VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University will celebrate Earth Day with a series of events on campus throughout the week. Festivities, which kickoff today, include a documentary viewing, tree tours, sustainability fair and farmers market. A panel discussion entitled, “Growing Greener Communities,” will feature opening remarks from the EPA’s Region III Regional Administrator, Shawn Garvin. The week concludes with the Earth Day of Service where faculty, students and staff will be out volunteering to beautify the local community.
“Earth Week is only possible because of the wonderful work and dedication of many people,” said Liesel Schwarz, Villanova’s Sustainability Manager. “We hope that the Villanova Earth Week offers something for everyone, including neighboring members of the Villanova Community.”
A full schedule of events can be found here. All events are free and most are open to the public.
In 2007, the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, Villanova University President signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. Further advancing the University’s pledge to sustainability, Father Donohue established the President’s Environmental Sustainability Committee on campus. This committee—comprised of faculty, staff, and students from across the University—is charged with taking action on all aspects of campus sustainability and in implementing the President’s Climate Commitment on behalf of the University. Since that time, Villanova has expanded its sustainability efforts, including the launch of a new master’s degree program in Environmental Science—adding yet another academic program with an emphasis on the environment and sustainability.
In addition, the University has five LEED certified buildings on campus and has committed to LEED certification for all its new construction and major renovation projects. In April 2014, Father Donohue signed the St. Francis Pledge, committing the University to protect God's Creation and advocate on behalf of people in poverty who face the hardest impacts of global climate change.
Villanova continues to be recognized as one of the nation’s greenest colleges. The University recently received national recognition for its commitment to sustainability by both Sierra Magazine and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Villanova recycles and composts up to 37 percent of its waste, sending all of its trash to Covanta, an energy-from-waste facility that burns the trash for electricity. The University has installed 21 hydration stations on campus to make it more convenient to fill up reusable water bottles. The initiative has already saved the equivalent of more 842,000 water bottles. Villanova also incorporates its commitment to the environment into its community service initiatives. The University was named the Green Apple Day of Service Champions by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 2014.
To learn more about Villanova’s commitment to environmental sustainability, click here.