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Strategic Plan

Sustainability Strategic Plan

It's been 15 years since SCU established our Comprehensive Policy on Sustainability. This plan builds upon this foundation and lays out a course of action to achieve our vision of developing a more humane, just, and sustainable world. It pushes us beyond our comfort zone, toward new objectives, requiring some initial investment, and ultimately leading to a healthier planet, enriched academic experiences for students, and ongoing savings. We believe Santa Clara University is ready for this challenge. We will reverse global warming. We will mobilize our communities to take action. And we’ll do this together. Join us on this Mission Sustainable and be a part of SustainableSCU.

Sustainability Strategic Plan Video


  1. publication holds goals for 3 focus areas: climate action, responsible consumption, and quality education.
  2. roadmap displays strategies with implementation leads, timelines, and costs for categories in each focus area.
  3. Playbooks specify ways that individuals can take action. Participants can use #SustainableSCU on social media when sharing how they are living out the plan.
  4. Dashboards for climate action, responsible consumption, and quality education illustrate baselines and progress on key indicators. These will be updated quarterly.
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Climate Action

SCU is committed to carbon neutrality for scopes 1 and 2 by 2020, and for scope 3 by 2029. This section consists of transportation, energy, and climate.

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Responsible Consumption

We need to use our resources wisely on both an operational and individual level. This section consists of purchasing, landscaping, water, and waste.

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Quality Education

There are a number of ways to learn about sustainability on campus--inside and outside of the classroom. This section consists of student and employee engagement as well as academics.

Dear Members of the University Community,

It is with great pleasure that I introduce Santa Clara University’s Sustainability Strategic Plan. This plan embodies our commitment to climate neutrality in the scope of our values as a Jesuit institution. I invite you to celebrate our accomplishments as a nationally-recognized leader in sustainability as well as contemplate our duty to care for our common home.

When I began my tenure as President in 2009, I shared my vision for Santa Clara University. In my inaugural address, I highlighted the position we are in to “lead and participate in Silicon Valley’s fast-growing interest in sustainability, green energy, and environmental protection” by leveraging our University tradition of innovation, ethics, and social justice. Since then, some of the accomplishments I have witnessed include:

» Solar panels extending across campus to provide 15 times more power

» Waste diversion rates climbing from 16% to 68%

» A 10% reduction in water usage per person » Greenhouse gas emissions dropping by 22%

» Sustainability curriculum incorporated in over 1,100 courses at SCU

» The expansion of community-based programs and educational opportunities, such as the Forge Garden and Bronco Urban Gardens

In his encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’, Pope Francis reflects, “Once we start to think about the kind of world we are leaving to future generations, we look at things differently; we realize that the world is a gift which we have freely received and must share with others” (159). By committing to climate action, responsible resource consumption, and quality education for our students, we can respond to the Pope’s call to be advocates for the earth and our marginalized neighbors.

Please join me in welcoming and implementing this plan. Its success depends on each of us. See the accompanying Playbooks for ways to take action, and track our progress online at (, as we fulfill our mission to build a more humane, just, and sustainable world.


Michael E. Engh, S.J.