DC Mayor's College and University Sustainability Pledge

The District of Columbia Mayor’s College and University Sustainability Pledge (CUSP) invites the District’s institutions of higher education to commit to pursuing sustainability as engaged participants in the Mayor’s ambitious goal of making the District of Columbia the most sustainable city in America. The CUSP recognizes the critical leadership role of the District’s colleges and universities in advancing sustainability on campus and in the community.

Purpose and Overview:

The District of Columbia Mayor’s College and University Sustainability Pledge (CUSP) is designed to be meaningful yet flexible, aspirational in vision yet intended to produce tangible benefits for our local environment and our community. Each signatory shall select its own commitments and goals for sustainability. The CUSP awards recognition for accomplishments and provides a framework to measure and communicate the cumulative sustainability leadership of higher education in the District of Columbia.

GW's CUSP Commitments - February 2012

Below is a list of GW's CUSP Commitments. Download a full copy of the pledge.

For more information download GW's sustainability report or view online.

Energy & Buildings

1. Achieve LEED Silver or equivalent in all new construction and major renovations.

2. Reduce energy use in buildings by 35% per square foot, compared to FY08 baseline.

3. Purchase or generate at least 10% of total energy consumed from renewable sources.

Jobs & Community Development

1. Employ District of Columbia residents in positions directly related to sustainability

2. Provide students with sustainability-related service learning opportunities in DC.


  1. Reduce potable water use by 25% per square foot compared to FY08 baseline. 
  2. University will use tap water in place of bottled water

Green Education & Training

  1. Ensure that at least 2% of total courses offered are sustainability-focused. 
  2. Ensure that at least 100% of students will be eligible to take sustainability coursework. 
  3. Provide institutional funding and/or administrative support for faculty who engage in sustainability-related teaching. 


  1. Increase or maintain campus population commuting trips made by means other than single occupancy vehicle to at least 60% of modal split. 


  1. Improve solid waste diversion to at least 30% of total solid waste.