Green Certified Buildings
In 2015, the Georgia Legislature mandated that state institutions could no longer utilize state funding to pursue LEED certification for building projects. Georgia State continues to incorporate sustainability in all new construction projects on campus by following the Georgia Peach Point Standards. Currently, we have three green-certified buildings on campus — Indian Creek Lodge, the Student Recreation Center and the College of Law.
Indian Creek Lodge
The lodge serves as a premier venue for meetings, conferences, retreats and social events and was the first LEED-certified building at Georgia State. Sustainable features of the lodge include:
- High-efficiency water fixtures
- Preservation of more than 77% of the LEED project boundary for open space
- Purchasing of renewable energy certificates that offset 100% of the building’s electricity use
- Reduction of water use by 35%
To find out more about Indian Creek Lodge and how to reserve space for events, click here.
Student Recreation Center
The Student Recreation Center opened in 2001 and was recognized by the National Intramural and Recreation Sports Association as an Outstanding Sports Facility. In 2012, the building became Green Globes certified, earning three (out of four) globes, due to the university’s commitment to green building and sustainable development. The building also houses Georgia State’s Touch the Earth program, where campus users can rent bicycles and outdoor gear for little to no cost.
College of Law
The College of Law opened in 2015. The state-of-the-art facility features a beautiful green roof terrace, wood paneling and an abundance of natural light.
Building Energy Consumption
Georgia State has a building automation system (BAS) that enables us to maintain a comfortable working environment. The system allows us to set occupancy schedules and run chiller plants at a lower cost per ton of cooling.
Energy Conservation Initiatives During Breaks
During winter break, Georgia State shuts down all buildings for three weeks to save energy. All HVAC and lights are turned off during this time with the exception of security lighting and HVAC in university housing. The university has also launched a “Shut the Shash” campaign in our laboratory spaces during breaks.
Campus Sustainability Grants
Funded by the Student Sustainability Fee, grants are available to current Georgia State students, faculty, and staff to advance sustainability through education, research, service, and campus operations. Students can apply individually or as part of a club.
Successful projects will address Georgia State’s Four Pillars: Research and Innovation, Student Success, College to Careers, and Identify and Placemaking. Additional consideration will be given to projects that address the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Drawdown Georgia climate solutions.
Due Friday, Oct. 13, 2023
Grant awards announced Oct. 31, 2023
Proposals must be submitted using the application form and budget template, which includes instructions and guidelines to help complete the application.
Previously Awarded Projects
America Recycles Week: Mug Shot Campaign
Bike Rental Program
Earth Week Festival
Leafy Green Machine-City Grown
Less Paper-More Marching
Library Recycling Initiative
Move-In and Move-Out Recycling Banners
Panther Food Recovery Network
Panther Pride Initiative
Smart Baler Retrofit and Scale
Solar Table for the Student Recreation Center
Student Environmental Team
Sustainability Fellowship Program
Sustainability Initiatives Intern Program
Sustainability Speaker Series
The Jeffrey G. Miller National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition
Water Bottle Refill Station
Electric Bus Fleet
Georgia State University is leading the charge as the first university in the Southeast and one of the first in the country to electrify its entire bus fleet. This achievement, made possible by a $22.3 million award from the FTA’s FY23 Low- and No-Emission program, signifies our commitment to sustainability through action, not just words.
Learn what this incredible project means to us and you:
- A Trailblazer in Sustainability:
GSU is consistently recognized as one of the most innovative universities in the country, and this move puts us at the forefront of sustainable transportation and next generation bus technology.
Why It Matters:
- Operational Impact:
- We will save money by owning and maintaining our electric buses, reducing annual diesel costs by $200,000.
- By storing our buses on campus, we will save $120,000 a year in land leasing costs and $36,000 a year in utility costs.
Every dollar we save can go back into our core mission of educating students.
- Environmental Impact:
- Switching to electric buses means we’ll produce 541 metric tons less CO2 emissions each year, saving $56,000 in social costs associated with carbon emissions.
- No more diesel buses mean cleaner air; we’ll release 1625 grams less PM2.5 particles into the air each year, improving our air quality.
- Our electric buses will save a lot of energy, equal to taking 89 average American cars off the road every year.
2. Easing Traffic and Connecting Communities:
Our new electric Panther Express buses are big, efficient, and they’ll help reduce traffic on and off campus. They’ll also connect us to the Summerhill community, where our CenterParc Stadium is.
Why It’s Good for You:
- The Summerhill Bus Rapid Transit system will make travel faster and more efficient, so you’ll spend less time commuting and more time where you want to be.
3. Fair Transportation for All:
Mobility is a right, not a privilege. Our buses will serve four disadvantaged areas identified by the Department of Transportation. Approximately 80% of our students are from underrepresented groups, are the first in their families to go to college, or qualify for Pell Grants, so we want to make sure they have a fair shot at transportation.
PantherDining is committed to maintaining sustainable practices throughout its various locations. Patton, Piedmont Central and Piedmont North were awarded the prestigious 3-Star Green Certification from the Green Restaurant Association based on the categories of disposables, energy, food, furnishings and building materials, pollution and chemical reduction, waste and water use.
Click here to find out about all of PantherDining’s sustainability initiatives.
Green Office Certification
Sustainability Initiatives is proud to offer a certification program in which Georgia State offices and departments consult with our team to construct a comprehensive plan for making your office space “green.” The process begins with a waste and energy audit conducted by our team, in which we observe the natural usage habits of the office. From this, we find ways your team members can reduce, reuse, recycle and implement green practices in your space. While it may sound intimidating, we’re here for every step of the certification and will guide you in each part.
Complete the form below to learn more about obtaining a Green Office certification.
About re:loom & GSU partnership
Re:loom is a program of Initiative for Affordable Housing, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization in Decatur, Georgia. GSU started its partnership with re:loom in January 2023 after Panther Dining applied for Sustainability Initiative’s 2023 Campus Sustainability Grant Program wanting to use re:loom to upcycle their used uniforms. The funds requested by Dining were going towards buying back all the upcycled swag from re:loom once it was made.
After being accepted into the program, we collected 161 clothing items from Dining. These items consisted of chef coats, t-shirts, hats, and pants. The reloom team was able to make 1300 upcycled swag items from that batch. They made GSU-themed keychains, lanyards, hair scrunchies, drink coozies, bracelets, jersey bags, and even rings!
This collaboration is a perfect example of the triple bottom line, people-plant-profit approach to sustainability, and here’s why:
- People: re:loom employs homeless and low-income individuals through weaving beautifully designed upcycled products, woven from donated materials
- Planet: By upcycling and weaving products, re:loom gives textiles a new life that would otherwise be destined for the landfill.
- Profit: re:loom re-invests 100% of its profits into life skill training and rehabilitation services for people they employ and their families, setting them on a path to sustainable self-sufficiency.
How to get re:loom swag
GSU students can get their hands on re:loom swag at Sustainability Initiatives tabling events which we post about on our awesome Instagram page. Some annual events that we regularly attend are Pounce Around Hurt Park, the Involvement Fair, and the Earth Week Festival.
Every semester, as part of tuition, GSU students pay a $5 student sustainability fee which helps to fund sustainability initiatives like this one! So far, we’ve collected over 400 lbs. of clothing from Panther Dining and GSU Facilities department and we’re looking forward to expanding our partnerships across more departments in the coming years.
Rooftop Gardens at Center Parc Stadium
The Rooftop Gardens were first founded in late 2018, when a group of students from the Student Environmental Team applied for project funding through the Sustainability Fee Committee. They used the budget to purchase supplies and tools to build raised garden beds and transformed the rooftop of Center Parc Stadium into Georgia State’s largest rooftop green space. Today, there are over 30 beds and over 100 species of plants at the Rooftop Gardens.
The range of plant species is mostly made up of edible plants but also includes pollinators and a growing number of native plants. With the construction of the new Georgia bed, the gardening team hopes to cultivate native fruits like the Pawpaw and other native edibles. The most popular plants are strawberries, cucamelons, watermelons, figs and peaches. Almost all of the vegetables, fruits and herbs grown on-site are donated to Panther’s Pantry, the food accessibility program at Georgia State.
If you’re interested in getting involved, click here to sign up to volunteer at the Rooftop Gardens. Additionally, the Student Environmental Team and the Nutrition Student Network have volunteer meetings every Friday at the Rooftop Gardens from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.