People. Passion. Planet.
The Center for Sustainable Communities nurtures social, environmental, and economic sustainability on our campus and in our community. As we work together to advance social justice and sustainability, we create opportunities for innovation, leadership, and change.
Carbon Neutrality. Community Resiliency.
Reaching across disciplines to help Saint Joseph’s College grow sustainably and steward our resources responsibly. Guided by the Mercy Critical Concerns, the Sustaining the Promise Strategic Plan, and the Mission and Core Values of the College, we work collectively to:
1 Achieve carbon neutrality by 2036;
2 Promote a culture of sustainability among students, faculty, staff, administration, and surrounding communities;
3 Establish the campus as a living laboratory for sustainable solutions; and
4 Inform effective and inclusive sustainability- focused decision making on campus and in the community.
Climate Action and Sustainability Plan
In 2015, the College adopted a Climate Action and Sustainability Plan establishing benchmarks, developing goals, and monitoring progress toward carbon neutrality on campus.
The College earned a STARS Silver rating in 2017 from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) in recognition of its campus-wide sustainability achievements. This program is the most widely recognized in the world for reporting comprehensive information related to a college’s sustainability performance.
In 2018, Princeton Review recognized the College for its environmental responsibility and features Saint Joseph’s College in the 2018 edition of its book, The Princeton Review’s Guide to 399 Green Colleges.
The Green Revolving Fund (GRF) is an investment fund that finances energy efficiency, renewable energy, waste reduction, and other sustainability projects on campus. It provides capital for special projects conducted by Facilities that reduce environmental impact and can repay the fund with cost-savings within seven years.
The mission encourages environmentally sound technologies and practices on campus. The fund furthers the broader academic mission of the College while helping it to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It functions as an independent fiscal entity managed by the Center for Sustainable Communities. The Fund will grow from projects cost-savings reinvesting them in new projects, while offering engagement and hands-on learning for the College community.
Green Community Fund (GCF)
A percentage of savings from the GRF energy efficiency projects are being allocated to the GCF. The Fund will:
- Focus on smaller projects that may have longer payback timeframes, or even no financial payback, but that will foster sustainability awareness among members of the College.
- Community and empower them to develop their own solutions.
- Consider projects proposed by College community members that promote sustainability in education, campus culture, and behavior.
- Consider project ideas from all areas of campus, including academic courses, independent student research, student organizations, and academic departments.
- Award money that does not necessarily require repayment.
Do you have a sustainability project idea or solution that you or a team would like to implement? Submit a project idea to the Center for Sustainable Communities by emailing Nancy Kristiansen, Planning & Administration Coordinator.
The Center’s Leadership
Meet the Center for Sustainable Communities leadership team (left to right): Nancy Kristiansen, Planning & Administration Coordinator, Kimberly Post, Engagement Coordinator, and Greg Teegarden, Academic Coordinator.
February 2, 8:45am – 3:30pm
This event is a chance for the Sebago Lake community members and scientists to interactively and collaboratively share/grow their understanding of Sebago Lake.
Topics include: health of fishery, water quality, climate change impacts, monitoring buoy, algae and invasive plants, citizen science, beach closures,shoreline landscaping, and policies for lake protection.
Space in limited and reservation is required.
Navajo Historic Archaeology and the Old Leupp Boarding School
March 13, 3-4pm
Guest lecturer Davina Two Bears will speak about researching her native Navajo heritage and the Old Leupp Boarding School (1909-1942) on the southwestern Navajo Reservation in Leupp, Arizona. Davina is a Diné, Navajo, originally from Birdsprings, Arizona.
Sustainability Stories at SJC
Presentation By Saint Joseph’s Students at Statewide Water Challenge Overviews Dangers of Invasive Species
Saint Joseph’s College students Priscilla Carnaroli '22 and Shaylee Davis '21 delivered a presentation about invasive species at Maine Campus Compact's 2nd Annual Maine Student Water Challenge in December 2018.
Hosted by the Portland Water District and the Center for Sustainable Communities at Saint Joseph's College, the Sebago Lake Symposium on February 2, 2019 offers an opportunity for Sebago Lake community members and scientists to interactively and collaboratively share and grow their understanding of Sebago Lake, a freshwater lake that provides water for 15% of Maine's population. Topics covered by speakers and sessions include: health of Sebago Lake fisheries, Sebago Lake water quality, climate change impacts, the Sebago Lake monitoring buoy, algae and invasive plants, citizen science opportunities, beach closures, and policies for lake protection. Free, but registration required.
Princeton Review Names Saint Joseph’s College of Maine as a “Green College” for its Sustainability Initiatives
Saint Joseph’s College has been recognized for its environmental responsibility by The Princeton Review. The education services company known for its test prep and tutoring services, books, and college rankings features Saint Joseph’s College in the 2018 edition of its book, The Princeton Review’s Guide to 399 Green Colleges.