The recognition of student and young professional sustainability and environmental efforts is at the heart of the NWF EcoLeaders Online Community. Students and Young Professionals have long been the catalysts for change on their campuses and in their communities and the NWF EcoLeaders Program seeks to bring national attention to and honor the important work emerging leaders are doing.  

For college and university students advancing sustainability on campus or in the community

Become a Campus EcoLeader

For pre or post-graduate young leaders advancing sustainability in the community

Become a Community EcoLeader



Resume Builder

Demonstrate to others (think prospective employers) your leadership and project management skills and abilities. Learn how

National Recognition

We love to recognize and share the stories of our certified NWF EcoLeaders wherever we can through our NWF Blog, social media, conferences and webinars, and more.

Priority Consideration for NWF Careers

Earning NWF EcoLeader Certification allows you to set yourself apart on NWF job applications.Check out current job openings

How it Works

how it works timeline
All projects much be hosted in the EcoLeader community to be eligible for certification.
Earning EcoLeader recognition involves completing a set of core requirements and earning a minimum of 25 leadership skill points.
If you’re applying for campus certification, you'll need to identify an endorser, this can be a professor, staff member, or mentor who has helped guide and support you throughout the course of your project or campaign.Campus Only
Once you have completed the core requirements and earned at least 25 elective leadership points, submit your form and the NWF EcoLeaders team will be notified and will confirm your application! Once you submit your application, please click the Payment button on the right to pay the $30.00 fee* for certification. 

*If you are interested in becoming a Certified EcoLeader but you do not have the financial resources, please contact us to discuss options.

Why NWF EcoLeader Certification?


Certification focuses on the applicant’s awareness and achievement of project-based leadership skills.


These are the competencies identified as critical indicators of success on all levels by the NWF Campus Ecology staff and volunteer leaders over more than 25 years.


Dozens of important programs and associations all across the US and beyond certify for technical knowledge, the EcoLeader Certification is unique in focusing on the leadership competencies that underlie effective application of more technical knowledge, including planning, team-building, assessing progress, and sharing lessons learned.


The EcoLeader Certification recognizes not just the theoretical understanding of these leadership competencies, but also encourages the deeper grounding gained through hands-on, experiential learning.


Employers across all industries indicate these project-based leadership skills are as important, and often even more important, than technical competencies in specific disciplines.  NWF gives preferential review to job applicants who have earned the EcoLeader credential and it is gaining esteem among employers in green industries across all sectors.

“There will be an increasing number of jobs available in the sustainability space because more and more companies will be looking for *a few* people to lead their global activities in this space, but the real actions are going to happen at the operational level, at the functional level, and those jobs – in marketing, in accounting, in engineering, in product development, manufacturing, They’re going to need those sustainability skills to be successful in those functions.”

David Talauskas
Director of Sustainability at General Motors

“In the EcoLeaders certification, there is a means to quantify leadership skills and actions that students have already taken. I think that could be a real asset on a resume and something that can definitely make a student stand apart." 

Hannah Debelius
Sustainability Manager, American University

Ready to earn certification?

You can start, save and return to filling out these forms as you are ready. CAMPUS ECOLEADER COMMUNITY ECOLEADER


Certified Campus EcoLeaders

Certified Community EcoLeaders