What We’re Doing
American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment
In 2007, Saint John’s University became a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). As part of our commitment to ACUPCC, we’ve created a climate action plan that lays out the path to carbon neutrality. By conserving energy, educating our campus community, investing in efficiency and conservation, changing our energy sources, and investing in alternative energy and carbon offsets, we will meet our goal by 2035.
Sustainability Revolving Loan Fund
Saint John’s has set aside $100,000 for zero-interest loans to projects with cost savings (Revolving Loan Fund). The cost savings will pay back the loan until 120% of the loan is paid off. As the fund grows, more and larger projects can be initiated. A committee of faculty, staff, administration, and students govern the fund.
During March 2014, the SJU Office of Sustainability organized a weeklong event dedicated to educating our campus community and encouraging environmentally-friendly behaviors. The main event of sustainability week was a campus-wide energy challenge to see which residence hall could reduce their energy consumption the most. Our office also coordinated with clubs of all sorts to set up events that made students think about their energy consumption and showed them ways to reduce it. We capped the week off with a celebratory 'Sustainability Happy Hour' in Brother Willie's Pub which featured trivia about SJU's sustainability initiatives and other environmental topics.
Tracking and Monitoring
Tracking and monitoring behaviors, resource usage, and system outputs are critical aspects in helping make Saint John’s a more sustainable campus. Ever since 2008 we've been quantifying out Greenhouse Gas Inventory which includes transportation, purchased electricity, on campus heating and cooling, fugitive emissions, solid waste and air travel emissions. We've made a large amount of progress since we started tracking. We also measure how sustainable we are every three years by participating in the AASHE Sustainable Tracking and Rating System (STARS). This publicly produced metric includes categories such as Education & Research; Operations; and Planning, Administration & Engagement. In 2011, we're proud to have earned a silver rating.
Recyclemania is a competition among over 600 colleges and universities to see who can recycle the most and waste the least. Over the 8-week period, schools report recycling and trash data, and are then ranked according to largest amount of recyclables collected, least amount of trash per capita, and the highest recycling rate.
Campus Conservation Nationals
The Campus Conservation Nationals is a three week long conservation competition. This year we will be focusing our efforts on Tommy and Mary Hall. These buildings will compete to achieve the greatest percentage reduction in energy use by the end of the challenge which begins the last week of February and goes 2 weeks into March.
Each year we work with Catholic Charities Emergency Relief Services and the Benedictine Volunteer Corps to assist us with move out with our "Goodwill, not Landfill" program. The SJU Office of Sustainability places boxes at the end of every hall for students in which to place their still usable goods. The Benedictine Volunteers Corps members help with collection. Catholic Charities comes to pick up the items and delivers them to people who need them most. In 2013, we sent 31,220 pounds of clothing, school supplies, and food to people who need them.
Office of Sustainability