Sustainability

Sustainability - President Knapp & the solar panels

“By using our campus as a test-bed for renewable energy technologies, we are demonstrating our university’s commitment to becoming a model of urban sustainability.”  –President Steven Knapp

Under the leadership of President Knapp, the George Washington University community is rapidly developing curriculum and research programs that foster awareness and advance sustainable objectives. Faculty, staff, and students make it a priority to infuse these principles into every activity, while working to transform the university into the model of urban sustainability envisioned by Dr. Knapp.

Since President Knapp’s arrival in 2007, George Washington has hosted the GreenGov Symposium presented by the White House Council on Environmental Quality, convened a series of annual symposiums in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, and launched the GW Solar Institute.

Reducing the George Washington campuses’ carbon footprint is part of the university’s Climate Action Plan, which targets carbon neutrality by 2040.  Among other programs initiated to meet this goal, about two-thirds of the hot water supplied to three George Washington residence halls will be heated by the sun. Collectively, the new solar thermal systems are the sixth largest system in the country, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Upon completion, the George Washington University will have the largest installation producing solar thermal energy on the East Coast.

The university’s sustainable future is also evident in the building of a gold LEED-certified residence hall, South Hall, and a second gold LEED-certified 300-bed residence hall on the Mount Vernon Campus.  Other efforts, which include frequent collaborations with the District of Columbia and the many federal and international agencies that surround the university’s campuses, are designed to equip George Washington students with the knowledge and skills to carry the habits and values of sustainability into their personal and professional lives.  

Read more by visiting the website of Sustainable GW.