solar thermal with washington monument in background

Sustainable GW

The George Washington University envisions a future with healthy and thriving resource systems for all. In an effort to enhance its campus, the nation’s capital, and the world at large, GW is building a greener campus, providing research and intellectual discourse on policies and technologies for sustainable systems and equipping students with the skills and knowledge to contribute to a sustainable future.

From the campus to the world: thinking strategically

From climate change to natural resource depletion to the loss of biodiversity, living sustainably on earth has become one of the central challenges of our time. While these trends pose risks to institutions, countries and the planet, they also provide opportunities for innovation in emerging fields and effective financial policies that truly account for the value of natural resources.

As an institution of higher education in the heart of the nation’s capital, GW has a unique contribution to make to address these challenges. GW is committed to developing, piloting and demonstrating models for urban sustainability and resilience. The university provides a test bed, a safe space for learning and inquiry, and opportunities to amplify what we learn and accomplish.

The university takes a comprehensive, strategic approach to sustainability that encompasses its physical footprint and financial resources, as well as academics and research; sets ambitious goals and targets; and seeks to extend our influence beyond GW’s campuses to mitigate risk and seize opportunities for innovations that will benefit the university, society and the planet.

How We Work

The progress GW has made in sustainability is due to the tireless efforts of students, faculty and staff across the university who make it part of their day-to-day plans, projects and budgets. As a small office in an institution rich with intellectual resources, the Office of Sustainability provides direction and support to various functions and partners across the university, working with stakeholders to set university-wide goals and to manage efforts to reach measurable targets. Sustainable GW works closely with academic and research leadership for sustainability in the Provost’s office. Sustainable GW provides a strategic home for sustainability initiatives on campus and integrates sustainability into the fabric of the university.

The Office of Sustainability leads the university in its commitment to being a model of urban sustainability and resilience by building greener campuses, creating a culture of sustainability and addressing the university’s impact on the planet and its inhabitants.

The Office of the Provost manages sustainability research and academics at GW. The University's signature sustainability program is the interdisciplinary Minor in Sustainability. Sustainable GW works closely with the Provost’s office to develop and enhance the resources available for faculty teaching and research on sustainability issues. Additionally, Sustainable GW partners directly with key faculty, departments and schools across the university to work on sustainability living labs, operational programming, and student community programming. 

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