Campus News

March 1, 2010

Dashboard tracks green progress

Emory has long been committed to sustainability, and this dedication became more prevalent when the University set many benchmarks for itself in 2005. The University’s efforts to reduce waste, preserve campus green space, promote the use of alternative transportation and encourage local and sustainable food purchases can be witnessed daily across campus.

What is the impact when these environmentally responsible choices are made? With a few clicks of a mouse, viewers can now see how Emory is performing against its targeted sustainability initiatives by accessing the new online campus sustainability dashboard.

“The dashboard reflects the high-level goals of Emory’s Sustainability Vision and progress toward these goals by individuals making more sustainable choices in their daily behavior, as well as the operational efforts of Campus Services, Dining Services and other units at Emory,” says Director of Sustainability Initiatives Ciannat Howett.

The dashboard allows viewers to track the University’s progress in many environmental areas, including green building, sustainable food purchases, water and energy use, recycling, alternative commuting, green house gas emissions and other activities.

“Since it’s the new measuring tool for many of the University’s sustainability initiatives, it reports on the progress made toward these identified goals,” says Brent Zern, an environmental engineer with Campus Services who helped launch the dashboard. “We have a goal of reducing our energy use by 25 percent per square foot by 2015, and the utility data maintained in Campus Services shows that we are indeed making progress toward that goal.”

Unique features built into the dashboard include the ability to search the recycling information for a particular building, for example; and graphs charting registered alternative commuters or the types of sustainable food purchases made annually.

“There’s a lot of data for a user to review just by navigating through each graphic, and we’ve been thoughtful about displaying the kind of data we think people want to see,” Zern says.

Don’t see what you are looking for in the dashboard right now? Don’t worry, it’s coming, says Zern. “We’ve built in the ability to expand the dashboard in the future.”

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