Sustainable Events

Greener gatherings

Sustainable Events Highlights

Whether a casual staff gathering or our annual Commencement, Emory is committed to hosting events responsibly to align with our ambitious goals of reducing waste, conserving water and sourcing food sustainably.

All University events will be Zero Landfill Waste by 2025.

All University functions will be plastic bottle free by 2025.

Sustainable Events Benefits

Campus events are one of the most visible ways we can demonstrate our commitment to sustainability to the broader community. Participating in the Sustainable Events Certification program provides access to guidance on sustainable event planning, recognition for your efforts, and an opportunity to win a $100 Emory Catering gift card each year! Congratulations to the 2023 Sustainable Events raffle winners!

  • Ella Pollard, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program
  • Tammy Camfield, Oxford College Advancement and Alumni Engagement


How It Works

  • Emory’s Sustainable Events Certification helps event planners and organizers create events that support Emory’s sustainability vision by reducing environmental and social impacts.
  • Emory Catering, the choice vendor for event and meeting catering on campus, complies with Sustainable Event Zero Landfill Waste certification requirements by supplying and utilizing catering materials that can all be composted or recycled in Emory’s waste streams.
  • America to Go is a collection of Emory preferred caterers. These caterers that comply with Emory’s zero landfill waste requirements are labeled with an icon so that event planners can make informed choices. Using America to Go caterers also ensures that Emory’s health code and fair wage requirements are met.

Each year OSI hosts a Sustainable Events Symposium in partnership with University Events, Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory Catering, and America to Go. The symposium in 2020 attracted approx. 50 attendees who browsed catering samples from Emory Catering,  Zoe’s Kitchen, Affairs to Remember, and Panera Bread.

Dr. Sharon Bergquist was the keynote speaker, presenting on Food as Medicine: The Power of Plant-Based Nutrition. Dr. Bergquist is a Rollins Senior Distinguished Clinician and an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. She serves as Medical Director of Emory’s Executive Health program and leads the research program at the Paul W. Seavey Comprehensive Internal Medicine Clinic. She also founded and directs Emory Lifestyle Medicine and Wellness, which promotes a self-healing mind-body approach to medicine.

Please view Dr. Bergquist’s slides to learn about how plant-forward diets are better both for human health and for the planet!

Thanks to all who attended this year. We hope to see you next year!