Saint Joseph’s College’s campus-wide sustainability program, Attainable Sustainable, has embarked on a truly exciting initiative for its members and the greater College community. Thanks to a new partnership with EcoMotion—a mission-driven sustainability consulting firm that works with schools to build institutional capacity to implement sustainability commitments across operations, planning, policy, and engagement—the College is ready to bring its green practices to new heights.
In recent years, Saint Joseph’s College and Attainable Sustainable have seen a number of accomplishments and advances in sustainability initiatives. These include signing the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment and the Catholic Climate Covenant and achieving a bronze rating through the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE) Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System. These efforts can be attributed to dedicated, grassroots organizing on behalf of the faculty and staff members. For years, these passionate and conscientious community members have been organizing the Sustainability Festival, facilitating engagement programs including Eco-Reps and an employee Green Team, as well as measuring campus carbon emissions and, most recently, launching a Green Revolving Fund for energy efficiency and community projects.
“The community of Saint Joseph’s College is an inspired, passionate collective of individuals who are concerned about our carbon footprint,” said Jim Dlugos, president of Saint Joseph’s College. “These individuals joined together as Attainable Sustainable, are indeed green pioneers and have blazed a path for additional future successes at the College. Now, together with EcoMotion, we will amplify our efforts and expand the outcomes so that we can realize our commitment to sustainability.”
With the EcoMotion partnership, the firm’s East Coast office (located in Boston, Massachusetts) will work closely with the College community to strengthen efforts on multiple tracks. EcoMotion’s tasks will include conducting a Greenhouse Gas Inventory, developing a Climate Action and Sustainability Plan (both requirements of the Presidents’ Climate Commitment), advising on Saint Joseph’s newly established Green Revolving Fund, formalizing Eco-Reps and E-Team engagement, along with providing strategic marketing and communications to document sustainability progress and foster community awareness.
Increasing the resources allocated to strengthening Saint Joseph’s College’s sustainability commitments and actions are timely, complementing and reinforcing the goals outlined in Saint Joseph’s College’s strategic plan, Sustaining the Promise.
This past June, Pope Francis published an encyclical letter titled “On Care for Our Common Home.” This historic document illustrated the interconnections between plants, animals, microorganisms, and human civilization while echoing his deep concerns for global health and the environment. At its campus in Standish, on the shores of Sebago Lake, Saint Joseph’s College recognizes the importance of education for sustainability and of developing a Climate Action and Sustainability Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emission, engaging its community to increase behavior change in terms of sustainability practices. These efforts demonstrate Saint Joseph’s leadership for sustainability and embody the College’s Catholic values of faith, excellence, integrity, community, respect, compassion, and justice.