Sustainability Principles and Commitments
Message from the President
Environmental sustainability is one of the defining challenges of our time. At Georgetown we are committed to engaging in research, teaching and operational practices that address this challenge and help us minimize our impact on the environment. We have a long tradition of conservation and environmental stewardship, and in recent years we've taken additional steps to enhance our commitments to our sustainable practices on campus. These commitments include an ambitious initiative to cut the university's carbon footprint in half by 2020.
As a community, we are engaged in creating knowledge, tools and experiences that foster environmentally-conscious action and create a culture of sustainability on our campus. This website provides information on Georgetown's approach to sustainability. We invite you to learn more about our efforts, and we ask you ask you to join us in our efforts to make Georgetown a greener place.
President John J. DeGioia
Our Climate Pledge - Georgetown's President, John J. DeGioia, has pledged to reduce Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions at least 50% by the year 2020. The University is well on its way to meet this target - by FY 2011, Georgetown already reduced its carbon footprint by 16.4% per square foot from the base year of 2006. Read more about our GHG reduction efforts.
Local Sustainability Leadership
CUSP Pledge - Under the leadership of President DeGioia, Georgetown joined with eight other D.C.-based colleges and universities in January 2012 to sign the District of Columbia Mayor's College and University Sustainability Pledge (CUSP), a commitment of the higher education sector to help advance the Mayor's goal of making D.C. the "greenest college town" in the country. Under the CUSP, Georgetown is committed to the following actions:
- Make a public announcement of our CUSP commitment;
- Develop and publish a sustainability plan by December 2012, which includes, but is not limited to, any specific commitments selected from the CUSP checklist;
- Participate in a D.C.-based working group on sustainability in higher education, convened quarterly;
- Report on progress toward our sustainability plan and CUSP commitments by August, 2014.
Planning for Smart Growth - In Georgetown's 2017 Campus Master Plan, the university committed to support the District of Columbia's smart growth and sustainability goals while working in partnership with our local neighbors.
Follow these two links to read the full highlights of the current Campus Plan:
Global Sustainability Leadership - At the 2010 World Economic Forum, Georgetown joined with 25 members of the Global University Leadership Forum (GULF) to sign the Sustainable Campus Charter, a partnership between GULF and the International Campus Sustainability Network. In so doing, the University committed to three campus-wide principles:
Demonstrating respect for nature and society and agreeing that sustainability considerations should be an integral part of planning, construction, renovation and operation of buildings on campus.
Ensuring long-term sustainable campus development, campus-wide master planning and target-setting should include environmental and social goals.
Aligning the organization's core mission with sustainable development, facilities, research, and education should be linked to create a "living laboratory" for sustainability. Read more about sustainability in teaching and research at Georgetown.
Sustainable Building Design - As of 2009, all new construction and major renovations at Georgetown will be designed to meet the US Green Building Council's LEED standards for environmental design, at the Silver level or higher. Learn more about the University's first LEED certified building.
Waste Reduction - In 2008 Georgetown challenged itself to a "no landfill" approach to waste disposal. The University is well on its way to achieving this goal, with only an estimated 10% of total waste ending up in a landfill as of 2012. Georgetown recycled approximately 50% of its solid waste in FY2012 and has committed to achieving a target recycling rate of at least 55% of its solid waste in the 2012-2013 academic year. Find out about recycling at Georgetown.