The Center for Sustainability is the focal point for Santa Clara University’s Justice and Sustainability Strategic Priority and contributes to creating a more just, humane, and sustainable world.
The Center for Sustainability advances academic and public understanding of the ways in which social justice and sustainability intersect by integrating principles of social, environmental, and economic sustainability into campus operations, academic and student life, and outreach programs.
The Center for Sustainability aims to help the University:
We, the staff and students of the SCU’s Center for Sustainability, are deeply committed to building a humane, just, and sustainable world rooted in equity. We understand this starts with educating ourselves first and using our power to dismantle the institutional and systemic racism present in our university, community, and country at large.
Climate change disproportionately affects Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, creating even greater disparities along the lines of race and socioeconomic status. Just as solutions to reverse global warming must be ingrained in our daily behaviors and decisions, so too, must be actions to promote racial equity, for the only way to build a sustainable world is to ensure quality of life for all people and the planet.
We recognize the complicated history of Santa Clara University--built by the Spanish missionaries on the land of the Ohlone and Muwekma Ohlone people. The SCU community has a lot of work to do to rid the university of institutional racism and foster diversity, equity, and inclusion. We aim to uphold the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission for Diversity and Inclusion.
We acknowledge our place of immense privilege within a Jesuit university and aim to do better. We are listening, learning and committed to making change.
Our goals are to
- Tackle racial justice head on. Work individually and as a team to examine our impact on current systems of inequity, including better understanding our implicit biases.
- Embed racial justice work in our everyday actions as a center. We will organize inclusive and intersectional events and programs to ensure our center represents diverse voices, experts, and opportunities to engage.
- Use our platform to create a safe space for discussions of sustainability problems and solutions which amplifies BIPOC voices.
- Increase opportunities for BIPOC students to gain professional experience building a more humane, just, and sustainable world.
This goal consists of the reduction of the University's use of electricity and natural gas, as well as single-occumpany vehicles on campus.
Example metrics: annual greenhouse gas emissions inventory, local offset initiatives
This means we help improve the understanding of their impact of purchasing/ consumption of resources (e.g. water) and materials (e.g. personal stuff). We also strive to engage the campus to partake in conservation, resource reduction, or voluntary simplicity, as well as recycling, composting, and creative reuse/ upcycling strategies.
Example metrics: food source miles, sustainable purchasing policies, and waste diversion rates.
We strive to expand the campus community's ability and desire to partake in sustainable behaviors that contribute to a more resilient and regenerative world.
Example metrics: number of individuals involved in sustainability-related co-curricular and employee programs, assessments of the campus community's perceived value and intrinsic motivations for sustainable behaviors.
We support solutions-based coursework and research to solve local and global problems using the campus as a demonstration test-bed.
Example metrics: number of sustainability-related and focused courses, number of students and faculty engaged in sustainability-related research, number of students engaged with community members at BUG sites.
- Awards & Recognition
Santa Clara University has been awarded and recognized for many of its sustainability projects and initiatives.
The Center for Sustainability was once a small office located on the outskirts of campus. Here is how we evolved.
Read the latest news about the faces of sustainability and recent projects on campus.
- Our Team
Our awesome team members work on the Center for Sustainability's pillars through their specific focus areas of campus life.
The Center for Sustainability collaborates with stakeholders on and off campus in order to acccomplish University goals.
- Support Sustainability
You can make a gift to any of the Center for Sustainability programs, including the Forge Garden and the Bronco Urban Garden (BUG) programs.
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- Cultural Heritage
The University values the deeply complex history of the land and aims to preserve and share the campus' diverse and cultural heritage.
- Reporting (STARS)
The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. View SCU's latest Gold rating report here.
- Sustainability Policy
As a Jesuit and Catholic University, SCU embraces sustainability through environmental stewardship, education, and service which furthers its mission to act as a voice of reason, conscience, and service to society.