October is National Campus Sustainability Month, so I am especially pleased to announce a yearlong strategic planning process for sustainability at the University of St. Thomas.
All of us are essential co-creators of the vision for sustainability of St. Thomas. With your help over the remainder of the academic year, our Sustainability Council will identify goals and action steps to advance sustainability. Help to shape these initiatives! Please share your ideas and engage with others by posting on the new “idea wall.”
My predecessor, the Reverend Dennis Dease, signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2008. In 2010, he endorsed a Climate Action Plan outlining our university’s steps to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035. In the decade that has followed, this commitment to sustainability has permeated nearly every aspect of campus life at St. Thomas.
We have made remarkable progress toward our sustainability goals. This year St. Thomas completed its first comprehensive sustainability assessment and earned a silver STARS rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.
As you know, these efforts belong to all of us. In his 2015 encyclical, “Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home,” Pope Francis focused on the principle of Catholic social teaching, care for creation and the need for us to work together in caring for our environment. I hope you, too, embrace this call.
If you would like further information, contact Amir Nadav, assistant director of campus sustainability, or Elise Amel, professor of psychology and faculty director of the Office of Sustainability Initiatives.
Thank you in advance for helping us build on our strong culture of sustainability at St. Thomas!