Support sustainability at Xavier

Support sustainability at Xavier

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Clare Ravizza started this petition to President Graham

As members of the Xavier Community, we are concerned about the current environmental crisis facing the earth. The Xavier Sustainability Board, Xavier College Republicans, and College Democrats believe that this is among the most pressing moral issues of our time, surpassing partisan divides, and we believe the university has an obligation to address it, in line with its Catholic identity. As a Jesuit institution, chief among Xavier’s values is fighting for social and economic justice; today, environmental stewardship marks not only crucial care for the inherent value of the natural world but also functions as a mechanism for protecting the most vulnerable among us, who are impacted most profoundly by the climate crisis. 


Xavier made a commitment to reduce our carbon emissions by signing onto the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (now Second Nature) in 2008, and since adopted the Climate Action Plan. Though the university has made great strides in lowering its carbon footprint and increasing sustainability-centered education, many of the Climate Action Plan’s goals for 2018 were not met, and Xavier is not on track to reach its outlined goals by 2030. 


The creation of a Sustainability Center, which the Climate Action Plan names a “crucial task,” was to be established by “no later than 2020.” Currently, the university neither has a sustainability director nor an advisory team (goals outlined for 2012) but continues to rely on the Sustainability Committee, which does valuable work but is comprised of faculty, staff, and students with other important responsibilities who are stretched too thin. Filling the vacant position of a full-time sustainability director would ensure that Xavier continues on track to meet its Climate Action Plan goals by 2030. 


Additionally, the Climate Action Plan expresses Xavier’s desire to: “develop the reputation as an institution that does sustainability well, become an inspiration to the broader community, [and] establish best regional practices.” To achieve these goals, we call on the university to reaffirm its commitment to sustainability. Beyond the hiring of a sustainability director, we ask the university to make its progress toward stated goals clear, accessible, and updated online. 


As the severity of the climate crisis increases with each passing year, it is essential that the university continues progressing toward carbon neutrality and makes every conceivable effort to protect the environment, our most vulnerable populations, and the generations to come. We, the Xavier community, push the university to act on its Jesuit values and reaffirm its commitment to sustainability by hiring a full-time sustainability director and increasing transparency and accountability. 

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