Father Dennis Dease signed The American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) in 2008. As part of the agreement the university agreed to do the following:
- Complete an emissions inventory
- Set a target date for becoming climate neutral
- Begin introducing sustainability student coursework
- Create an action plan for reaching carbon neutrality
- Regularly generate a progress report that is available to the public
President Julie Sullivan has maintained her support for the climate commitment. You can find the agreement posted on the president’s webpage.
The university is committed to gaining carbon neutrality by 2035.
During the 2015-16 academic year St. Thomas offered more than 50 courses with sustainability integrated into the curriculum. You can find courses and read more about sustainability across the curriculum here.
There is a Sustainability Club (Green Team) on campus. There also are other sustainability-related clubs: Engineers for a Sustainable World, Bike Enthusiasts at St. Thomas (BEAST), Geography Club and Geology Club. You can read more about these clubs and contact representatives for more information here.
The St. Thomas recycling program continues to be a nationally recognized leader in its effort to eliminate waste on campus. The university currently recycles more than 50 percent of all debris on campus, with a goal to reach 60 percent by 2020. Read more about the recycling program.
Students can apply for sustainability research grants through the Grants and Research Office. We currently are working on a sustainability research application process. Please contact the Grants and Research Office for more information.
St. Thomas offers a Sustainability Living and Learning Community (LLC). First-year students live together on a floor in Dowling Hall or Brady Hall, take courses together and participate in social activities throughout the Twin Cities. Learn more about this unique opportunity on the Residence Life website.
St. Thomas has an annual Earth Week celebration. For 2017, festivities will begin April 22.
Our turf program aims for the least amount of negative environmental impact needed to maintain our collegiate landscape. In spring 2016, Facilities Management hired Reliable Property Services to perform fertilizing and weed control applications. Working with Reliable Property Services we have adopted an organic fertilizer program. Our first application in the spring consists of a hybrid fertilizer that combines organic ingredients with the best, most efficient pre-emergent possible. This combination reduces our environmental impact by reducing wastewater runoff, helps to amend the soil and manages the weed growth in turf areas. For our two other applications (summer and fall) we use 100 percent organic fertilizer. All fertilizer used on campus is safe for both people and pets. Contractors hired to perform lawn fertilizing and pesticide applications are required to adhere to the Turfgrass Maintenance Best Practices created by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Information about the products used are available from Facilities Management upon request.