Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., president of Loyola University Maryland, has signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) and the St. Francis Pledge in solidarity with other institutions working to address the global impact of climate change.
Loyola is one of 685 higher education signatories of the ACUPCC and 75 Catholic institutional signatories of the St. Francis Pledge. Action items range from long-term climate neutrality planning to education and prayer.
“Colleges and universities play a vital role in advancing sustainable operations and educating future generations about environmental stewardship. Loyola is further called by its Jesuit tradition to join these efforts because sustainability and social justice are inexorably linked,” said Fr. Linnane. “I am deeply grateful to the many members of our community who have already made significant progress on building a culture of sustainability at Loyola. My signature on these pledges affirms our appreciation for and commitment to that work, and identifies an ambitious direction for our future sustainability initiatives.”
The ACUPCC aims to accelerate progress toward climate neutrality and sustainability by empowering the higher education sector to educate students, create solutions, and provide leadership-by-example for the rest of society. By signing the ACUPCC, Loyola agrees to follow a framework for implementing comprehensive plans in pursuit of climate neutrality. That framework includes completion of an emissions inventory and integration of sustainability into the curriculum, among other steps.
Taking the St. Francis Pledge commits Loyola to praying, acting, and advocating to solve climate change. Each institution that signs the pledge determines on its own what commitments to pursue and how those commitments are fulfilled.
Loyola has ramped up its sustainability initiatives in recent years. Many buildings on the Evergreen campus are retrofitted with energy-efficient light fixtures, water conservation fixtures, and green-friendly flooring. The Flannery O’Connor residence hall was constructed with sustainable materials and features a geothermal heating and cooling system. Separate public receptacles for recycling, composting, and landfill continue to reduce waste, and a greenhouse gas emissions tracking program helps identify successful sustainability initiatives and areas of opportunity. In addition, Loyola partners with its dining vendor, Parkhurst, to offer locally-sourced produce and a sustainability-conscious dining experience free of Styrofoam and trays.
More information about the ACUPCC is available at presidentsclimatecommitment.org.
More information about the Catholic Climate Covenant: The St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor is available at catholicclimatecovenant.org.