A long-standing commitment to sustainable growth

Emory’s sustainability achievements are nationally-recognized. Emory is among the top ten most sustainable universities in the nation, according to AASHE’s 2017 Sustainable Campus Index. Since the Office of Sustainability Initiatives was founded in 2006, it has garnered a lengthy list of accolades. Most recently, the WaterHub won the 2018 IDEA Innovation Award for its impressive water reclamation and reuse.

  • Professor Woolford Baker comes to Emory and becomes the first guardian of Emory’s forests.
1919
  • Professors W.H. Murdy and M.E.B. Carter authors an assessment that concluded Emory’s forests represent “a unique and valuable resource of scientific, educational, and aesthetic value.”
1986
  • Led by anthropology professor Peggy Bartlett, a group of faculty, staff, administrators, students and alumni creates an Ad Hoc Committee on Environmental Stewardship to foster a deeper engagement with sustainability issues.
1999
  • After a decade of assessment and action, the Ad Hoc Committee crafts an Environmental Mission Statement for the University. The effort becomes a platform to bring environmental issues to the forefront across campus.
  • Emory’s Whitehead Medical Research Building is designated as the first LEED certified building constructed in the Southeast.
  • Emory’s Board of Trustees formalizes a commitment to upholding LEED standards in all new building projects.
  • The Piedmont Project, a program designed to engage faculty in integrating sustainability across the curriculum and through research, launches University-wide.
2001
  • An energy conservation program is piloted in ten Emory College buildings; after communications efforts, electricity use went down 8 percent in the first year and 6.7 percent in the second year despite growth in faculty, staff and machines in some buildings.
2002
  • The Piedmont Project was expanded to include a one-day workshop for graduate students.
  • Emory adopted the Land Classification Plan, which set aside roughly half of Emory’s land as protected.
2004
  • Sustainability is established as a core commitment during university-wide strategic planning.
2005
2006
  • Emory University is recognized as the “Conservationist of the Year” by the Georgia Conservancy
2008
  • Princeton Review ranks Emory in the Top 11 Most Sustainable Campuses
2009
  • The League of American Bicyclists designates Emory a Bike Friendly Campus.
2010
2011
2012
2013
  • Emory once again receives a “Gold” rating in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System for leadership and innovation in sustainability from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.
  • Emory becomes the first university in the nation to adopt a comprehensive Pollinator Protection Policy that bans neonicotinoid application and pre-treated plants, enhances pollinator habitat, and educates about the importance of pollinators to healthy food systems and ecosystems.
2014
  • Emory celebrates 10 years of accomplishments under its 2015 Sustainability Vision
  • Emory is ranked #8 on the “Greenest Universities” List on BestColleges.com
2015
2016
  • Emory once again receives a “Gold” rating in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System for leadership and innovation in sustainability from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.
2017
  • Emory’s Druid Hills campus is annexed into the City of Atlanta’s boundaries.
  • Emory University adopts the Emory Waste Management Policy to move the campus toward its goal to divert 95% of its waste from municipal landfills.