University of Notre Dame Sustainability Strategy

The Grotto on Campus in the spring, with magnolia flowers in bloom and candles illuminated

For many years, the University has acted to inspire and encourage environmental sustainability, both academically and administratively. Through the implementation of energy conservation measures across facilities, the design and construction of LEED-certified buildings, the establishment of the Office of Sustainability, academic and research centers such as the Center for Sustainable Energy, the Environmental Change Initiative, and ND-GAIN, and the creation of an undergraduate minor in Sustainability, the University has sought to advance sustainability on campus and abroad.

But we realize that to continue to be Catholic leaders, we can and must do more. Following the teachings of our Catholic tradition and mission, and further inspired by His Holiness Pope Francis, the Executive Vice President’s Comprehensive Sustainability Strategy Committee was convened to assess our current sustainability practices and promote the future protection of God’s creation at Notre Dame. The Committee, composed of faculty, administrators, and students, developed the following goals and recommendations to enable the University to widen and deepen sustainable practices across all its activities and functions.

University actions should first benefit people—not just the current generation or today’s community but future generations and future communities. Secondly, our decisions and actions must respect the planet’s inherent value and consider both immediate and long-term impacts on its resources. Finally, we must consider the economic impacts of our actions to ensure the University’s financial health for decades to come. This strategy has been guided by a group of faculty, staff, and students in its development; however, the strategies outlined here will succeed only if each member of the Notre Dame Community embraces this vision and takes action to bring it to fruition. The small choices we make each day will have the largest impact on our community and our environment.