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Green Building/Green Space
Emory's LEED Gold certified Psychology and Interdisciplinary Sciences Building
Click on the links below to go to our Sustainability Dashboard.

Green Building
According to the Southface Energy Institute, the construction, operation and maintenance of buildings produce close to 48 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, making green building one of the most important things an institution can do to reduce its carbon footprint and impact on air quality. In 2001, Emory adopted the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards as a guiding principal in all new major construction projects. Currently, all construction projects must at a minimum meet LEED Silver Certification.

See how Emory's green buildings compare by viewing the dashboard.


Emory's LEED buildings
The University holds the distinction of having one of the largest inventories by square footage of LEED-certified building space among campuses in America. Many buildings on campus have attained LEED certification ranging from Certified to Gold levels, including the first certified Gold LEED-EB (existing building) in the country, the Goizueta Business School in 2004, and the first LEED-certified building constructed in the Southeast in 2000 (Whitehead Biomedical Research Building).

What is LEED building?
The LEED program was established by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) to promote environmentally friendly, whole building design practices. By establishing these standards for green building, the demand for materials and supplies that are resource-conscious will increase, thus causing manufacturers to respond with more green products in the market place. Designers are encouraged to think in new and different ways to help create buildings that will conserve energy, water, and the project site's natural environment.

LEED certified buildings meet certain high standards for indoor air quality, energy and water conservation. A percentage of the materials are recycled, renewable or locally-sourced materials.

Green Space
Emory University is a campus abundant with natural beauty, open spaces, trees and plant life. In fact, Emory's campus includes some of the most biodiverse forest inside Atlanta's I-285 perimeter. In 2004, Emory committed to:
  • Leave roughly half of the University's 700 acres of land undeveloped, supporting the protection of the Wesley Woods, Baker, and Lullwater forests.
  • Beginning in 2003, a University policy has required that campus land suffer "No-Net-Loss-of-Forest-Canopy," ensuring every time a tree is removed, trees be replanted to maintain the same forest canopy.

Lullwater Preserve
Right in the middle of Emory's campus, Lullwater Preserve offers acres of green space with trees, lawns and a lake for community members to enjoy. The estate is home to an English Tudor mansion where the University president lives with, by all appearances, at least 175 wildlife species as neighbors.

View the species list and the Lullwater Comprehensive Management Plan here.

Emory's Forest Management Plan
Emory is committed to restoring and maintaining the connectivity of Emory's forests, particularly the natural corridor along South Peachtree Creek from Wesley Woods, through Harwood Forest and the Lullwater Preserve, within the context of its Piedmont origins. Emory's Forest Management Plan outlines this effort.

Emory's Pollinator Protection Plan
In 2014, Emory University was the first campus in the nation to  adopt a pollinator protection plan, which educates the public about the critical issues facing pollinators locally and globally, bans the use of neonicotinoids - a group of pesticides believed to contribute to declines in pollinator species - on campus, and enhances pollinator habitats on campus. Learn more about it here.

Quick Links
Emory's Green Cleaning Policy

Campus Master Plan

United States Green Building Council

Emory University Environmental Mission Statement

Ad Hoc Committee on Environment Stewardship

Murdy-Carter Report on Forested Land of Emory University

Related Articles
Emory University Pollinator Pledge
Lullwater Comprehensive Management Plan
Lullwater Management Plan