October 18, 2021
Solar panels on top of Gibbons Hall

October is Campus Sustainability Month, which is an international celebration of sustainability in higher education. Catholic University has had a long-term commitment to green initiatives.  The University is home to the largest solar installation in the District of Columbia, and 100% of its electricity is purchased with Green e-Certificates. The University is consistently recognized as a Tree Campus USA, and has several buildings with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)  certification.

Last year, the University announced its five-year Sustainability Plan. The initiatives and actions listed in the plan are intended to generate positive environmental change, promote education and research, preserve resources, raise awareness, reduce expenditures, generate exciting dialogue, and create new Catholic University community engagement touchpoints.

Catholic University environmental targets include:

  • 20% reduction in carbon emissions
  • 20% reduction in energy
  • 50% waste diversion rate
  • 20% reduction in water
  • 20% reduction in waste

The plan also includes goals such as increasing LEED certifications, deepening community engagement through environmental leadership, encouraging health and wellness initiatives, and promoting alternative transportation.

Celebrating Campus Sustainability Month

To celebrate Campus Sustainability month, the Facilities Maintenance and Operations Department and other organizations have created events including Campus Sustainability Walking Tour (Oct. 22), and the launch of CatholicU's new Waste Sorting Game for students (Oct. 18). Other events include Matthew Dolan on the BP Oil Spill (Oct. 20), and Franciscan Monastery Garden (Oct. 23 and 30).

Facilities Maintenance and Operations also launched a Sustainability Pledge open to all students, faculty, and staff. The pledge encourages signers to take 10 simple steps toward environmental stewardship, which focus on saving energy, promoting sustainable food, conserving water, utilizing alternative transportation, and reducing waste to the landfill.