In a move that could both reduce the University’s energy
consumption and cut costs, Emory College has launched an Energy
Conservation Project aimed to keep employees conscious of the little
things that together could produce big results.
Spearheaded by the Ad Hoc Committee on Environmental Stewardship,
the project focuses on five areas of energy usage that, with a little
conscientiousness, could be signficantly reduced. They include:
• Turning off computers on nights and weekends.
• Reducing computer monitor energy use through either “sleep
mode” features or simply turning them off when not in use
for periods longer than 10 minutes.
• Turning off lights in classrooms, offices, lounges, labs,
• Actively seeking other opportunities for conservation, such
as reducing elevator/automatic door opener use; setting photocopiers
to sleep mode; purchasing Energy Star-rated appliances; turning
off fume hoods, fans and other lab equipment when not necessary;
and examining the necessity of high-consumption appliances such
as vending machines.
• Working to optimize the efficiency of heating and/or air
Ad Hoc member Peggy Barlett, professor of anthropology, said the
idea for the project grew out of the January 2001 Reconciliation
Symposium, specifically the “Nurturing a Green University”
workshop. But the committee realized that implementing a Universitywide
program could take considerable time.
“Maybe we were trying to be too ambitious,” Barlett
said. “Maybe if we just focused on the college, and we just
focused on faculty and staff, and we just focused on the kinds of
innovations that don’t cost money—maybe we could get
And they did; the response so far, Barlett said, has been very encouraging,
as both faculty and staff embrace an idea that accomplishes two
goals: saving money in a time of fiscal restraint, and helping Emory
become a more environmentally sustainable institution. Alan Cattier,
director of academic technology for the Information Technology Division,
and Carole Meyers, director of academic computing for the college,
helped craft the specific recommendations.
Interim Dean Bobby Paul also said the project has been greeted even
more positively than he expected.
“Environmental awareness is widepread and growing on campus,”
Paul said. “Emory strives to be both self aware and also responsible
as a community partner, and environmental issues—so important
in determining our quality of life—are ones in which our individual
and collective behavior can have a direct impact and make a difference.”
Paul cited Facilities Management (FM) as one of the University’s
most environmentally responsible divisions; the LEED (Leadership
in Energy and Environmental Design) certified Whitehead Building
and Math and Science Center have garnered national recognition for
Emory’s “green building” program.
So it is appropriate that someone from FM will play a key role in
the college project; energy engineer Keith Curtis, whose job is
to find ways to maximize energy efficiency in all University facilities,
will consult and design methods to measure the project’s success.
Bob Has-call, senior vice president for FM, and Debbie Moyers, director
of resource planning, also have been instrumental in launching the
The goal is for Emory College to reduce energy consumption by 10
percent, and judging from the objectives and successes of other
schools, Emory’s is an eminently attainable goal; the Ad Hoc
Committee’s proposal claims the University of Manitoba in
Canada retrofit its facilities and reduced consumption by a whopping
24 percent, for an annual savings of $1.8 million (Canadian). In
the United States, Harvard has launched a program comparable to
Emory’s, as have Tulane, the University of Buffalo (N.Y.),
Iowa State University and the California State University System.
“Atlanta’s growing air pollution and other environemntal
problems are obvious to all,” Paul said. “As an institution
dedicated to knowledge and education, it is incumbent on us to be
leaders in showing the community at large the dangers—as well
as the ways to improve the situation.”