Emory identifies sustainability as a top priority, and the Office of Sustainability Initiatives leads our environmental efforts with programs to educate students, faculty and staff about sustainable practices. The university works to be a regional leader in reducing consumption and a national leader among higher education by setting and meeting ambitious targets.
We assess how well we're doing by using environmental, economic and social impact measures. We share our progress on the Sustainability Dashboard.
The campus features a unique ecosystem, history and culture, and the interactive Sustainability Map encourages community members to enjoy this special place.
Green Buildings, Green Campus
The university has one of the largest inventories by square footage of LEED-certified building space among U.S. campuses: nearly 2 million square feet, or about 35 football fields' worth. All construction projects are designed to meet a minimum of "silver" LEED certification.
A U.S. Green Building Council initiative, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design progam promotes environmentally friendly design practices. This means we're saving water and energy, enjoying improved air quality, and utilizing more recycled, local or rapidly renewable building materials in more of its dorms, classrooms, labs and offices.
And since 2003, university policy has required "no net loss of forest canopy" on campus, ensuring removed trees are replaced to maintain the same green space ratio overall.
Think Globally, Eat Locally
Emory's dining facilities are working toward the ambitious goal of getting three-quarters of the food they serve from local or sustainably grown sources by 2015. The campus hosts a farmers market in season.
Students, faculty and staff can get first-hand knowledge about what it takes to produce food by helping to maintain sustainable gardens sprinkled around campus.
"You have the power: Don't use it"
Five highly-used buildings, including the Robert W. Woodruff Library and the Woodruff P.E. Center, are currently being retrofitted to improve energy and water efficiency. The project to improve more than 1 million square feet of space is expected to pay for itself through utility savings within just a few years.
Friendly energy-conservation competitions get the community involved at an everyday level as the university works to reduce energy use 25 percent per square foot by 2015 from 2005 levels.
The university is also doing its part to help the region conserve water: metro Atlanta relies on the smallest single watershed in the nation, a point driven close to home just recently by severe drought. Rainwater cisterns, low-flow shower heads and humidity-capturing technology are just a few of the tools Emory is using to cut its water consumption.
Emory Recycles works to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills, as the university seeks to recycle 65 percent of its waste by 2015.
Each month, some 240,000 faculty, students and staff ride the alternatively fueled "Cliff" shuttle system, which powers half its fleet on biodiesel made out of recycled cooking oil from Emory's kitchens.