Strategic Plan for Sustainable Practice


Georgia Tech intends to be a leader in sustainable issues and to promote action and awareness through education, research, and business practice.

The Strategic Plan for Sustainable Practice

Georgia Tech’s 2020 – 2030 Strategic Plan for Sustainable Practice is a 10 year roadmap to create a sustainable campus. The plan was developed by an interdisciplinary campus cohort facilitated by the Office of Campus Sustainability and nominated by executive leadership. 
The Strategic Plan for Sustainable Practice:
  • Consolidates existing sustainability principles, ideas, programs, and projects into a cohesive Institute-wide commitment to sustainable operations and business practices;
  • Accelerates Institutional sustainable aspirations and create a road map for the future; and
  • Inspires the Tech community of faculty, staff, and students to support action toward sustainable outcomes . 

Focal Areas 

Energy & Emissions

Scope: This category includes any campus operational practice that uses energy and emits airborne emissions.

  • Building energy consumption
  • Utility plant-level energy generation
  • Fleet vehicle fuel consumption
  • Employee and student daily commuting to campus
  • Campus-related air travel

Vision: The Institute seeks to reduce its dependency of finite fossil fuels for operational practices and promotes energy and transportation options that support human health and contribute to a carbon neutral campus.


  • Achieve a 15% reduction in Scope 1 emissions (2007 baseline).
  • Reduce energy consumption in buildings by 30% BTU per square foot (2007 baseline).
  • Offset 5% of all energy consumed by campus facilities through renewable energy generation (2007 baseline).
  • Incentivize the Georgia Tech community to use sustainable and/or active commuting options such as carpooling, public transit, biking, and walking.


Scope: This category includes all water consumed on campus grounds or in campus buildings.

Vision: Georgia Tech is a world class leader in water conservation practices, proven through consistent performance and reduction of potable water use on campus. The campus operates to protect and maintain the campus hydrological ecosystem including water basins, vegetation, and wildlife.


  • Account for all sources and uses of water on campus (e.g., municipal, rainwater, condensate, greywater, well water, and blackwater).
  • Reduce municipal water consumption by 50% (2015 baseline).
  • Develop a 100 year resiliency plan for campus water resources.
  • Capture or evaporate the first 1.2 inches of a rain event.

Built Environment

Scope: This category encompasses all design, development, and operational processes and standards that support and manage the Institute’s vast portfolio of buildings, land, streets, and campus physical resources.

Vision: Georgia Tech fosters a physical campus environment that defends safe, healthy, and accessible connections for all and supports the highest standards of design, construction, and operational efficiency and performance.


  • Develop and implement a plan to increase and support campus biodiversity.
  • Enhance the health of campus greenspaces and the utilization of campus outdoor spaces.
  • Reduce the campus community's exposure to toxic chemicals in indoor and outdoor environments. 
  • Develop sustainability criteria for the maintenance, operation, and occupancy of buildings.

Materials Management

Scope: The operational practices associated with this category include all material goods purchased with Institute funds and all waste stream processes by which materials leave campus property (reuse, recycling, disposal, compost, etc.). Also included are the procedures, policies, and contract processes associated with procurement and waste stream operational standards.

Vision: Georgia Tech understands the lifecycle processes of materials and their environmental impacts. The Institute takes responsibility of materials that enter campus and ensures material streams support human and ecological health, and have a way to be recycled, reused, and repurposed rather than sent to a landfill. The campus strives to be a Zero Waste Campus where 95% of municipal waste streams are diverted from the landfill.


  • Develop a Campus-Wide Materials Conservation Management Plan.
  • Become a zero waste campus (95% diversion).
  • Achieve 25% sustainable spend in major purchasing categories by cost.

Commitment & Engagement

Scope: Our people are our assets to achieve success across everything we do. This category supports the empowerment of our campus community and recognizes sustainable operations require education, awareness, communication, and accountability of our students, faculty, and staff in partnership toward shared goals. Success is also based on transparency and integration of sustainable principles into every facet of business practice and decision-making.

Vision: The Georgia Tech community of students, faculty, and staff is empowered and engaged to contribute to sustainable outcomes on campus and understands the importance of sustainable actions. Tech utilizes our academic brain trust to create a Living-Learning-Laboratory on campus and invites our neighboring communities, the region, and the world to support us in our journey. 


  • Facilitate transparency and sharing of data and information across Institute operational portfolios.
  • Create an interdisciplinary governance structure supported by Institute leadership that helps implement the Strategic Plan for Sustainable Practice.
  • Support initiatives to incorporate sustainability into academic classes and programming and link research from sustainability fields into campus operations.
  • Embed sustainability into Georgia Tech’s governing and policy making bodies.
  • Expand educational and action-oriented programming to increase awareness and understanding in the Institutional and personal scaling of positive impacts on the world.
  • Develop a coalition of community partners that support the Institute’s sustainability efforts and leverage learning and action for greater collective impact in our neighborhoods and region.