Sustainability requires responsibly using and managing natural resources to meet our needs today without harming the possibilities of future generations meeting their own tomorrow. Sustainability is central to the University of St. Thomas’ mission of educating morally responsible leaders who think critically, act wisely, and work skillfully to advance the common good. In 2008, St. Thomas past President Father Dennis Dease signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, and the Board of Trustees adopted a strategic priority on environmental stewardship and sustainability. Since then, St. Thomas students, faculty and staff have championed many initiatives to infuse sustainability into the university’s academic programs, cocurricular activities and operations. This plan is the result of 18 months of assessment, community engagement and work group discussions to identify a vision, goals and concrete action steps that we can pursue to advance our commitment to sustainability. Representing the university’s first attempt to develop a comprehensive sustainability strategy, this plan centers on the following overarching aspirations. ViSION: By catalyzing university-wide engagement, we will create a culture that prepares students to be sustainability leaders during their university years and beyond. GOALs:
• Achieve a STARS gold rating by 2025 • Achieve carbon neutrality by 2035
Our understanding of, and commitment to, sustainability is grounded in our identity as a Catholic university. This plan embraces the principles of caring for creation, environmental stewardship and advancing the common good. These beliefs encompass a concern for social equity, economic prosperity and the healthy functioning of ecological systems both now and in the future. By implementing this plan, we aim to model sustainability in our own practices and to educate students who will improve lives today and build a better world for future generations.
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