Sustainability Initiatives

UGA Costa Rica Sustainability Report

Read the 2014-2015 Sustainability Report using joomag, thanks to the UGA Office of Sustainability (and you may also download as a pdf).

Download the 2013 Sustainability Report as a pdf or iBook.
(Click here for iBook download instructions. Please allow 3-5 minutes for download to complete.)

Download the 2011-2012 Sustainability Report here (pdf).

Download the 2010 Sustainability Report here (pdf).

A critical basis for change and consensus is to find a way to introduce
and discuss ecological principles in society in a manner that draws
people together, rather than repelling or deterring them. This step
is crucial, because within ecological principles reside not only the
problems and challenges that face us, but also the solutions
that can be used to transform our economy and society.

-Paul Hawken, The Ecology of Commerce, p. 203


Aspiration for sustainability has been integral to the management of the UGA Costa Rica campus since even before the property was purchased by UGA. Treading lightly on the landscape and developing strong social bonds within the community were and remain characteristics evident in the operation, even as it has grown in size and scope. From the time I began working with UGA Costa Rica nine years ago, I have observed a shared vision for developing and running the UGA Costa Rica campus in a way that is sensitive to both surrounding environment as well as the community of San Luis.


Just as our annual financial audits by KPMG assure that we are following sound financial management and accounting practices and help us to understand areas in which we can improve, UGA Costa Rica’s annual sustainability audit, carried out by a team of Sustainability Interns, carries out an audit of the campus operations and documents their work in a format that not only helps us share what we’re doing but also serves as a management tool to help guide us into the future. The UGA Costa Rica campus sustainability reports offer a baseline (see the 2010 report) and annual progress of where UGA Costa Rica stands, and establishes target goals for 2015. The recently published 2014-2015 Report reviews where we achieved our goals, where we fell short, and discusses some thoughts for 2016 and beyond.


Since sustainability is a cultural process, it depends on the everyday
actions of ordinary people…Bringing sustainability home
is about growing a culture of sustainability that is suited to
the particularities of place. 

-Sim van der Ryn and Stuart Cowan, Ecological Design, p.63


Coincidentally, the UGA Costa Rica Sustainability Internship and the initial report coincided nicely with the establishment of the Office of Sustainability at The University of Georgia. This outward demonstration of UGA’s commitment to integrate the impressive sustainability efforts already going on in schools, colleges, departments and other units around the Athens campus provides added momentum and support for UGA Costa Rica to release our first sustainability report in 2010. We are grateful to the Office of Sustainability (Oos) Director, Kevin Kirsche, for his support and encouragement as we have embarked on this initiative over the past 5 years. We are also extremely thankful to Jason Perry and the OoS interns who work with the Office of International Education as we strive to implement the Green Arch Program in Athens. Andrew Lentini in OoS has provided guidance and design support for publishing the 2014-2015 report on-line as well as to past interns as they worked with report designs, and with many other design projects supporting the promotion of UGACR's sustainability efforts. Tyra Byers has helped UGACR with initiatives to integrate sustainability into the academic curriculum, providing outstanding training workshops for faculty and collaboration on the development of sustainability-focused education abroad programs.  We are proud to offer these reports as a reflection of the commitment of the Office of Sustainability to helping all divisions of the University of Georgia in their quests to define, measure, and achieve their sustainability goals.