The largest sources of greenhouse gas pollution from electricity generation in the United States are coal-fired power plants, with the largest emitting plant located in Georgia. Because of the public health and climate impacts of fossil fuel use, Emory’s 2025 Sustainability Vision focuses on energy efficiency and the increased use of renewable energy to mitigate climate change and improve air quality. Achieving this goal will require everyone – from administrators investing in energy efficient systems to individuals changing their habits by turning off lights and computers-to commit to reducing our collective energy footprint.
- In 2020, Emory signed a transformative solar power agreement with Cherry Street Energy. In doing so, Emory pledged to install more than 15,000 solar panels across 16 buildings on its Druid Hills campus, which will generate approximately 10 percent of Emory’s peak energy requirements and reduce Emory’s greenhouse gas emissions by about 4,300 metric tons.
- Since 2015, Emory has achieved an overall energy use per square foot (EUI) reduction of 10.2 percent and an overall total energy reduction of 3.1 percent. See our 2019 Annual Energy and Utilities Report here.
- Renewable energy is on the rise at Emory. As of 2018, 1.35mW have been installed and commissioned on campus, with more planned. The new Emory Student Center includes solar and geothermal components to pre-heat potable water and help heat and cool the facility.
- Emory is enrolled in the Department of Energy’s Smart Lab Accelerator program, which works to advance strategies that rapidly improve energy efficiency in laboratory buildings. In 2019 Emory was acknowledged for its outstanding participation in the program by surpassing the 5% reduction target with a 7.2% reduction in one lab building’s energy use over two years.
- Further information regarding Emory’s carbon emission reductions as a result of energy use reduction strategies can be found in the FY2019 Emissions Inventory Report.
Emory’s 2025 Vision goal is to reduce energy use per square foot by 50% in University buildings and 25% in Healthcare buildings. This graph shows progress toward the University goal in buildings on the Druid Hills and Oxford campuses.
- A 1mW combined heat and power system operates in Emory’s steam plant. This system recovers mechanical heat produced by Emory’s natural gas generators.
- Emory’s $1.5million Sustainability Revolving Fund supports energy efficiency projects.
- Emory University and Emory Healthcare participate in the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge, a national competition to reduce energy and water consumption by 20 percent by 2020. Each year, Emory buildings are recognized as Top Performers.
- Emory’s Sustainable Performance Program (SPP) strives to keep building HVAC systems optimized and prevent performance degradation.
- A temperature control policy and weekend, evening, and holiday building shutdowns decrease energy consumed to heat and cool Emory’s buildings, which are Emory’s largest stationary source of energy use.
- Emory’s annual Energy Competition awards buildings that reduce the most energy throughout the month.
and 9.1 million KWh saved by converting parking deck lights to LEDs.
of lighting energy reduced by LED building retrofits to date.
saved in energy costs during the 2019 holiday building turndown.
Emory is committed to reducing energy consumption and meeting building expansion, design, and construction standards. By 2025, Emory strives to:
- Reduce campus energy use per square foot by 50 percent and total energy use by 25 percent.
- Reduce Emory Healthcare energy use by 25 percent.
- Self-generate 10 percent of campus energy to replace fossil fuel sources.
- Incorporate major building renovations into LEED silver commitment or higher and attain best practices for sustainable performance in building interiors.
- Incorporate regenerative architectural standards such as net zero impact and “living building” in the new Campus Life Center and other innovative facilities.
- Reduce campus water consumption by 50 percent.