Georgia Tech Releases Recommendations for Long-Term Sustainability

As part of its long-term sustainability initiative launched in Fall 2020, Georgia Tech has released a report detailing six recommended actions the Institute can take to promote, implement, and advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015 as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the SDGs are designed to address the world’s most pressing challenges, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, and peace and justice. Featuring objectives such as “Affordable and Clean Energy,” “Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure,” and “Sustainable Cities and Communities,” the SDGs appear by name in Tech’s new strategic plan and align with the Institute’s areas of expertise as well as its mission to develop leaders who advance technology and improve the human condition.

The report, titled “17 Rooms at Georgia Tech: Recommended Actions,” stems from the virtual version of 17 Rooms that Georgia Tech hosted on Oct. 1, 2020. An event concept developed by The Brookings Institution and The Rockefeller Foundation, 17 Rooms convenes 17 distinct groups of specialists to identify, in concert, high-impact objectives that can be met in 18 months to advance the SDGs.

Following the event last October, the 17 Rooms Planning Committee — aided by more than 20 student, faculty, and staff volunteers representing all 17 discussions — worked to identify key takeaways from the event. They then synthesized these takeaways into recommendations that link research, teaching, operations, and partnerships while aligning with priorities in the Institute's new strategic plan.

Between October 2020 and January 2021, the Committee reviewed and refined those recommendations into the following six recommended actions to be implemented over the next 18 months:

1. Strengthen External Partnerships and Regional Collaborations
2. Integrate the SDGs into the Curriculum
3. Lead by Example
4. Engage Students in Institute Planning
5. Enhance Student Well-Being
6. Advance SDG Research

Read the full report for detailed descriptions of all six recommended actions, steps proposed to advance them, their connections with the SDGs and the Institute's new strategic plan, and estimates of the resources required to achieve them.

Since launching in Fall 2020, Georgia Tech’s long-term sustainability initiative has hosted events, designed courses, and engaged the greater campus community to introduce the SDGs, discuss their global importance and relevance to Tech, and demonstrate how the Institute can lead the region in implementing and advancing them.