History of Georgia Institute of Technology’s Commitment to Sustainability

Follow Georgia Tech’s journey of sustainability, from humble beginnings through the major initiatives the Institute leads today. Sustainability is woven into all aspects of our university where it is the result of our community’s collective efforts to recognize choices that promote health and prosperity for a present and future campus. Sustainability work on campus extends beyond solely environmental sustainability to include social sustainability, which prioritizes equity and human capital development at the individual and community level. Georgia Tech is positioned to integrate resources within academics and research to create the sustainable solutions toward a viable future.

The core of Georgia Tech’s sustainable journey begins with education and research. We have over 100 instructional courses within all six colleges of study, providing all students the ability to integrating sustainability into their education. Students and faculty are encouraged to delve into the future of sustainability with 23 interdisciplinary research centers focused on environmental sustainability.

Our education and research sustainability efforts would be counterproductive without a commitment to practice our own standards across our business and operations. From sourcing campus food from locally grown farms to constructing buildings with the highest efficiency and resiliency standards, Georgia Tech’s operational initiatives exemplify our commitment to applying sustainability practices and using our campus as a showcase education and research tool.

Explore a list of our sustainability awards and achievements as well.

The documentation of our history would not be possible without the archival and oral history research completed by Rebecca Watts Hull, a graduate student in the School of History and Sociology at Georgia Tech. Her paper informed the development of this sustainability timeline. The full reference for her paper is below:

Rebecca Watts Hull, "Organizational Variation in Change Agency: Explaining Sustainability at Three Georgia Universities, 1988-2010,” unpublished Master’s Paper, 2014, Georgia Institute of Technology.