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Emory University students expect a college experience that integrates sustainability into every aspect of campus life. Find resources, events and opportunities to learn, lead and live a sustainable life — today and tomorrow.

The Sustainable Lifestyle at Emory


Helpful Documents and Links for Current and Prospective Students

Title Initiative Type Description
“Going Into a Place of Beauty:” Forest Preservation and Restoration at Emory by Whitney EastonDocuments & ReportsEach year meant a little bit more of attraction for me for the Emory campus. The plantings originally for the campus as it was laid out, were rather interesting and certainly attractive. The driveway, for example, that came up from North Decatur Road -- then a single road, by the way, wound through woods and over the bridges and on out -- was bordered with flowering shrubs and some evergreens.
Carbon, Climate, and Co-Generation: A History of Emory University’s Energy and Climate Commitments by Katelyn BoisvertDocuments & ReportsEnergy is very important on a college campus, and Emory is no exception. As Georgia Power’s sixth largest customer, Emory uses a lot of energy to power classrooms, residence halls, and chiller and steam plants, along with other aspects of campus. Emory is making great strides, however, toward energy conservation and reduction.
Climate Action Plan for Emory School of LawDocuments & Reports
Climate Action Plan for Emory University Rollins School of Public HealthDocuments & Reports
Constructing a Movement, One Building at a Time: The History of Green Buildings at Emory University by Micah HahnDocuments & ReportsAn analysis of sustainability movements across U.S. university campuses identified the common thread of the 3 Cs of social movements: catalyst, consensus, and commitment (Barlett and Chase 2004). Although each of the Cs came at a different point in the sustainability movement and originated from a different source at each university, the general trend was the same across all campuses. For example, at Illinois Wesleyan University, the sustainability movement began with a student petitioning for recycling bins on campus and was bolstered by the addition of an Environmental Sciences faculty hire and a conference on curriculum development.
Courses Approved for the Sustainability Minor – Spring 2018Documents & ReportsCourses Approved for the Sustainability Minor – Spring 2018
Emory Sustainability Vision and Strategic Plan for 2015-2025Documents & ReportsOur vision for Emory is to be a model of transformative practices and sustainable choices at every level. From the copy room to the operating room, from the class room to the residence hall—among academic units, healthcare units, and operational units—Emory will more deeply engage the challenges of sustainability and expand our leadership in higher education.
Emory University 2018 Waste Policy FAQsDocuments & ReportsThe Emory Waste Policy was developed by Emory’s Waste Think Thank, made up of experts in a variety of Emory departments, and is supported by the President’s Leadership Council, the University Senate, and unit Deans. The policy is being jointly implemented by Campus Services and the Office of Sustainability Initiatives.
Emory University Climate Action PlanDocuments & ReportsClimate change is perhaps the greatest challenge to confront humanity in our lifetime, with the well-being of billions of people at risk. Emory University created a climate action plan adopted in 2011 to guide the University toward carbon reduction goals.
Emory University Waste Management PolicyDocuments & ReportsEmory’s vision is to be a model of transformative practices and sustainable choices at every level. Given Emory University’s 2025 Sustainability Vision and commitment to divert 95% of its waste from municipal landfills, this University-wide policy establishes those infrastructure and behavioral changes necessary to achieve this goal.
Emory’s History of Waste Diversion and Recycling by Amelia HowellDocuments & ReportsOn average, the world produces 1.3 billion tons of waste per year (Los Angeles Times 2016). The US is a leading contributor of waste, producing 254 million tons of waste in 2013 alone. The US is followed by China, which has a population four times the size and produced 190 million tons that year (Los Angeles Times 2016).
Energy Building Use 2015-2017, Documents & Reports
General Sustainability & Social Justice Incentives Fund Application, 2018-2019FormsThe Office of Sustainability Initiatives Incentives Funds support research, campus-based projects, and the development of new rituals to promote sustainability on Emory's campuses. Creative proposals are welcomed that seek new knowledge, support new behavior patterns, and foster cultural change. Faculty, staff, and students from Emory University and Emory Healthcare are eligible to apply. Projects that are centered on the social justice facets of sustainability or highlight the social justice impacts of their project or research are encouraged to apply. Applications are now open and will be accepted until September 30, 2018, after which a committee will review submissions in October.
Greenspace at Emory: Finding the Balance by Orli HendlerDocuments & ReportsWhen Henry Hornbostel designed the first campus plan for Emory University’s Atlanta campus in 1915, he envisioned a “campus in a forest” (Sustainability Visioning Committee 2016: 6). Today, Emory’s campus sprawls over 1,000 acres between the campuses in Atlanta and Oxford. About 56% of that land is forested area, much of it protected (Exterior Services Department 2016; Master Plan Steering Committee 2005).
History of Sustainability at Emory-Alternative Transportation by Andrew M FooteDocuments & ReportsWith an outstanding undergraduate college of arts and sciences, highly ranked professional schools, state of the art research facilities, and award winning employee programs, Emory University has emerged as a destination university and only looks to improve. More than 43,000 people visit the North Atlanta campus daily and many of those are irregular and unplanned visits due to the hospital located on campus. Yet being located in a populated and the hilly suburb of Atlanta, Emory has historically been faced with space limitations.
How to Recycle and Compost at Emory UniversityVideos
Idling Reduction Policy, Documents & ReportsAs part of Emory's Sustainability Initiatives, we have developed an idling reduction policy for Emory University that provides operating guidelines for Emory University vehicles and all service and delivery vehicles and freight carriers operating on Emory University property.
Institutionalization of Change: A History of Emory University’s Office of Sustainability Initiatives by Kristen KaufmanDocuments & ReportsAs planet Earth and its inhabitants face an increasingly uncertain and problematic future, a dialogue has evolved around the human actions that can either perpetuate or reverse patterns of unsustainability at various scales from the individual to the global. Large institutions have become important facilitators for positive change, as they often have multiple inner communities, functions, structures, and access to a numerous and diverse population of people. As places where new ideas can grow, institutions of higher education are no exception and share the responsibility of action and innovation in economic, social, and environmental sustainability.
New Student Sustainability GuideThis is a collection of resources for new students to quick learn about waste management, transportation, sustainable food, academic opportunities, engagement and much more.
Stormwater Management and Water Conservation at Emory University by Kelly EndresDocuments & ReportsToday, universities have emerged as global leaders in realizing the importance of sustainability. These institutions raise awareness of the negative impacts human actions have on our world, and foster sustainable cultures and mindsets while providing the resources required for sustained environmentally beneficial change. However, universities do not achieve such status automatically—it takes extensive efforts on several fronts to create lasting change.
Sustainability in Campus Life: The Changing of Behavior by Jamie NadlerDocuments & ReportsIn the first Sustainability Strategic Plan for Emory, which was developed in 2006, the vision committee identified the goal that “participants in the Emory community will be ambassadors for the principles of sustainable living and a healthful future, both here and elsewhere.” This vision identifies that part of Emory’s intention is to cultivate and develop sustainability practices and connections through the individuals—both students and employees—at Emory. Furthermore, the hope is that these new sustainable living habits would continue through their Emory experience and beyond.
Sustainability Minor at Emory University BrochureDocuments & ReportsThe prevailing theoretical model of sustainability defines it as the intersection of the social, the environmental, and the economic. Sustainability thus implies a radical interdisciplinary of the kind generally hailed as the academic model of the future.
Sustainable Food Purchasing Guidelines, Documents & ReportsEmory University’s strategic planning efforts include commitment to a more sustainable food system for our campuses and hospitals. Food service staff and companies working at Emory utilize these purchasing guidelines in order to buy and serve more local and sustainable food.
Sustainable Healthcare at Emory University by Lauren BalotinDocuments & ReportsJames Wagner, who served as Emory University’s president from 2003 until 2016, recounts that during his time as president, he witnessed Emory accept sustainability as one of its core values: "The agenda that presented itself was... to move [sustainability] from sort of a moral preference to a moral obligation—that is, to incorporate sustainability as one of the principles of the university… That was one of the accomplishments that I hope sticks around—moving sustainability from an aspiration to a commitment, if you will."
Teaching the Future: Academic Infusion of Sustainability at Emory by Meggie StewartDocuments & ReportsSuccessfully instilling higher education with sustainability issues is becoming more urgent as universities realize their responsibility to set an example for the rest of society. Global climate change is a universal issue of rising importance that will need to be solved by the young leaders attending universities today. Students, staff, and faculty of Emory University have increasing opportunities to participate in interdisciplinary classes, research projects, and co-curricular groups all with the goal of furthering sustainability-related knowledge and practices at Emory.
Temperature Policy FAQsDocuments & ReportsStandardizing temperatures will save energy, especially during spring and fall when we can increase the use of outside air. A significant way to accomplish this is to standardize temperatures throughout campus buildings.
The Sparks of Sustainable Energy by Mona PatelDocuments & ReportsEmory University’s history dates back to 1837 when the first Board of Trustees “accepted land belonging to the Manual Labor School on which to situate the ‘contemplated college’ and the proposed new town they would call Oxford.” 1 Quite a bit has changed on campus and within Atlanta since the early 1800s to the present day. And although change has been welcomed and provided the Atlanta community and university with expanded opportunities, the growth and expansion has also forced the city of Atlanta and Emory to make tradeoffs—tradeoffs of open and green space for buildings, loss of plants and vegetation for more roads, and increased smog from decisions to accommodate more cars.
WaterHub Awards List (2015-2018)Documents & ReportsA comprehensive list of all Water Hub awards and achievements from 2015 to 2018.