New student petition calls for Institute to fully electrify vehicle fleet and buildings by 2030

A picture of Grayson Eady, EE ’22. Eady is the creator of the electrify GT petition, which aims to convince the Institute to fully electrify by 2030. // Photo by Julia Balot, Student Publications

The Institute recently released their ten year strategic plan for continuing to develop academic programs and remaining a top international school for collegiate students to attain degrees.

However, when Grayson Eady, fourth -year EE, took a closer look at the plan, he was shocked at the lack of vision in the Institute’s climate proposals.

“I was looking through and realized that at Georgia Tech, home of the Kendeda building for sustainable design, we talk a big game about how much we care about climate change and our goals for carbon reduction. We’re only protected for 15% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. That’s lower than what the United States as a whole is projected for.”

After discovering this, Eady decided to take matters into his own hands, creating the Electrify GT survey.

The survey, which was released on change.org, explains findings on the risks that inaction on climate change could have on the future of the planet, and ends by listing out four demands which the Institute should strive for by 2030.

These demands are as follows: the Institute achieve 100% electrification of its campus fleet vehicles, including “​UTVs/golf carts, light duty trucks and cars, Stinger buses, Stingerette vans, Georgia Tech Police Department vehicles, and any other vehicles owned and/or operated by Georgia Tech and its partner organizations” by 2030; the Institute replace all fossil-fuel powered equipment used for landscaping, maintenance and fabrication with equivalent electric devices by 2025; the Institute electrify all campus buildings by 2030; and the Institute complete the prior three demands without increasing the demand or usage of fossil fuels.

When questioned on if he was concerned about the potential costs and pushback the Institute may have, Eady replied, “Part of the benefit of us, saying that we want all these things by 2030, is that you’ve pretty much captured the lifespan of every piece of equipment on Tech in that ten years.

“So, instead of demanding that Georgia Tech immediately buy all new electric generators, equipment, buses, golf carts, etc, as those vehicles age and they’re ready to replace them, say in about five years from now, when you’re going to have a lot more affordable options when it comes to electric vehicles on the market.”

Eady plans to continue to garner support for the petition, and is currently creating a club to help in his quest to present the student body’s opinions to the Institute in the hopes of changing their sustainability goals.

As far as meeting the objective, Eady cares more the destination than the journey and is certainly open to help and advice, “We’re certainly looking for more student feedback to improve our process, and it would be great for people to know that they can approach us with that.”

Currently around 400 students have signed the electrify GT petition for electrification, which is still available for Institute students to sign on the Electrify GT Instagram and Reddit pages, or they can access it directly through the following address: change.org/p/georgia-institute-of-technology-electrify-georgia-tech-by-2030.