Environmental & Energy Management Newsletter

The George Washington University
Engineering Management & Systems Engineering Department (EMSE)
Environmental & Energy Management Program (E&EM)
Spring 2009 (Volume 9, Number 2)















GW Establishes Office of Sustainability

GW’s commitment to environmental stewardship took a giant step forward in the Fall 2008 semester with the establishment of the University’s new Office of Sustainability. One of the chief recommendations of the Presidential Task Force on Sustainability, on which several E&EM members participated, the new office is charged with spearheading GW’s expanding environmental initiatives.

GW President Steven Knapp said that “The office will serve as an operational umbrella to coordinate the many activities in sustainability going on at GW—from procurement to environmental management to new construction projects.”

A pressing item on the office’s agenda is overseeing the creation of a comprehensive climate neutrality plan at GW—a requirement of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment signed by Dr. Knapp in April 2008. GW currently is conducting an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, and, within the next two years, will develop a plan to reduce its carbon footprint.

The new Office of Sustainability will provide another boost to GW’s rapidly expanding environmental and energy management programs. Two GW residence halls currently under construction are registered as LEED projects with the U.S. Green Building Council—a body that oversees green building ratings. This past summer GW established the Institute for the Analysis of Solar Energy and is now putting the final pieces in place to launch a renewable energy institute on the Virginia Campus. In addition, the University sponsors an annual “Green Move In” and “Green Move Out” in its residence halls, and held its first “green commencement” in May 2008. Also, GW is on track to achieve an interim target of recycling 30 percent of its waste.

Above: Filmmaker and environmentalist Laurie David, left, and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow speak with reporters at the George Washington University on April 22, 2007, the last day of their "Stop Global Warming College Tour."

Efforts currently are underway to recruit a full-time Director of the Office of Sustainability. The new Director will work collaboratively with the others in the GW community to elevate the University’s sustainability practices and help GW achieve leadership among its peers.





Jonathan P. Deason, Ph.D., Lead Professor