Office of Sustainability 2023 Year in Review

Office of Sustainability 2023 Year in Review


[1] January: The Office of Sustainability gathers for a strategic retreat.
[2] March: The Climate Action Plan Advisory Task Force meets in Crosland Tower.
[3] April: The Office of Sustainability coordinated Earth Month 2023, which culminated in an Earth Day Celebration and Org Fair at the Kendeda Building.
[4] April: Sustainability staff members attend the Georgia Tech Community Garden reopening event.
[5] May: Jennifer Chirico, AVP of Sustainability, presents at the Georgia Climate Conference co-sponsored by the Office of Sustainability alongside representatives from Southern Company and Georgia Power.
[6] August: Office of Sustainability hosted a Zero Waste Summit with Georgia Tech stakeholders and a tour of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
[7] October: Students learn about the Georgia Tech Climate Action Plan during an engagement session.

The Office of Sustainability had a banner inaugural year in 2023.


At the end of 2022, the Office of Campus Sustainability was restructured into the Office of Sustainability within Infrastructure and Sustainability (I&S). The mission of the new office is to serve the Institute in bridging sustainability efforts across research, education, and operations. Under the leadership of a newly established position, the Associate Vice President (AVP) of Sustainability, the office was expanded to include the departments of utilities, sustainable buildings, and the Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design.

In January 2023, the team came together for the first time during a strategic planning retreat. We started the year with ambitious goals. Together, we set out to revamp sustainability data collection and management at Tech, advance operational sustainability initiatives ranging from department-level purchasing policies to operations and management standards for buildings, and lead the development of Institute-level plans including Sustainability Next (SN) and the Georgia Tech Climate Action Plan (CAP).

During the past year, we’ve made notable progress towards these goals. We look forward to continuing the momentum into 2024, and we look back on the following accomplishments:


Data & Analysis

  • Created a solid foundation of robust sustainability data for the Institute, a method for collecting it, and tracking it for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, energy, water, waste, etc.
  • Completed reporting for the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS) program. This process required completing more than 67 credit areas spanning campus planning, administration, operations, engagement, academics, and more. Georgia Tech will receive a rating based on this data in 2024.
  • Developed a GHG Inventory and GHG modeling tool unique to Georgia Tech.
  • Completed a Carbon Sequestration Analysis (CSA), a model to understand how much carbon dioxide is sequestered via Georgia Tech’s campus landscape and natural resources.
  • Completed a Climate Action StoryMap in ArcGIS as a tool help explain climate action at Tech.
  • Completed a CAP Cost Analysis, a financial model to understand costs and guide funding for CAP implementation.
  • Conducted a full waste analysis and completed zero waste strategy recommendations for the Institute.

Planning, Policy, & Operations

  • Co-developed and published the first Sustainability Plan for Georgia Tech, Sustainability Next.
  • Neared completion for the first comprehensive Climate Action Plan (CAP) for Georgia Tech – an approximately 130-page document describing Tech’s plan for reaching net zero emissions. Expected publication is in early 2024.
  • Directed the development of a Climate Vulnerability Assessment for Georgia Tech through a VIP class led by Dr. Jairo Garcia.
  • Developed a Sustainable Procurement Policy for Infrastructure & Sustainability (I&S).
  • Began the process to launch Green Lab Certification in Georgia Tech labs.
  • Committed to participate in the Atlanta Commercial Building Energy Efficiency Ordinance developed by the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability.
  • Developed sustainable building standards for the buildings we manage and grew our building manager program. This includes promoting the Lights Out initiative, a program meant to protect migrating birds from hitting buildings.


  • Facilitated 8 sessions for the CAP Advisory Task Force, 49 CAP working group meetings, 4 townhalls, 2 student CAP events, and others.
  • Organized Earth Month, Campus Sustainability Month, Electricity Day, the Zombie Apocalypse in the Kendeda Building and many more events.
  • Attended and hosted Climate FRESK, an educational game translated as “Climate College” that is designed to teach the science of climate change, in partnership with the French Embassy in Atlanta.
  • Attended or presented at more than 20 conferences (collectively).
  • Refreshed and revamped our website.
  • Hosted a Zero-Waste Summit and tour of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, a TRUE Platinum Zero Waste-certified building
  • Hosted thousands of people to tour the Kendeda Building.
  • Completed a new Kendeda Building virtual tour and video.
  • Hired and managed 15 students in 2023, including the Kendeda Fellowship Program.
  • Provided guidance and data for student projects in multiple disciplines as part of the Living Campus initiative.

Team Building and Wellness

  • Participated in team building activities including bowling, a cultural potluck, and a costume-filled Halloween lunch!
  • Celebrated babies, birthdays, and weddings.
  • Welcomed new employees: Alex, Emma, Vanessa, Steve, Drew, Rania, Will, Jeremy, Brooke, Brooklyn, Deion and Lisa.
  • Became an office and a team!