Learn how the Carbon Reduction Challenge can improve your organization

Multiple organizations of various sizes have participated in the Carbon Reduction Challenge, including:


What are the expected outcomes of a carbon reduction project?

Teams of students will design and implement a strategy for reducing their organization’s CO2 footprint while saving them money. Each team must quantify the CO2 reductions and cost savings that are associated with their reduction activities through the investigation of primary literature. The project is conducted in close partnership with stakeholders within the organization, with guidance from the Georgia Tech Carbon Reduction Team, and lasts 12 weeks from start to finish.

Why should my organization participate in the Carbon Reduction Challenge?

The benefits of participating in the Challenge include economic, strategic, marketing, and workforce development benefits.

A. Economic

Ultimately, saving carbon emissions means saving energy costs, so there are sizable financial benefits to enacting the carbon reduction plans developed by participating student teams. In the history of the Challenge, participating organizations have saved up to $30,000/yr through low- or no-cost modifications to their energy use.

B. Strategic

As we transition into a carbon-constrained world, the market will reward those who have enacted carbon reductions. Many markets (e.g. California, the Northeastern states, the EU, South Korea, New Zealand, and parts of China) already have a price on carbon emissions (see updated map here), and the United States EPA has the obligation to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. By acting to minimize your organization’s dependence on fossil fuels, you will be at a strategic advantage when carbon pricing in enacted at the federal, regional, or state level.

C. Marketing

Participation in the Challenge allows you access to additional marketing channels via Georgia Tech’s communications, as well as any local and national media which cover the Challenge (should your organization opt in to such coverage). If of interest, your organization would be featured as a “partner” on this website. At a bare minimum, your organization would be featured at the final Poster Expo for the Challenge, where a large range of community stakeholders and members of the public view the project outcomes. There is significant value in branding your organization as a partner, given that the public is increasingly interested in supporting organizations that are leaders in the area of sustainability, and climate action.

D. Workforce development

The Carbon Reduction Challenge presents an opportunity to:

  1. Recruit new talent to the organization in the form of high-achieving, engaged, and informed students who are entering the job market.
  2. Train existing employees to identify and enact carbon reduction projects that benefit the company’s bottom line.
  3. Foster a culture of teamwork and shared culture around sustainability goals at your organization, towards increased employee satisfaction.

How much of the student’s time will be dedicated to the project?

The program is held over a 12-14 week period. Each team is expected to spend no more than 4 hours a week on their project, unless requested to do so by their direct supervisors at the partner organization.

What is the timeline for project deliverables?

Students are expected to create a preliminary plan after 3-4 weeks into the program, to refine that plan and sharpen the project scope by roughly 6-8 weeks into the program, and to finalize their implementation after 12-14 weeks for presentation to stakeholders at a Final Poster Expo held in the middle of August.

Will the student receive any guidance on their project development from the Carbon Reduction Challenge team?

The students are encouraged to contact the Carbon Reduction Challenge staff with any questions throughout the entirety of the program. Students will receive specific, tailored guidance about how to make their project successful, from the beginning to the end of the challenge.

Who are the main contacts for this program?

As faculty directors, Dr. Kim Cobb and Dr. Beril Toktay are always available for a conversation with prospective partner organizations, and can share their past experiences and answer any questions. General inquiries can also be sent to carbonreduction@gatech.edu.

Get in touch

Contact us for more information about the Carbon Reduction Challenge.