Our Vision: A Living, Learning, Laboratory

Georgia Tech is creating its first long-range plan to guide the Institute’s strategic direction in the business and operational practice of sustainability and to empower the campus community toward sustainable actions. 

Starting in July 2015, the Office of Campus Sustainability brought together subject matter experts on campus to review existing activities and develop goals, strategies, and metrics to inform a long-range plan in the area of campus operations and sustainable practices. In the summer of 2016, an interdisciplinary Cohort of stakeholders finalized a draft plan, the Strategic Plan for Sustainable Practice, currently open for review. 

From March through mid-April, we sought campus and community input to ensure the draft plan is reflective of your vision of a sustainable Georgia Tech. This summer we will be reviewing this feedback and updating the plan, to be released this fall. 

The Strategic Plan for Sustainable Practice will be our roadmap for implementing priorities and establishing sustainability achievements on campus through policies, decisions, and actions from 2017-2027. The Strategic Plan for Sustainable Practice sets inspirational targets and goals within five impact categories, including:

  • Energy and Emissions;
  • Water;
  • Materials Management;
  • Built Environment; and
  • Community & Culture.

We see Georgia Tech and the surrounding community as a “living, learning, laboratory” for sustainability. 

From our Game Day Recycling Program that minimizes the amount of waste sent to landfills during home football games to our Smart Energy Campus Program designed to reduce energy consumption and increase building operational effectiveness, we are continually aggregating, analyzing, and evaluating data from our programs and initiatives.

We believe it is our role to foster an ecosystem of innovation, collaboration, and creativity – where new knowledge, methods, and technologies are tested, developed, and applied for insights and solutions to critical sustainability challenges.

Our Approach

Sustainability is integral to every discipline and function of the Institute – from our academics to our research to our operational practices. 

We seek to facilitate the sharing of knowledge across departments, administrative offices, faculty, and students. We actively encourage partnerships and help teams to communicate, collaborate, and support each other in achieving the Institute’s sustainability goals.

Our holistic approach recognizes the role each of us has in creating a sustainable environment at Georgia Tech. It encourages us to think beyond traditional organizational structures and work inclusively with all stakeholders on campus. 

It is extremely exciting to know that our team is supporting some of the most brilliant complex-system designers in the world. Using our built environment as a living laboratory is a concept that is growing in higher ed, and I believe we at Georgia Tech are leading that growth in a thoughtful and responsible way.

––Mark Demyanek, assistant vice president of Operations and Maintenance within Facilities Management.