Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 75.69
Liaison Ciannat Howett
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

Emory University
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 4.00 Kelly Weisinger
Office of Sustainability Initiatives
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address sustainability in curriculum and/or research?:

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to academics and the plan(s) in which they are published:

Please see Emory's Sustainability Vision. All goals are for 2025 unless otherwise noted.
The first strategic Action Arena outlines goals to "support culture change among academic, healthcare, and operational units to carry forward courageous action on sustainability."

Curriculum-related goals include:
Through academic programs and degrees, prepare Emory graduates for sustainability leadership throughout their lives.
*Integrate sustainability into academic programs, degrees, and experiential learning opportunities to assure universal sustainability literacy.
*Expand curriculum initiatives through the Piedmont Project, Piedmont TATTO Fellowships, Oxford Institute, and others.
*Increase by 25% the number of sustainability-related courses taught across the university by 2025.
*Develop tools for assessing student competencies across the domains of sustainability.
*Link sustainability-related information needs across campus to academic projects through partnerships with operations personnel, the Quality Enhancement Plan, and the Institute for Quantitative Theory and Methods.

Units support faculty development towards innovative and community-engaged curriculum through continued support for the Piedmont Project and related efforts.

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address student, employee, or community engagement for sustainability?:

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to engagement and the plan(s) in which they are published:

Please see Emory's Sustainability Vision. All goals are for 2025 unless otherwise noted. https://sustainability.emory.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/VisionReport2-3-20-FINAL_with-updated-investment-language.pdf. All objectives require campus engagement, so we recommend reading the Vision in its entirety. A few related objectives include:

Expand support structures and strengthen organizational structures for champions:
*Strengthen faculty leadership through a rotating Faculty Fellows program with the support of each dean by 2020.
*Strengthen staff champions in collaboration with the Administrative Council by expanding the role of Sustainability Reps; provide improved communications channels and support.
*Create a program for student champions through collaboration with staff and faculty mentors and internships in Campus Services, Dining, Campus Life and other administrative units, with a focus on sustainability decision making, life skills, and leadership.
*Strengthen or create sustainability leadership positions throughout student government at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.⋅
*Create a program of sustainability champions throughout Emory Healthcare by 2025.
*Expand sustainability literacy in all existing Leadership Academies and, as needed, develop a new Sustainability Leadership Academy.
*Develop sustainability learning outcomes for all staff and develop educational programs and assessment tools.
*Partner with the Healthy Emory initiative to develop advocates for an inclusive approach to well-being and healthy living across Emory in keeping with the vision of "Healthy Emory, Healthy Planet."

Integrate sustainability into the life of the campus:⋅
*Infuse sustainability expectations and goals into residential education, including the first year experience, Greek life, and Emory Dining educational activities.
*Support student leadership at graduate and undergraduate levels to develop metrics of sustainability literacy for each program, residence hall, and Greek housing.
*Develop sustainability literacy survey for all students and administer annually.
* Expand sustainability-related community service opportunities through Volunteer Emory and other groups, especially for graduate and professional students.
*Link programs with Office of Health Promotion to strengthen awareness of individual health with global community and planetary health and well-being.
*Ensure sustainability commitments are met and communicated in summer conference and camp programs and events.

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address sustainability in operations?:

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to operations and the plan(s) in which they are published:

Please see Emory's Sustainability Vision. All goals are for 2025 unless otherwise noted. https://sustainability.emory.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/VisionReport2-3-20-FINAL_with-updated-investment-language.pdf. The goals under Action Arena III: Leverage Emory landscape, buildings, and operations to model sustainable choices, are:
Climate action:
• Update Emory’s climate action goals based on latest science, aligning dates with international goals.
• Reduce Emory’s total greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050, using 2010 levels as baseline.
• Revise greenhouse gas inventory to add sources of emissions from components of supply chain by 2030.
• Use carbon offsets, with preference for local projects with a social justice benefit, to reduce the impacts of Emory-purchased air travel.
• Invest in a portfolio of innovative greenhouse gas sequestration projects that provide resilience, research, teaching, and national leadership benefits to Emory.

Built environment:
• All new construction on campus will be carbon neutral.3
• Incorporate major building renovations into LEED silver commitment or higher.
• Attain best practices for sustainable performance in building interiors.
• When replacement is necessary, make all roofs cool, green and/or solar.
• When acquiring new buildings, bring up to existing sustainability standards.
• When constructing or renovating buildings, review space needs to consolidate offices and reduce building size.
• Reduce university campus energy use per square foot by 50% and total energy use by 25%.
• Reduce Emory Healthcare energy use by 25%.
• Self-generate 10% of energy used on campus to replace fossil fuel sources.
• Eliminate drinking water use for heating, cooling, toilet-flushing, and other non-potable uses, with a goal to reduce Emory water use by 50%.
• In the new Emory Student Center (former DUC) or other appropriate innovative facility, incorporate regenerative architectural standards such as net zero impact and “living building” to educate campus community and visitors. Renovate and use iconic buildings on campus for sustainability education and outreach.
• Create financial incentives for all operating units to conserve beyond existing goals, including a sustainability revolving fund.

• On academic campuses, divert 95% of construction and non-construction waste (except regulated lab and medical waste) from municipal landfills.
• On healthcare campuses, divert 37% of waste (except regulated lab and medical waste) to match best practice rate in healthcare).5
• Strengthen administrative mandates for recycling and composting throughout the university, healthcare, and related enterprises; eliminate all desk-side trashcans on academic campuses by 2020.
• Support culture change towards “reduce, repair, restore, and reuse” mentality and “cradle to cradle”6 purchasing.
• All university events will be zero municipal landfill waste by 2025.
• All university functions will be plastic bottle free to the extent possible.

• Expand opportunities for safe biking and walking on all campuses and healthcare centers; explore possibility of an “Emory Greenbelt” biking and pedestrian path system.
• Develop bicycle and pedestrian master plan in cooperation with government agencies and neighborhood stakeholders to include dedicated bike and pedestrian lanes and trails and bike amenities.
• Support flexible workdays to reduce commute time, improve recruitment and retention, and support work/life balance; work with InfoTech, Human Resources, and other appropriate groups to ensure that all non-essential personnel are expected to telecommute at least one day per week by 2025 unless justified by supervisor.
• Improve air quality through enforcement of No Idling policy and other pollution prevention actions.
• Shift Emory University and Emory Healthcare vehicle fleet to meet national sustainable fleet certification standards.
• Extend incentives for sustainable commuting to students.
• Continue to expand transportation options for employees and students through bike share, Cliff Shuttle, and public transit to reduce single occupancy vehicle trips.
• Increase awareness of alternative transportation options among Emory healthcare patients and university visitors.

Campus ecosystem:
• Explore opportunities to enhance Emory’s original vision of “a campus in a forest.”
• Eliminate planting of invasive species on campus to foster healthy campus forests; remove invasive species in at least 25% of campus woods, while protecting fragile ecosystems.
• Shift from No Net Loss policy for forest canopy to Net Positive forest canopy policy.
• Enhance pedestrian shade by planting 200 new trees by Emory’s 200th anniversary.
• Revise and implement Stormwater Management Plan, including goals to reduce water runoff and enhance stream quality.
• Improve water quality, groundwater recharge, and greenspace through new or enhanced green infrastructure projects such as rain gardens, stream buffers, and bioswales.
• Reduce turf grass on Druid Hills and Oxford campuses by 15% and replace with biodiverse woodland and shrubbery areas, using drought-tolerant plant palette.
• Transition to herbicide and pesticide alternatives safer to pollinators and people with the goal to reduce or eliminate their use.

• Expand sustainable food purchases (either locally grown or sustainably grown) in Emory Dining with a goal of 50% by 2020, and 75% by 2025. Update sustainability purchasing guidelines every three years, as necessary, and revise tracking systems.
• Continue to support the Oxford Organic Farm to provide produce for the Oxford campus, Emory farmers market, and campus and hospital cafeterias.
• Expand sustainable and local food purchases in catered events for all units.
• Expand urban food production and hands-on education through the Educational Garden Project and the Oxford Organic Farm to provide living/learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.
• Expand sustainable and local food purchases in Emory Healthcare to 25% and establish tracking system to document future gains.
• Expand onsite educational gardens to include Emory Healthcare staff, faculty, and students.

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address diversity, equity, and inclusion; sustainable investment/finance; or wellbeing?:

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to administration and the plan(s) in which they are published:

Please see Emory's Sustainability Vision. All goals are for 2025 unless otherwise noted. https://sustainability.emory.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/VisionReport2-3-20-FINAL_with-updated-investment-language.pdf.

Some relevant objectives include:

Social dimensions of sustainability:
• Support and extend efforts for social equity and economic opportunity; connect sustainability strategic goals with recommendations of Class and Diversity Committee to enhance access for all students and staff, regardless of means, to the full benefits of the Emory experience.
• Promote universal design and continue progress towards disability awareness and accessibility for all buildings, campus transit systems, and Emory programs.
• Create intergenerational daycare centers at all campuses.
• Support linkage of “person, place, and planet” by extending partnerships with Healthy Emory and other entities to promote health-enhancing behaviors and personal flourishing.
• Develop campus-level resilience assessment and plan that addresses health, personal well- being, and climate adaptation concerns.
• Develop program of paid maternity and paternity leave for all Emory employees.

Invest in the Office of Sustainability to achieve successful implementation of this plan; build capacity through secure central funding and adequate staff to ensure robust communications, innovative projects, creative problem-solving, and data analytics throughout the university and healthcare:
• Allocate appropriate funding for staff and operations through a dedicated annual budget.
• Refine sustainability metrics and expand publicity for Emory’s sustainability progress.

Integrate sustainability into the visible culture of Emory:
• Incorporate sustainability into first impressions of Emory’s campuses, clinics and hospitals, through the main Emory websites, campus tours, signage, and publications.
• In collaboration with administrative leaders and deans, ensure all new undergraduate, professional, and graduate students, as well as faculty, staff, and healthcare professionals, are welcomed into—and feel a personal stake in—Emory’s sustainability commitments, through orientation activities that include the president’s affirmation.

Align unit goals and standards with sustainability commitments:
• Integrate sustainability commitments into each unit’s strategic plan, including Emory Healthcare and the next Emory Campaign.
• Incorporate sustainability criteria (full-cost accounting of economic, health, social, and environmental impacts) more fully into routine decision making and purchasing—whether in the classroom, hospital, lab, or office, in caregiving, dining, or events.
• Integrate sustainability into recruitment so that all prospective employees understand that sustainability commitments are expectations for every Emory community member.
• Revise job performance criteria in collaboration with existing employees and integrate sustainability commitments into evaluations.

Support Purchasing and other Emory entities in building a coalition of distinguished leaders and corporations to enhance sustainability decision making in the national and Emory supply chains:
• Identify priority areas for supply chain improvement and work with academic researchers, students, and vendors to identify best practices for sustainability.
• Develop scorecards for “Emory preferred” practices and decisions which encourage full-cost accounting among vendors and contractors and integrate sustainability into selection criteria when awarding contracts.

Emory University does not currently hold direct stock or bonds in public companies producing fossil fuels. Emory performs quarterly negative screening of its investment portfolio. Emory holds many investments in sustainable businesses and businesses with exemplary sustainability performance.

Does the institution have a published strategic plan or equivalent guiding document that includes sustainability at a high level? :

The institution’s highest guiding document (upload):

Website URL where the institution’s highest guiding document is publicly available:
Which of the following best describes the inclusion of sustainability in the highest guiding document?:
Minor theme

The institution's sustainability plan (upload):

Website URL where the institution's sustainability plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have a formal statement in support of sustainability endorsed by its governing body?:

The formal statement in support of sustainability:

Sustainability is part of one of the 4 strategic university-wide initiatives developed in Emory's 2005-2015 Strategic Plan (see attached framework). The full plan states that: "Sustainability is related to the quality of life in a community—whether the economic, social, and environmental systems are providing a healthy, productive, and meaningful life for community residents, present and future. The dilemmas of sustainability for the University present opportunities for leadership in our management and operational practices as well as development of research and scholarship on how people, companies, cities, and nations can develop and change addressing issues of food, energy, health, transportation, and urbanism and what legal, cultural, and political arrangements work effectively to encourage sustainable practices and acceptable levels of environmental and health risk. The development of comprehensive plans for wellness and health promotion activities are included in creating a healthy work culture. Emory values the continuing existence of a healthy, safe, and environmentally sustainable campus that enhances individual health, community well-being, positive teaching/learning experiences, and environmental stewardship."

Emory has not adopted a new formal strategic plan since 2015, but sustainability is a minor theme in the "One Emory: Engaged for Impact" framework developed by the Office of the Provost in 2018.

The institution’s definition of sustainability:

Emory defines sustainability as relating to quality of life: a community is sustainable if economic, social, and environmental systems provide a healthy, productive, and meaningful life for all community residents, present and future. Sustainability supports and incorporates many aspects of Emory’s mission—educational, healthcare, and operational. Sustainability provides a multi-disciplinary framework for broadening student and employee perspectives on the economic, social, and environmental factors shaping our lives and our world, our interdependence as a local and global community, and the impact of our actions on future generations. Pursuing sustainability allows Emory to more fully enact our principles and provide equitable opportunities for satisfying livelihoods and study through a safe, healthy, and high quality of life for current and future generations.

Is the institution an endorser or signatory of the following? :
Yes or No
The Earth Charter No
The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) No
ISCN-GULF Sustainable Campus Charter No
Pan-Canadian Protocol for Sustainability No
SDG Accord No
Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment (formerly known as the ACUPCC), Resilience Commitment, and/or integrated Climate Commitment No
The Talloires Declaration (TD) No
UN Global Compact No
Other multi-dimensional sustainability commitments (please specify below) Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal sustainability commitments, including the specific initiatives selected above:

Emory is a co-founder of the United Nations Greater Atlanta Regional Centre of Expertise for Sustainable Development (UN RCE), recognized by United Nations University. https://sustainability.emory.edu/programs/un-sustainable-development-goals/

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability planning efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Descriptions and measurable goals for each of the above categories are outlined in a comprehensive Sustainability Vision strategic plan. Rather than pull each sentence from that plan that relates to the above categories, in many cases we have directed you to the Vision in full. We believe you will get a better sense of Emory's plans, goals, and accomplishments by reading the full text of the Vision.

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.