Emory Named a Green-Campus Leader

Emory Named a Green-Campus Leader

The National Wildlife Federation has recognized Emory University for its achievements in developing an environmentally sustainable campus. In a national survey report of nearly 900 college campuses, Emory was acknowledged specifically as a leader in water conservation.

The survey, titled "The State of the Campus Environment: A National Report Card on Environmental Performance and Sustainability," is the first large-scale assessment of "green" practices at U.S. institutions of higher learning. The NWF set out to measure environmental performance across a broad spectrum of issues, including institutional goals and policies, integration into the curriculum, energy use, purchasing and recycling.

This honor is the latest recognition from community, government and business groups for Emory's efforts and success in developing a "walking" campus, establishing an innovative alternative transportation program, and building "green."

Emory President William M. Chace, who received the 2000 Pacesetter Award from Georgia's Clean Air Campaign in recognition of his leadership role in developing transportation alternatives, said he is proud of Emory's progress, particularly in light of the more than $800 million in construction currently underway at the university.

"Emory needs to grow and develop in order to remain vital," Chace said. "Building must take place to advance our academic, research and health care missions, but we have found that it can be done thoughtfully, with respect to and in harmony with the surrounding environment. Through careful planning, input from all stakeholders, and establishment of common goals, we have been able to create an environment that is more conducive to studying, learning and living."

Emory's environmental programs and initiatives include:
  • Walking Campus: A major goal of the university's campus master plan is to create a walking campus by replacing cars and concrete with green spaces and walkways, and moving parking to the campus perimeter. For the previous seven years, Emory says it has moved quickly and vigorously to decrease its reliance on cars, and to form collaborative efforts with other groups to improve the environment in the greater Atlanta community.

  • Alternative Transportation: In addition to support of carpools, vanpools, and public transportation subsidy programs, Emory has invested in a fleet of alternative-fueled vehicles (electric and compressed natural gas) to shuttle community members and visitors. This spring, Emory will serve as a pilot site for Ford Think electric cars that will be loaned during the workday to employees who participate in the alternative transportation program.

  • "Green" Buildings: Emory is seeking Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for three buildings presently under construction. There are 3 LEED certified buildings in the country. The LEED program rates building site selection and erosion control, energy and water efficiency, construction waste management, recyclable material use, and indoor environmental quality. Emory also is working with the Council to develop and pilot the implementation of national guidelines for green building operations.

  • Collaborative Campus Efforts: President Chace has brought together groups of students, staff and faculty representing all areas of the university's operation to work together on various environmental issues, including a task force to research and recommend how to best implement a campus-wide environmental policy.