SUSTAINABILITY AT SAINT PETER’S UNIVERSITY
- 2003: R3 Energy Management Audit & Review LLC was engaged to install energy efficient lighting upgrades.
- 2008: The President of Saint Peter’s University was a signatory of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). Administered by the organization, Second Nature, this commitment seeks to reduce our carbon footprint through a variety of initiatives.
- 2011: A major green initiative led to the installation of solar panels on the West campus of the University and later expanded to the East campus.
- 2012: Establishment of the Sustainability Council to initiate, develop, and implement strategies, programs, and events to support sustainable practices across the University community.
- 2013: A co-generation plant with a Green Energy Command Center was dedicated to control the use of energy and reduce our carbon footprint.
- 2014: Saint Peter’s won the statewide Garden State Greenfest Award in the category of college/university.
- 2014: Campus Kitchen was founded on 9/11/14. As of 8/2018, it has recovered 44,000 pounds of food from area companies and SPU Sodexo and served 41,000 meals.
- 2014/2015/2016/2017: Saint Peter’s University was awarded the distinction of being listed in The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges as one of the most sustainable campuses in the United States.
- 2015: Pope Francis issued Laudato Si’ on Care for Our Common Home. This Encyclical Letter points out that: Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded. … The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all. At the global level, it is a complex system linked to many of the essential conditions for human life.
- 2016: Saint Peter’s University renewed its membership in the New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability (NJHEPS). This organization provides excellent opportunities to network on sustainability and climate issues.
- 2016: The President of Saint Peter’s University was a signatory of the new Catholic Climate Covenant, from the U.S.Conference of Catholic Bishops.
- 2016: Saint Peter’s hosted an October Energy Day featuring a solar panel expert speaker, vendor displays, and tours of the co-generation plant.
- 2017: The tradition of annual events during Earth Week expanded including the visit from a penguin, an endangered species; presentations; and events.
- 2017: Saint Peter’s University was named a Finalist in the Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards
- 2017: Food Pantry and Clothes Closet were established. In one year, 11,000 pounds of food, clothing, toiletries, and household items were distributed.
- 2017: Saint Peter’s, in collaboration with Second Nature and GreenerU, hosted the November 3rd Workshop, BYOP (Bring Your Own Problem), to foster a collaborative approach to solving problems related to sustainable practices.
- 2017: Smoke-free and Tobacco-free indoors was extended to entire campus.
- 2018 Received the Green Campus Project award from the Independent College Fund of New Jersey for 2018-19. Created a Native Plant Garden near the birdfeeder.
Sustainable practices cover a galaxy of initiatives. Examples follow: LEED silver Mac Mahon Student Center opened in 2014; indoor and outdoor receptacles for recycling; greenhouse atop the science building; community garden; tree planting on Arbor Day; SAVE (Students Against Violating the Earth) Earth Week; year-round events and programs; bird feeder with the Cornell University project; academic programs, courses, and research focused on the environment; trayless dining and reusable containers; local produce used by food service; Sustainability Council themes on water, biodiversity, Laudato Si’, plastics; Arctic trips led by alumnus and Distinguished Professor of the College of Arts & Sciences, Dr. William Gutsch; and more.