At Saint Joseph’s College, “sustainability” encompasses human and ecological health, social justice, secure livelihoods, and a better world for future generations. It is expressed as a deep and holistic respect for the earth through daily practices, decision-making, and stewardship in a healthy and equitable way so that communities now and in the future can thrive.
In February of this year, President Jim Dlugos announced that the College had taken an important step in institutionalizing this commitment. He said, “Thanks to the dedication and energy of a coalition of faculty, staff, and students who have served on the various committees, work groups, task forces, and most recently the Sustainability Task Force, the College’s understanding of and embracing of sustainability has grown and deepened. The establishment of the Center for Sustainable Communities (CSC) marks another important step toward making sure that sustainability is a key lens through which we view all activity at the College.”
The Center for Sustainable Communities fosters innovation and leadership through the intersection of social justice and sustainability by integrating principles of social, environmental, and economic sustainability into campus operations, academics, engagement, and planning and administration. Some of our current initiatives include stewarding the Climate Action Plan, supporting active research opportunities and course development, and engaging stakeholders across communities to build sustainable programs and assess opportunities for improvement.
The establishment of the Center for Sustainable Communities (CSC) marks another important step toward making sure that sustainability is a key lens through which we view all activity at the College.
The CSC reflects our shared commitment to stewardship, and as such, reflects our Mission, Core Values, and Catholic Mercy heritage. The CSC serves all areas of the College to support sustainability in our current and emerging systems, relationships, environments, and ideas. Based on the servant-leadership model, the CSC is guided by four co-directors who collaborate to:
- Achieve carbon neutrality by 2036;
- Promote a culture of sustainability among students, faculty, staff, administration, and surrounding communities;
- Establish the campus as a living laboratory for sustainable solutions;
- Encourage community-wide conversations about equity, civility, diversity, and social responsibility;
- Lead through innovation.