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Sustainability Championed at World Economic Forum

February 19, 2010 – Georgetown pledged to support sustainable practices in campus development and operations during the 2010 meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The university joined other members of the Global University Leadership Forum (GULF) to sign the Sustainable Campus Charter, a partnership of GULF’s network of 25 universities and the International Campus Sustainability Network.

“At Georgetown, we’ve made a commitment to minimize our environmental impact, promote energy efficiency and build sustainable practices,” said President John J. DeGioia, who represents the university at the annual forum. “We are proud to sign on to this charter, and we will continue our efforts to align our operations, research and teaching with the goal of sustainability.”

By signing the charter, universities commit 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.

The universities also agreed to set measurable goals for sustainable development, construction, and operations and work to incorporate the study of sustainability principles and practice into their educational offerings.

The community plans to share digital teaching materials for underserved populations, and representatives from GULF institutions will join with the vice chancellors of key African universities in March to explore possible sustainability collaborations.

In recent years, Georgetown has reaffirmed its commitment to sustainability by enhancing the campus recycling program, converting the shuttle fleet to bio-fuel, and reduced its carbon footprint by 16 percent since 2006.

Georgetown plans to design all new facilities and renovations to LEED standards and cut its carbon footprint in half by 2020.

Initiated in 2006 by the World Economic Forum, the GULF community now includes 25 heads of universities from nine different countries. DeGioia is one of only 11 university representatives from the United States.

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