Santa Clara University


FAQs about sustainability

What is sustainability? A sustainable decision balances impacts on the environment, with social well-being, and economic systems. Sustainability is about taking the long-term approach and considering systemic effects when making decisions. Sustainability involves three components for improving the quality of life for all: environmental protection, economic development, and social development. The formal definition is "meeting the needs of present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." 

Why is sustainability important to SCU? As a Jesuit University, SCU's mission is for students, faculty, and staff to be engaged with society and committed to fashioning a more humane, just, and sustainable world. SCU is committed to promote a more sustainable way of living through stewardship, education, outreach. 

How will SCU be "climate neutral" by the end of 2015? SCU will produce zero net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by reducing energy use where possible (energy conservation programs such as the annual Residence Energy Challenge, and upgrading lighting and heating/cooling systems), generating renewable energy on campus (solar panels, wind turbine, solar hot water systems), and purchasing renewable energy and offsetting remaining emissions when necessary. We have reduced GHG emissions per person by 23% since 2005!