus on sustainability and wellness. Bellow are several Bon Appetit commitments:

  • Supporting local agriculture (with a defined purchasing target), since 1999
  • Striving to serve only seafood that meets Seafood Watch® sustainability guidelines for commercial buyers, since 2002
  • Reducing antibiotic use in farm animals (2003)
  • Serving rBGH-free milk (2003)
  • Switching to cage-free shell eggs (2005) and cage-free liquid eggs (2016)
  • Tackling food’s role in climate change (2007)
  • Addressing farmworkers’ rights (2009)
  • Switching to humanely raised ground beef (2012)
  • Phasing out pork raised with gestation crates (2016)
  • Banning plastic straws and stirrers company wide (by October 2019)


  • Butler construction standards specify that all new construction projects follow the lighting guidelines of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 189.1, which includes the utilization of high efficiency lighting and occupancy sensors whenever appropriate. All lighting is LED for new construction and renovation of existing buildings, hallways, or rooms, as well as for outdoor lighting projects. Occupancy sensors are gradually being integrated into common areas most likely to result in decreased electricity use (e.g., restrooms, hallways, labs, some classrooms, etc.). Recent projects adhering to the newly adopted building standards, such as of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences addition in 2009 and the construction of the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts in 2013, and Lacy School of Business in 2019.

On-campus stationary sources and HVAC:

  • Heating is provided via several high-efficiency water boilers located throughout campus. Water is chilled on-site to provide air-conditioning for most of the buildings on campus, either via the central chilled-water plant or within each individual building. All of the campus academic, administrative, and residence buildings are heated, while all but one of these buildings (Ross hall) are equipped with air conditioning. Butler construction and renovation standards specify high efficiency HVAC equipment for replacement and/or instillation. Recent projects, including the construction of the Lacy School of Business in 2019, have integrated dual-pane windows designed to reduce heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer by up to 50%. This saves energy previously expended on heating and air conditioning. In addition, individual offices and classrooms are equipped with VAV boxes and temperature control units, which allows occupants to respond to temperature concerns on a context-specific basis. While these units do not necessarily result in energy savings, their presence offers opportunities for encouraging and enacting positive sustainable behavior change.

Fume hoods:

  • Campus laboratories consume roughly twice the amount of energy as a standard office or administrative space. To reduce the electricity and natural gas needed to operate laboratories on campus, in 2011 Butler replaced the ducted fume hoods in four of its chemistry labs with ductless, filtered fume hoods. At the time, Butler had the largest application of the technology in the United States. Prior to this renovation, Butler’s physical sciences building (Gallahue Hall), had approximately 49 constant volume ducted fume hoods, which exhaust a constant amount of air at all times. This resulted in 66,000 cubic feet per meter of air annually. The chemistry teaching labs renovation replaced 10 of these fume hoods with 27 green fume hood technology. Green fume hoods use a new filtering technology that allows the exhaust from the fume hoods to be filtered and recirculated back into the lab. Since the indoor air is permitted to remain within the laboratories, temperature within the building can be maintained without additional heating or cooling. As a result, the total building cubic-feet-per-meter required for fume hood exhaust was reduced from 66,000 to approximately 45,200 cubic-feet-per-meter—a 31 percent reduction.

University appliances:

  • All University appliances must be Energy StarTM rated. These appliances are estimated to consume 10 to 50 percent less electricity than standard appliances.

The Farm at Butler: 

  • Located on an acre of land near the I-lot and intramural fields, the Farm at Butler concept arose in 2009 from student interest in local organic foods, sustainability, environmental justice, and food security through the student organization Earth Charter Butler. The Farm began its first harvest in spring 2010 and hired its first full-time farm manager in fall 2011. Since then, the farm has tripled in size and diversified its crops to include perennial plants such as fruit trees, berries, and herbs.
  • In May 2011, the Bee Club introduced honeybees to the farm to better facilitate healthy pollination.
  • The Farm sells its harvest to Bon Appetit, Butler’s dining service provider.
  • Through education and volunteer programs at the farm, Butler students, K-12 school students, and community members are able to gain valuable insight into sustainable food production.


  • Butler is a Tree Campus USA University and a Gold Level Conservation Champion—the highest level of landscape conservation management identified by the Indiana Wildlife Federation. Butler has implemented strategies that infiltrate rainwater on campus. Butler completed a “Complete Streets” green infrastructure project in cooperation with the City of Indianapolis that captures storm water runoff from the Hinkle Fieldhouse parking lot via a rain garden filled with native plants. Bike lanes along the adjacent road also help filter storm water with pervious pavement. More detailed information about Butler’s landscaping methods can be found in the Sustainable Landscaping Plan.

Two of Butler’s purchasing policies are designed specifically to uphold the University’s commitment to sustainable procurement: the Butler Way Construction Specifications and Guidelines and the Butler University Green Cleaning Policy (Appendix B). Some notable standards enumerated within these two policies include:

  • ​Energy Star purchasing for all new appliances.
  • Regional priority (within 500 miles) for construction, restoration, and maintenance goods and services.
  • Filtered water bottle-filling stations for all new water fountains.
  • All of the carpeting and furniture meets Cradle-to-Cradle certification standards.
  • Every cleaning product employed by custodial and maintenance staff meets one of the standards set by either the EPA or the independent nonprofit certification company, Green Seal, Inc.

Over the past several years, Butler has implemented a number of strategies focused on increasing the energy efficiency of its computing practices. The vast majority of these strategies have centered on improvements to servers and University desktops. More than 80% of Butler’s servers are now virtual, further reducing the costs necessary to operate University technology. Solid-state storage devices, blade servers, and storage virtualization have also furthered the reduction of electricity used in traditional data centers. More than 100 computers throughout campus have been replaced by Zero Client computers, reducing the electricity consumed by each unit to one-third of that a standard desktop computer. The Butler Data Center, which opened in 2009, recycles much of the heat generated by its servers and other equipment for reuse elsewhere in the building while using high voltage power distribution to improve efficiency.


The Butler campus is a great size for getting around by bicycle. There are nearly 100 bike racks spread out around campus for convenience. Bringing your own bike to campus is highly encouraged. Register your bike for free with the Butler University Police Department for added security. The BUPD station is located at 525 W. Hampton Drive at the southeast corner of Hampton Drive and Sunset Avenue. The campus is linked to Indianapolis’ two most frequented bicycle and pedestrian trails through the Central Canal Towpath: the Indianapolis Cultural Trail and the Monon Trail. This allows the campus cyclist community safe access to the City of Indianapolis.


IndyGo can get you there. They operate 31 bus routes throughout Indianapolis, providing nearly 10 million passenger trips a year. Along with the opening of the Julia M. Carson Transit Center in downtown Indianapolis two IndyGo routes (18 & 28) were modified to serve the Butler Campus directly with convenient stops along Sunset Avenue.

  • IndyGo S-passes (1 month) are available in the Student Involvement and Leadership office for $30
  • Use Google Maps to plan your trip with the IndyGo trip-planner.
  • IndyGo now has real-time arrival information.
  • Visit indygo.net for more information.


Butler has partnered with Uber, an on-demand private driving app, to offer a safe, alternative transportation option to and from campus. New users to Uber can use promo code BUTLER101 to receive $20 off their first ride. Need information on how to use Uber? It’s simple:

  • Use the iPhone or Android app, or visit m.uber.com to request a ride.
  • Sit back and relax. Uber will text you when the vehicle arrives.
  • When your trip ends, Uber will auto-charge your credit card and email you a receipt.
  • Share the fare! Fare split rides with friends for an even more cost-effective way to get around!

Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle:

  • The first step to reduce waste is to Refuse Waste. Try to avoid single-use products, especially plastic which is difficult to recycle. Instead of purchasing water in plastic bottles and coffee in disposable Starbucks cups, use reusable water bottles and coffee mugs. There are filtered water bottle filling stations throughout campus.
  • If you must use a single-use product, reduce how frequently you purchase those items to reduce the waste produced.
  • Attempt to reuse the waste that you produce. For example, clean out single-use items and utilize them as storage containers or refill plastic water bottles at water filling stations.
  • If you cannot reuse the waste, recycle it at one of the recycling bins across campus.

Recycled waste:

  • Butler University utilizes a single-stream recycling program that recycles all paper products, plastics #1 and #2, aluminum, and glass. Items are collected at more than 90 recycle stations located throughout various campus building hallways and outdoors.
  • Items put into recycling bins must be empty and clean. Drinks must be dumped out prior to recycling and food containers must go to waste if dirty. For example, pizza boxes with grease are not recyclable.
  • Certain items such as plastic wrappers or napkins cannot be recycled. Make sure you know how to recycle correctly.
  • Butler’s Building Services collects used batteries, light fixtures and ballasts, empty toner cartridges, laptops, tablet batteries, and electronic cabling from offices, departments, and residence halls on an as-needed basis and recycles them.
  • Dedicated University staff coordinate opportunities for writing utensil recycling and office supply donations. All usable items are donated to Teacher’s Treasures.

Battery recycling:

To recycle batteries, please interoffice mail them to Tim Downs, Service Center Room 118/Operations.

Salvaging, repurposing, and reusing:

Through policies adopted by Butler’s Operations/Facilities and Building Services departments, the University is able to save materials that would be sent to the landfill:

  • As required by LEED for new construction and renovations, 90% of construction debris is diverted from landfills, including scrap metal, bricks, and old/unused wood.
  • Used and outdated furniture is donated to Indianapolis’s local branch of the St. Vincent DePaul Catholic Charitable Organization.
  • Any usable older computers, printers, fax machines, copiers, and monitors are sold through Christy’s Auction House.
  • All landscaping waste is kept out of campus waste receptacles.
  • All old carpeting removed during building renovation is recycled.
  • Hinkle Fieldhouse seats were salvaged during the renovation project and sold to the public.

Butler’s campus consumed 61,415,288 gallons of potable water in 2011. Approximately 12.1% of this total was expended through campus irrigation. To reduce the potable water consumed by the campus community, Butler installs low-flow water-saving devices for all new construction and restroom renovations including low- flow urinals and faucets.. These are estimated to reduce the amount of water consumed by each unit by 87.5 percent. Standard shower heads also have been replaced with low-flow shower heads in the Apartment Village residence complex and the LEED Gold College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences addition constructed in 2009.