April 9, 2016
Source: by: Remy Landon, Intern, Emory Office of Sustainability Initiatives

Introducing Emory’s New 10-year Sustainability Vision

On March 30th, the Sustainability Vision and Strategic Plan for 2015 – 2025 was officially approved by top Emory administrators. This new Vision sets the course for sustainability efforts at Emory for the next 10 years, building upon Emory’s first-ever Sustainability Vision from 2005 – 2015. The new Vision deepens many of the commitments made in the past Vision, such as energy use reduction, landfill waste diversion, and sustainable and local food procurement, while also emphasizing new goals related to culture change and community partnerships.
Work on the new Vision began in fall 2014, when the Visioning Committee was officially appointed by Provost Claire Sterk and Executive Vice President Mike Mandl. A community conversation on the draft Vision occurred in summer and fall of 2015; numerous organizations and departments on campus were consulted individually and a campus-wide online survey was disseminated via email, inviting any member of the Emory community to review and comment on the draft Vision. The community conversation resulted in 208 suggestions on the draft, a majority of which were incorporated into the updated Vision. After several rounds of revisions and approvals, Emory is pleased to present the final version that has been approved by the University Senate, Council of Deans, and Administrative Council, and is available to the Emory community and the public now.

The Vision is composed of four strategic action arenas:
I.Support culture change among academic, healthcare, and operational units to carry forward courageous action on sustainability.
II.Expand the network of sustainability champions to strengthen leadership at every level.
III.Use Emory landscape, buildings, and operations to model sustainable choices.
IV.Create strategic partnerships with local, national, and international institutions to build flourishing and resilient communities.

Some of the wide-ranging goals within these areas include integrating sustainability more fully into decision-making processes across schools and departments, expanding rail and bus/shuttle service to campus, exploring more renewable energy options with Georgia Power or other utilities, and increasing food security in the Atlanta region through alliances with area partners. Emory also notably aims to support local businesses that make sustainable choices by developing scorecards for “Emory preferred” practices and decisions, as well as to support campus-based sustainability research activities with a data hub and interdisciplinary laboratory for action research projects.

“We are excited about this new chapter of sustainability at Emory, and looking forward to developing partnerships with other institutions to realize our collective goals for a more sustainable and healthy community,” says Ciannat Howett, director of Emory’s Office of Sustainability Initiatives.

Note: This article is a second update to an article published in the November CCP newsletter about the draft Vision. To view that article, click here.

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