Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 72.34
Liaison Ciannat Howett
Submission Date July 25, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Emory University
IN-3: Innovation 3

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Kelly Weisinger
Office of Sustainability Initiatives
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Title or keywords related to the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Emory University’s academic unit Climate Action Plans break down silos and encourage academic involvement in an otherwise operations-heavy practice

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:

In December of 2011, Emory University adopted and began implementation of its official enterprise-wide Climate Action Plan (CAP). Typical of other university Climate Action Plans, it lays out a large number of recommended operational actions and goals, the responsibility of which rests heavily on the operations staff of the campus and its facilities. However, an atypical distinction in Emory’s plan is not only the hefty inclusion of academic and research involvement in greenhouse gas emissions reductions at Emory, but the specific requirement that each of Emory University’s nine academic units convene a Dean-appointed Climate Action Plan committee to draft and implement its own unit-specific CAP. This innovative approach provides each unit with the opportunity to tailor the University’s goals to its own operations and academics, highlighting the uniqueness and autonomy of each school, and the corresponding unique and autonomous methods they can utilize to reduce GHG emissions from their own operations and behaviors. This approach also allows units to protect practices that are required for the output of quality research and findings expected of them, and to make up for the GHG emissions resulting from those protected practices in other ways. Some illustrations of how the creation of individual academic unit CAPs has greatly diversified Emory’s approach to GHG emissions reduction can be seen in the way that the Candler School of Theology weaves spirituality and Creation theory into its commitments; or the way the School of Medicine acknowledges its particularly heavy after-hours facility useage; and in the way that the School of Public Health maintains its need to encourage oversees travel for research and practical experience, and aims to make up for these emissions through aggressive energy conservation measures on campus.
Emory’s academic unit CAPs were written and finalized in 2013-2014, and begin their implementation with a sense of purpose and identity that sets them apart from the Emory-wide plan, yet integrates them into the fold just the same.

A brief description of any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation (if not reported above):

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
Which of the following STARS subcategories does the innovation most closely relate to? (Select all that apply up to a maximum of five):
Yes or No
Curriculum No
Research No
Campus Engagement No
Public Engagement No
Air & Climate Yes
Buildings Yes
Dining Services No
Energy Yes
Grounds No
Purchasing No
Transportation Yes
Waste No
Water No
Coordination, Planning & Governance Yes
Diversity & Affordability No
Health, Wellbeing & Work No
Investment No

Other topic(s) that the innovation relates to that are not listed above:

The website URL where information about the innovation is available:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.