A long-standing commitment to sustainable growth

Emory is among the top 26 Most Sustainable Research Universities in the Nation, according to AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking and Rating System (STARS). Although the Office of Sustainability Initiatives was only founded in 2006, Emory has a long history of nationally-recognized sustainability achievements.

  • Emory signed an MOU with The Conservation Fund’s Working Farms Fund to break down barriers and support next-generation farmers across metro Atlanta
  • The Georgia Recycling Coalition recognized Emory’s recycling program with its Spirit of Green Award
  • The U.S. Green Building Council awarded Emory’s new Student Center with LEED Platinum Certification and Emory’s Hospital Tower LEED Silver Certification
  • Emory gained Top Performer status for several years running in the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge
  • Emory once again receives a “Gold” rating in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System for leadership and innovation in sustainability from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
  • Emory becomes the first university in the nation to adopt a comprehensive Pollinator Protection Policy that bans neonicotinoid application and pre-treated plants, enhances pollinator habitats, and educates about the importance of pollinators to healthy food systems and ecosystems
  • The Oxford College Organic Farm breaks ground under the guidance of Daniel Parson. The Farm begins providing local, organically-grown product to the Emory and wider community
  • Emory’s Green Office and Green Lab programs are formed to make office and lab space more sustainable
  • Emory’s Office of Sustainability Initiatives begins an incentives fund, which offers small grants to Emory community members to inspire innovations in sustainability
  • An energy conservation program is piloted in ten Emory College buildings; after communications efforts, electricity use went down 8 percent in the first year and 6.7 percent in the second year despite growth in faculty, staff and machines in some buildings
  • After a decade of assessment and action, the Ad Hoc Committee crafts an Environmental Mission Statement for the University. The effort becomes a platform to bring environmental issues to the forefront across campus
  • Emory’s Whitehead Medical Research Building is designated as the first LEED-certified building constructed in the Southeast
  • Emory’s Board of Trustees formalizes a commitment to upholding LEED standards in all new building projects
  • The Piedmont Project, a program designed to engage faculty in integrating sustainability across the curriculum and through research, launches University-wide
  • Emory begins to recycle aluminum, colored paper, and glass with BOBO collectors that were first funded by the student government and remained in place for fifteen years
  • Emory’s first Stormwater Management Plan is adopted and becomes one of the first official University documents addressing sustainable water issues
  • Professors W.H. Murdy and M.E.B. Carter authored an assessment that concluded Emory’s forests represent “a unique and valuable resource of scientific, educational, and aesthetic value.”
  • Emory Surplus Property, which sells furniture and equipment from Emory departments at discounted rates, is started