Emory Report
February 27, 2006
Volume 58, Number 21


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February 27 , 2006
Sustainability report finalized, now looking for new logo

by Alfred Charles

In an effort to take Emory’s environmental practices to the next level, a University panel has issued a sweeping set of recommendations—endorsed by former President Jimmy Carter—aimed at reducing the campus’ negative impact on the environment.

The Sustainability Committee, formed as part of the strategic planning process, recently submitted a six-page report to the University administration. Officials said the President’s Cabinet has approved the report in principle and added it to the strategic plan.

A chief element of the overall initiative is a contest that asks University stakeholders to create a logo and slogan that embodies Emory’s effort to raise awareness about the environment.

Entries are due by March 17, and the winning graphic and catchphrase will be used on all future signs and publications that revolve around sustainability. Interested contestants should e-mail Monica Tillman at mtill@emory.edu or call her at 404-727-0334 for more information. The contest is open to students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of Emory.

“I am excited about the contest because I think it is a wonderful way for creative people to find a solution that helps Emory become more aware of the earth’s resources,” said Peggy Barlett, professor of anthropology, who, along with Executive Vice President Mike Mandl, chaired the committee.

The contest is part of the committee’s efforts to help lay out a strategic vision for Emory’s conservation of natural resources, now and in the future. Sustainability has been defined in some quarters as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

Barlett defined the sustainability effort this way: “We are trying to find ways to live in harmony with the earth’s natural system and repair damage where we can, and find ways to do that in an economically and socially just way,” she said. “We want to construct a vision for the future.”

At the request of President Jim Wagner, the 11-member committee began its work last summer. Former President Jimmy Carter was asked to weigh in on the proposals. According to a document he submitted to the committee, Carter said the panel was on the right track.

“It’s bold, but feasible,” Carter said in the letter. “We can achieve this bold vision, and good efforts are under way to support it.”

The report is made up of a series of goals and recommendations, including:
• Reducing the University’s average campus energy use by 25 percent per square foot by 2015, and reducing the University’s greenhouse gas emissions.

• Transforming the Clifton and N. Decatur road corridors to encourage diverse forms of transportation and exercise.

• Cutting Emory’s total waste stream by 65 percent by 2015; recycling 100 percent of electronics waste and road construction materials; and recycling or reusing at least 95 percent of food waste, animal bedding and building construction materials.

• Reducing the level of toxic materials used in landscaping, maintenance and other activities.

• Appointing a director for sustainability who will be in charge of the University’s conservation effort.

• Establishing a university farmers market that will feature locally grown foods.

• Developing affordable housing for faculty and staff that is located within one mile of the University, an effort to build a vibrant, sustainable community.

• Expanding campus teaching and research to include basic and advanced classes that focus on sustainability.

After the committee completed its work, a draft report was presented to 18 other groups throughout campus for feedback.

Said Barlett: “Reactions were very positive. The document seems to galvanize creativity, which was our hope.”

Now that the report has been presented to the administration, Barlett said campus groups and administrators would participate in determining which of its recommendations will receive attention first.