Skip to main content
Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Environmental Ethics

The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics explores ethical issues in the environment.

What is Environmental Ethics?

The Green Bronco Video Series created by the 2017-18 Environmental Ethics Fellows: Andrea Filler, Nick Redfield, and Vanessa Shin.

Environmental ethics applies moral thinking to the natural world and the relationship between humans and the earth. Moral reasoning is not a substitute for science, but it provides a powerful complement to scientific knowledge about the earth. Science does not teach us to care. Scientific knowledge does not, by itself, provide reasons for environmental protection. Science and economics provide data, information, knowledge. Environmental ethics turns to this information and asks: how then, should we live?

Continue watching

One Column
Short Course in Environmental Ethics

This short course introduces the key features of environment ethics for an audience without a background in ethics. It is written specifically to help students - from high school to adult learners -- to recognize and use moral language to describe how they value the earth.

Browse Lessons

Student Fellowship Opportunities

The Fellowship in Environmental Ethics is awarded to outstanding Santa Clara University undergraduates to support a project that examines the ethical implications of an environmental topic.

See Fellowship Opportunities

one column -cropped

Environmental Fellowship Project Highlights

A generic bar graph featuring a trendline and a magnifying glass focused on one section

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)-focused companies performed better than others through the market volatility so common during the COVID-19 pandemic.

2020-21 Environmental Ethics Fellow, Rebecca Poirier ’21 raises awareness about the environmental impacts of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic through a series of infographics.

Recreating responsibly is entirely necessary for the preservation of environmental spaces.

Carey Feierabend explores the Point Reyes National Seashore.

    400 x 400
    Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Investing

    The high performance of socially responsible stocks during the pandemic clearly demonstrates the long-term potential of ESG investment and could signal a turning point for investors to transition their strategies to take a longer-term and ethically guided approach to their investments. This piece by 2020-21 Environmental Ethics Fellow Mary Kleinsmith explores the implications of this trend.

    Continue Reading

    Teaching Module on Pope Francis' Encyclical

    This module provides selections from the encyclical Laudato Si', with background, specific discussion questions, and key points for classroom dialogue. The module is designed to be used in a single 50 to 60 minute class period, or a shorter period over several days.

    View Lesson Plan

    One Column
    Navigate here to Read Articles Environmental Articles
    Navigate here to Read Articles Environmental Articles
    Environmental Articles

    Articles from fellows and staff about environmental issues including sustainability, climate change, environmental justice, and more.


    Navigate here to Read Articles Environmental ArticlesRead Articles
    Navigate here to Browse Resources Environmental ResourcesImage of library shelves filled with books overlaid with the word 'Resources'.
    Navigate here to Browse Resources Environmental Resources
    Environmental Resources

    More resources from the Ethics Center, including content on natural resource use, nuclear waste disposal, and more.


    Navigate here to Browse Resources Environmental ResourcesBrowse Resources
    Navigate here to View Videos Environmental Videos
    Navigate here to View Videos Environmental Videos
    Environmental Videos

    Explore topics about environment ethics in-depth through videos contributed by previous Environmental Ethics Fellows.


    Navigate here to View Videos Environmental VideosView Videos
    Navigate here to Calculate Footprint Carbon Footprint Calculator
    Navigate here to Calculate Footprint Carbon Footprint Calculator
    Carbon Footprint Calculator

    With this Bronco-based calculator inspired by British Petroleum, we'd like the SCU community to see the impact of their everyday actions.


    Navigate here to Calculate Footprint Carbon Footprint CalculatorCalculate Footprint