Announcing the winners of the summer 2020 Carbon Reduction Challenge!

  • 1st place - Elina Ebby (Georgia Tech) - Interned at Microsoft
  • 2nd place - Neha Badam (Georgia Tech) - Interned at Medtronic
  • 3rd place - Ariela Farchi (Emory) - Interned at Quinfica
  • Honorable Mention - Adrianna Fu (Georgia Tech) - Interned at UPS
  • Honorable Mention - Annamarie Eustice (Georgia Tech) - Interned at GT Water Lab
  • Honorable Mention - Zoie Moore (Agnes Scott) - Interned at Agnes Scott

Check out the Finalist Expo to learn more about the finalists' projects and watch the awards presentation. Watch now.

A student presents at the Carbon Reduction Challenge

Students have developed carbon reduction projects with these companies

The Coca-Cola Company Delta Air Lines City of Atlanta Home Depot Truist Financial

Help organizations create a more sustainable "business-as-usual"

Gather data on effective low-carbon work behaviors, and build a business case for how your organization can support them in order to curb their CO2 emissions and save money.

Stand out at your internship or co-op

Take on a self-driven project alongside your internship or co-op, meet more people at your organization, and make a great impression to your colleagues.

Win up to $2000 in cash prizes

Present your project at a competition at the end of the summer, and compete for cash prizes.

How it works

The Carbon Reduction Challenge is a 10-week summer program that runs from June to August 2020.

1

Apply for the Carbon Reduction Challenge

All you need to do is fill out this form by 8pm on Friday, May 22. We'll get back in touch with you shortly after.

2

Learn about the drivers of climate change

We'll run an orientation at the beginning of the summer where we'll teach you about the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions and simple ways you can have an impact in curbing those emissions.

3

Assess behaviors that have changed during COVID-19

  1. You'll send out a pre-survey to your team at work with a few questions on how transportation behaviors have changed due COVID-19. We'll give you this survey.
  2. Based on the pre-survey responses, you'll choose one behavior that has changed the most (eg, driving to work), and send out a more in-depth survey to your team at work. We'll give you this survey as well.
  3. Based on the in-depth survey responses, you'll calculate how CO2 emissions have changed before and during COVID-19, and come up with a few recommendations for how your organization can curb their emissions and support effective low-carbon work behaviors that were used during the COVID-19.
4

Receive regular feedback

You'll have check-ins with Georgia Tech faculty experts who can help you make progress on your project. We'll also update this website with resources such as templates for work emails and examples on how to calculate CO2 emissions and cost savings.

5

Submit a final report to your organization

You'll write up your calculations and recommendations as a report and submit it to your organization so that they can consider implementing them. We'll provide you with a template for this report.

6

Compete for cash prizes at Georgia Tech

We'll organize a final competition where you can present your project and compete for thousands of dollars in cash prizes.

"When I was interviewing [for jobs], ... I was only asked about the Carbon Reduction Challenge, my experience, how I did the calculations, how I tried to get the projects off the ground. It helped me get my job for my next summer. So it set me up really well."

Frequently asked questions

Organizations are figuring out how to adjust their internship and co-op programs as a result of COVID-19, with several going virtual. With this in mind, we have redesigned the Carbon Reduction Challenge for the summer and simplified projects to focus on surveying behaviors that have changed at organizations during the pandemic, and quantifying those carbon and cost savings.

Any undergraduate or graduate student from all majors / departments who has an internship or co-op lined up over the summer, and who has the permission and support of their supervisor.

The challenge works best if you're working with an organization, and good place to start would be groups that you're already a part of at your university. Past participants have developed carbon reduction projects with on campus groups such as their their lab or the facilities department.

About 2-4 hours per week, in addition to your internship / co-op responsibilities.

Throughout the summer, we'll run office hours with our faculty experts who will give you feedback and refine the scope of your project

And whenever you have a question or get stuck, just let us know at carbonreduction@gatech.edu. Questions like "I'm not sure where to go from here" and "I don't know how to approach this problem" are legitimate questions, so don't hestiate to ask!

Organizations are experiencing significant changes to their operations as a result of COVID-19. Looking ahead to an eventual recovery, there may be opportunities for businesses to recover in a way that curbs their carbon emissions by supporting low-carbon work behaviors. We hope carbon reduction projects can offer up some of these options.

About 2-4 hours per week, in addition to their internship / co-op responsibilities.

Students will have checkins throughout the summer with faculty experts who will help them define a project, and calculate the carbon and cost savings of the project.

Students will write up a report containing recommendations of how your organization can curb emissions and save money, supported by calculations and survey analysis.

Got a question?

Contact us at carbonreduction@gatech.edu.

Resources

COVID-19 and climate change

New York Times - Climate Change Has Lessons for Fighting the Coronavirus
March 21 · 7 min read
Carbon Brief - What impact is COVID-19 having on global emissions?
May 22, 2020 · 1 hour webinar
Partnership for Southern Equity - Continuing the conversation about COVID-19 and our change for transformation
May 21 · 2 hour webinar

Orientation

Dr. Kim Cobb | CRC Team - Climate science, impacts, and solutions
June 1 · 16 min
Dr. Kim Cobb | CRC Team - COVID-19 and Climate Change
June 1 · 11 min
Dr. Beril Toktay Cobb | CRC Team - Making the business case
June 1 · 20 min
Kjersti Lukens | CRC team - How it works and Timeline
June 1 · 5 min
CRC team - Orientation Quiz
CRC team - In the news

Check out student testimonials and articles covering previous Carbon Reduction Challenges.

Pre-survey

CRC Team - Pre-survey report

Use this template to write up the results of your pre-survey. And watch this explainer video with guidelines on how to write your pre-survey report.

Final expo

CRC Team - Final report template

Use this template to write up the results of your in-depth survey.

Here are examples of well-written final reports that show the level of detail we are looking for:

CRC Team - Final presentation template

Use this template to make a short presentation about your carbon reduction project. Feel free to customize the look and feel of your presentation.

CRC Team - Judging rubric

We'll use these criteria to evaluate your project and announce the winners!

Weekly Q&A

Dr. Beril Toktay | CRC Team - Week 1 Q&A
Dr. Kim Cobb Toktay | CRC Team - Week 2 Q&A

Office hours

Dr. Kim Cobb | CRC Team - June 16 Office Hours
Dr. Beril Toktay | CRC Team - July 1 Office Hours

Got a question?

Contact us at carbonreduction@gatech.edu.