Big 10 & Friends Sustainability Network

The purpose of the Big Ten & Friends Sustainability Network is to create a community of practice for sustainability professionals and partners in institutions who share the common challenges, unique opportunities and particular interests of a large, complex, multi-site research university to further sustainability at member institutions and in higher education more broadly.

Big Ten and Friends is an Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Affiliate Group.

Member Institutions:


University of Illinois – Chicago

University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign

Northwestern University


Indiana University

Notre Dame

Purdue University


Iowa State University

University of Iowa

University of Northern Iowa


University of Maryland


Grand Valley State University

Michigan State University

University of Michigan

Wayne State University


University of Minnesota


University of Nebraska

New Jersey

Rutgers University


The Ohio State University


Penn State University


University of Wisconsin – Madison

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Current Co-Chairs

Please reach out to the co-chairs with questions on membership, next meeting date, or other needs

Lydia Vandenberg | Associate Director of Employee Engagement and Education, Sustainability Institute | Pennsylvania State University |

Makayla Bonney | Director, Sustain IU | Indiana University |

Network Goals & Objectives

  • Share best practices and “next” practices

  • Collaborate on benchmarking aimed at improving and bringing rigor to our work

  • Grow our leadership and management competencies through trainings and hosted speakers

  • Engage in collaborative efforts such as in purchasing that achieve both business and environmental/social outcomes

  • Provide a unified voice of the critical, mission-relevant nature of sustainability in higher education through events, publications, and advocacy

Recent Committee Work and Meeting Topics

  • Implementing Reusable To-Go Containers

  • Sustainable Procurement

  • Sustainable Beverage Contracts

  • Diversity, Equity, & Justice in Campus Sustainability