President’s Committee for Sustainability


The President’s Committee for Sustainability (PCS) was convened in March 2011 after Seattle University signed on to the American College & University President's Climate Commitment (2007). ACUPCC signatories were asked to establish an institutional structure to oversee the development and implementation of the school's climate commitment (See the ACUPCC Implementation Guide here.). The PCS was created to oversee:

  • The implementation of Climate Action Plan)
  • The integration of sustainability initiatives across campus

The President's Committee members include faculty, staff and students from all areas of campus. The PCS contact person is Yolanda Cieters, Sustainability Manager (


Progress toward SU's Climate Action Plan Goals:

Seattle University has committed to the following four goals in the Climate Action Plan:

  • ACADEMICS: Expand sustainability in the curriculum
  • CO-CURRICULAR PROGRAMS and ENGAGEMENT: Expand sustainability in co-curricular programs and educate SU's campus community about climate change and sustainability outside the classroom
  • OPERATIONS: Increase sustainable practices in university operations and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from operations and transportation
  • MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS: Share our sustainability knowledge and expertise with others

Since the adoption of the Climate Action Plan (2010), considerable progress has been made. SU's 2020-2025 Strategic Directions envision the University as a leader in environmental sustainability that is socially just. In 2020, the PCS translated that Strategic Vision into four Sustainability Strategic Priorities. In May 2021, SU obtained its third GOLD STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System) rating with an improved score of 79.39. Consult SU's 2021 STARS report for detailed information on SU's campus-wide sustainability programs and initiatives. Also, check out the Campus Sustainability Infographic and find out more for each CAP goal below: 



  • The Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability was created to support interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching on environmental justice and sustainability and make Seattle University a recognized leader in these areas. CEJS serves as a clearinghouse for SU’s environmental programs and sustainability initiatives. The Center offers 6-10 student internships each year and provided fellowships to 28 Faculty and 16 Students between 2013-2017. Since 2020, CEJS offers two student fellowships each academic year.
  • Sustainability literacy survey for Freshmen (started in 2013) and post-survey for seniors (started in 2017)
  • Seven study programs related to sustainability
  • Three-yearly survey and inventory of sustainability research at SU
  • Three-yearly inventory of sustainability courses at SU


Co-curricular Programs and Engagement



  • In Fall 2021, SU's Food Service Provider Chartwells opened the 100% plant-based "Convergence Zone", located in the new Sinegal Center
  • IN Fall 2020, Managed Print Services switched all its devices to default duplex printing. MPS also moved from 30 percent to 100 percent recycled paper, considerably reducing its environmental footprint (saving 380 trees, 400 million BTUs of energy, 287,400 pounds of CO2 emissions and 343,000 gallons in water consumption each year).
  • On September 13, 2018, SU's Board voted to divest from fossil fuelsSU will become the first university in Washington state and the first Jesuit school in the nation to divest its endowment from fossil fuels over the next five years
  • Seattle University committed to work towards climate neutrality and reduce emissions by at least 12% by 2020 and by at least 51% by 2035 from buildings, solid waste, university-owned vehicles, air travel, and commuters to campus. To reach that goal, the university implemented a series of facilities improvement measures; improved the efficiency of campus vehicles and equipment; moved to an electronic procurement system, 100% recycled paper purchasing by Managed Printing Services, and adopted sustainability guidelines for purchasing areas such as electronics and janitorial products; implemented energy efficiency projects; increased waste reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting activities; installed electric vehicle stations and provided commuter incentives for car/van pools, car sharing, transit, walking and biking. In fiscal year 2019, SU’s greenhouse gas net emissions totaled 15,990 metric tons which is a 19.0% reduction since 2009.
  • 5 LEED GOLD buildings have been constructed between 2009 and 2021
  • In 2010, SU became a plastic water bottle-free campus, following a three-year campaign led by students and Professor Gary Chamberlain
  • In 2015 Seattle University became the first Fair Trade designated University in the Pacific Northwest
  • A campus-wide Commuting Survey was conducted in February 2020 and November 2016 providing updated data related to commuting behaviors of SU's community members and GHG emissions from commuting
  • In 2017 the Grounds Fields Team received Environmental Facility Certification from the Sport Turf Managers Association for sustainably maintaining the turf for Championship Field
  • A Tree Care Program was created in 2017 and the university obtained the Tree Campus USA designation (2018, 2019, and 2020)


Marketing & Communications



Contact the Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability (CEJS) at