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April 9, 2016

Emory’s new 2015-2025 vision for sustainability builds upon ten years of work and accomplishments by dedicated faculty, staff and students. In 2004, Emory adopted sustainability as a guiding principle and inscribed it into the 2005-2015 Strategic Plan. Since that time, the university has become known for innovations in green building, curriculum development, sustainable food procurement, and energy and water conservation. This progress built on important efforts that include robust academic programs in sustainability-related fields, establishment of the University Senate’s Committee on the Environment, Emory Recycles, the No Net Loss of Forest Canopy policy, the commitment to LEED construction standards, and the campus land use classification plan. Key institutional structures are now in place: the Office of Sustainability Initiatives, the Faculty Advisory Council, the Sustainable Food Committee, the Sustainability in Health Sciences Taskforce, a Sustainability Representatives program in over fifty campus buildings, and the Sustainability Forum that coordinates over a dozen student groups related to sustainability. Together with active partnerships in Campus Services, Purchasing, Campus Life and Dining, and all the academic units, Emory has seen dramatic progress, detailed in part in the 2015 Annual Report.

Other highlights include that Emory has:

•Built or renovated over 28 buildings to LEED standards.

•Met the goal of reducing campus energy use per square foot by 25% from 2005 levels, with over $25 million in costs avoided.

• Created the Cliff shuttle system that runs on biofuel made from hospital and campus used cooking oil and transports millions of riders annually.

• Diverted 95% of construction waste from landfills and currently diverts over 40% of non-construction and non-hazardous waste.

• Built a new WaterHub facility that will reduce potable water consumption as much as 40% and save the university millions in water utility costs over a 20-year period.

• Created or renovated over 300 courses that engage sustainability issues (offered in 57% of all academic departments across the university) and developed two minors related to sustainability.

• Inaugurated the Oxford College Organic Farm to provide healthy food to the Oxford and Atlanta dining halls, to CSA subscribers, and to a Newton County food pantry.

• Created thriving educational garden project, student-run fair trade coffee shop, and weekly Emory farmers market.

• Developed multi-focused sustainability efforts in Emory Healthcare, including waste and energy reduction; Emory University Hospital Midtown alone has decreased its energy consumption by over 30% per square foot since 2009.

In the next ten years, Emory seeks to amplify this momentum, which can be seen in the new Sustainability Vision for 2015-2025. The vision will be reviewed after five years and modified, if necessary, to ensure that the vision remains relevant, responsive and on-target to our fast-changing world.


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