Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

United Nations, Brundtland Commission, 1987

What is Sustainability?

The University of Scranton’s Catholic and Jesuit identity inspires and informs our attention to sustainable development. As a Jesuit university we are called by Saint Ignatius to “…seek God in all things.” As a Catholic university we manifest a deep concern for social justice and equality.     

Sustainability at Scranton

A concern about sustainability and the environment are not new to the University. The new plan, therefore, integrates related programs in resource conservation, education and service that are already conducted by faculty, staff and students. The result is a more coordinated approach to the University's sustainability program.

Sustainability in Higher Education 

"Sustainability" implies that the critical activities of a higher education institution are (at a minimum) ecologically sound, socially just and economically viable, and that they will continue to be so for future generations. A truly sustainable college or university would emphasize these concepts in its curriculum and research, preparing students to contribute as working citizens to an environmentally sound and socially just society. The institution would function as a sustainable community, embodying responsible consumption of food and energy, treating its diverse members with respect, and supporting these values in the surrounding community.

The University 's attention to sustainability is inexorably linked to the work of the Education for Justice Task Force. It shares as its inspiration the message delivered by Father Kolvenbach at Santa Clara University in October of 2000:

"We give thanks for our Jesuit university awareness of the world in its entirety and in its ultimate depth, created yet abused, sinful yet redeemed, and we take up our Jesuit university responsibility for human society that is so scandalously unjust, so complex to understand, and so hard to change. With the help of others and especially the poor, we want to play our role as students, as teachers and researchers, and as Jesuit university in society."

The University of Scranton's Catholic and Jesuit identity inspires and informs our attention to sustainable development. As a Jesuit university we are called by Saint Ignatius to "…seek God in all things." As a Catholic university we manifest a deep concern for social justice and equality.

Because Scranton is a comprehensive university, we have the capacity to search for answers and understanding about sustainability from a wealth of perspectives: environmental, economic, spiritual, social justice, and political. We seek to instill in our students an awareness of their place in a fragile world and a perspective on how they can help to ensure a just and sustainable future through their lifestyles, their decisions and their work in their chosen professions.

Because Scranton is an institution of higher education in Northeastern Pennsylvania, we live in a community and ecosystem that recovers still from the perils of an unsustainable use of natural resources. As such we have a special responsibility to demonstrate a commitment to sustainable practices in our operations and our outreach.

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