Creighton to announce sustainability initiative
In response to a United Nations declaration that achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 is the world’s most urgent mission – and in solidarity with Pope Francis’ call for swift and unified global action to address climate change and environmental degradation and care for our “common home” – Creighton University is advancing its commitment to achieving 50% scope 1 and 2 emission reductions by 2028 and climate neutrality before 2050.
The heart of that commitment is expressed in the Sustainable Creighton Initiative (SCI), a comprehensive action plan commissioned in 2019 by Creighton President the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD.
Details of the plan will be announced on April 26 at an Earth Month event inside the Harper Center, Hixson-Lied Auditorium, to begin at 7 p.m. Individuals can register to attend in person or virtually. Developing the plan was a University-wide effort led by the Climate Change Task Force, in collaboration with the Sustainability Governance Committee and the Office of Sustainability Programs.
“I am grateful for the wide University support in putting together this thoughtful, ambitious, and comprehensive action plan,” Fr. Hendrickson said. “This plan truly speaks to our commitment to fostering and furthering a culture of sustainability here at Creighton and being active and engaged participants in caring for our common home.”
Animated by the Jesuit concept magis, or “doing more,” Fr. Hendrickson charged the task force with updating Creighton’s climate action plan from 2013. The SCI more than updates the former climate action plan – it is a holistic approach to campus sustainability. The SCI runs through 2028, by which time the University also aspires to achieve a STARS gold rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) measures and encourages responsible stewardship of Earth’s resources in all aspects of higher education.
Creighton faculty, staff and students have for years demonstrated success in pursuing sustainability. Students can currently major or minor in Environmental Science and/or Sustainability. Sustainability-related courses are offered throughout the University in various departments like Philosophy, History, Economics and Theology. Researchers at Creighton investigate wide-ranging sustainability topics, including social and ecological problems associated with coal extraction, Catholic social teaching and climate change.
The SCI aims to further integrate sustainability across the curriculum while providing all students the opportunity to understand how sustainability fits into their future endeavors. Outside the classroom, the potential for learning is unlimited. For years, the Schlegel Center for Service and Justice has offered environmental justice-themed community orientations and service trips. The Office of Sustainability Programs provides sustainability-focused internships, and sustainability is infused into campus orientation.
The responsibility of caring for our common home is diffused across campuses, colleges, divisions, departments and offices. Sustainability is considered the responsibility of the entire Creighton community — students, faculty and staff.