Sustainable North Lake

​​North Lake encourages a culture of community stewardship. Our goal across campus is to promote success, wellness and conservation.

North Lake’s vision for sustainability is to serve as a leader in a network of individuals and organizations for economic, environmental and societal sustainability. Working with community partners, we continually enhance and develop our curriculum, policies and workforce initiatives to meet the challenges of our future together.

Campus Green Buildings, Landscape and Gardens

Energy efficiency and green building design is a priority for North Lake and includes three USGBC-LEED certified buildings on the campus and our fourth LEED building to open in 2021 at the Construction Sciences Center. We aim to reduce energy consumption by 5% annually. Sustainable landscape around our buildings helps to support habitat for pollinators like monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) and Texas purple martins (Progne subis). We continue to expand native and adaptive plants and trees to support pollinators and the changing climate. North Lake is home to the Dr. Yolanda Romero Community Garden, a vegetable garden that serves as a gathering place for diverse students and community members.

Sustainability Awareness and Global Education

Participate in Texas' first emphasis track in sustainability to “green” and “globalize” any degree program offered at North Lake. SAGE means Sustainability Awareness and Global Education. SAGE-designated courses include global sustainability topics. Students receive an honorary green cord for graduation after completing courses with sustainability assignments, volunteer service activities and any associate degree. SAGE-designated courses are available in more than 20 subjects in topics areas of sustainable economy, sustainable environment, sustainable society and global citizenship. Designated SAGE courses are available in subjects across areas of business, fine arts, humanities, liberal arts and sciences, technology, engineering and math.

Learning Sustainability Through Field Studies and Living Labs

North Lake offers unique field studies programs in Hawaii and the Texas Gulf Coast for students, both science majors and non-science majors, to explore the world with conservation in mind. Professors of the field studies programs have assignments that use the campus as a learning laboratory, allowing students to participate in greening the campus and building a more sustainable community. This includes several outdoor classrooms on and off the campus, such as the Living Learning Garden, Butterfly Garden, Dr. Yolanda Romero Community Garden, the Irving ISD Elise Walker Outdoor Learning Center, Coppell Nature Park, Cedar Ridge Preserve, Port Aransas and Mustang Island, Kauai Island and the Big Island of Hawaii.

More About Sustainable North Lake Initiatives

  • Recycling and Reuse
  • Tree Conservation
  • Campus Earth Week
  • Green Purchasing
  • Cease the Grease
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative
  • Climate Action Plan
  • Common Book Initiative
  • Leadership Awards
  • Virtual Sustainability Library


Brandon Morton

  • Office for Sustainability and Programs