The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities and Solution Generation Announce 2016 Winner of the Climate Leadership Awards
ACCU and ecoAmerica’s Solution Generation program are pleased to announce that Loyola University Chicago has been selected as the 2016 Climate Leadership Awards recipient.
Loyola was recognized for its commitment to addressing climate change and making climate impacts on natural and social systems a key aspect of social justice. In the past year, Loyola released—as part of a series of events around Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’ — ‘A Just Future,’ the university’s climate action plan with a goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2025. As Chicago’s Jesuit, Catholic university, Loyola is addressing the climate through three main strategies: its campus, its curriculum, and its community engagement.
The university was commended for its partnership efforts with the Rogers Park and Edgewater neighborhoods, taking climate action and awareness beyond the campus. The award committee was impressed with Loyola’s focus on environmental justice issues to address pollution, reduce waste products, and help communities adapt to the changing climate.
Loyola’s Institute of Environmental Sustainability will use the $10,000 in award money to build out university environmental justice efforts, including developing a Community Climate Corps comprised of student interns from various areas of study who will work with the University’s Office of Community Relations and campus partners to identify and develop community projects such as tree planting, native garden development, home weatherization efforts, food waste reduction, produce donation, and storm-water mitigation efforts to reduce basement flooding.
“We are proud to provide our students with opportunities to work across our local and global campuses with the goal of making the world a more just, humane, and sustainable place. This greatly enriches their experiences particularly when combined with their traditional classroom work,” said Jo Ann Rooney, J.D., LL.M., Ed.D., President of Loyola. “We are grateful for this award from ACCU and ecoAmerica, which will further our efforts to create positive change for our campus community, our neighbors, and the next generation.”
ACCU President Michael Galligan-Stierle, Ph.D., expressed his congratulations to Loyola, noting that the modern Church has clearly recognized the relationship between humankind and the environment. “Pope Francis, Pope Benedict XVI, and Saint John Paul II all issued multiple statements urging attention to our environmental responsibilities,” he said. “Catholic colleges and universities have heeded these calls, recognizing the unity of faith and science, as well as the needs of society today. As a result, our member institutions have taken real action inside and outside the classroom to advance sustainability practices. We affirm the work of all of our members, and at this moment in particular, we congratulate Loyola University Chicago for this notable recognition.”
“Higher education continues to make great strides on climate change awareness and provides a real catalyst for systemic change. We applaud the efforts all of the ACCU/SG Climate Leadership Award applicants and congratulate Loyola University Chicago, and all the award applicants on setting the bar so high,” said Bob Perkowitz, ecoAmerica President and Founder.
The ASSOCIATION OF CATHOLIC COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES, founded in 1899, serves as the collective voice of U.S. Catholic higher education. Through programs and services, the association strengthens and promotes the Catholic identity and mission of its member institutions so that all associated with Catholic higher education can contribute to the greater good of the world and the Church.
ecoAmerica is a non-profit that uses consumer research and strategic partnerships to create large-scale engagement programs that build awareness, understanding, and action for climate and environmental solutions among mainstream Americans.
About Solution Generation’s Climate Leadership Awards Program
Solution Generation’s Climate Leadership Awards Program was created to identify American higher education institutions taking the lead on climate change communication to faculty, students, and communities. The program and its partners recognize college, universities, and their leadership that are prioritizing climate change and sustainability, have implemented trend-setting initiatives to take the issue to the next level, and are measurably influencing and mobilizing the community. To date, Solution Generation has partnered with HACU, ACCU, AACC, and AASCU to deliver awards.
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