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Santa Clara University Honored for Sustainability Achievements

Santa Clara University (SCU) was ranked third among 93 master’s-level institutions in the U.S. for its success with campus-wide sustainability initiatives in the Sustainable Campus Index, which is an annual publication of The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

“That top showing reflects Santa Clara’s strong commitment to educating students and reducing the school’s usage and waste in areas like water, transportation, energy use, and food and dining services,” said SCU in a press release.

The distinction also comes on the heels of other tributes to SCU leadership in sustainability, including a No. 13 ranking out of 269 schools in Sierra Club Magazine’s “Top 50 Cool Schools;” the Arbor Day Foundation’s 2018 Tree Campus USA Certification, awarded to SCU’s urban forestry management program; and a No. 13 ranking out of 399 top U.S. Green Schools by Princeton Review.


“As a Jesuit and Catholic university, Santa Clara is committed to Pope Francis’ call to care for our common home for the benefit of all who inhabit it,” said University President Kevin O’Brien, S.J. “We are grateful for this significant acknowledgement of our efforts to develop our campus as a ‘living laboratory’ for global climate solutions, educate our community about urgent climate issues, and progress toward climate neutrality in the near future.”

For more than 15 years, SCU has pursued its sustainability goals by committing resources and encouraging employee efforts to reduce the University’s environmental impact. Recent efforts include a new people-oriented sustainability strategic plan complete with “playbooks” identifying specific actions and badges for campus members who work to further reduce climate impact; a “road map” that transparently displays every major sustainability initiative; and online data dashboards that show SCU’s progress in achieving each.

“We are thrilled by this recognition,” said Lindsey Kalkbrenner, Director of the University’s Center for Sustainability. “But we still have a lot of work to do to reach our sustainability goals and reverse global warming. It’s going to take every single SCU Bronco — whether they are in sciences, humanities, entrepreneurship, art, spirituality, or community engagement — to engage as they feel the call to act.”


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