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Earth Month Is a Time for SU to Recommit to Environmental Sustainability

April 9, 2021

Logo by Breann Kniffen (Cell and Molecular Biology ’23), winner of the 2021 Earth Month Logo Competition

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Nationally recognized for its eco-friendly approach to academics, co-curricular activities and operational practices, Seattle U is immersed in a robust Earth Month program that explores innovative ways to address climate change.

A series of workshops, presentations, reading groups and more are planned. For Earth Day (April 22) itself, 20 SU students, faculty and community partners will give five-minute presentations on solutions to the urgent climate crisis that we face. If last year’s virtual gathering, which drew more than 250 participants, is any indication, this year’s Earth Talks will be highly attended and successful. The event will feature keynote speakers Jamie Margolin and Donna Moodie.

“It is undeniable that the earth is warming and the poorest and most vulnerable are disproportionately feeling the effects and suffering,” President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., wrote to the campus community to kick off Earth Month. “As a Jesuit and Catholic university the imperative to act is all the more critical. The Pope’s 2015 encyclical Laudato si’ and the Jesuits’ Apostolic Preference of Caring for our Common Home remind us of our responsibility to heal the fragile planet we share and care for all of its inhabitants.” 

Calling environmental sustainability “central to our mission,” the president noted that SU was recently ranked #20 in Sierra Club’s “Cool Schools,” #16 on Princeton Review’s Top Green Colleges and #3 among master’s institutions on the AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) Sustainable Campus Index. 

Even as SU pursues a greener campus and curriculum, the university has consistently supported national and international efforts to address climate change. This week, Father Sundborg joined other university leaders in calling for the Biden Administration to reduce the nation's greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. 

“Earth Month is a time to rededicate ourselves to addressing what many—especially our students—have identified as the most critical challenge of our times,” wrote Father Sundborg. “As a campus community we can take pride in our ongoing work to reduce the university’s carbon footprint, green our operations, divest from fossil fuels and integrate into our academic programs sustainability and environmental justice. We are not done and I know the commitment is there to accomplish even greater things together.”

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