The Office of Sustainability was created in the fall of 2007 at the recommendation of a Sustainability Strategy Working Group. As a part of the creation of the office, the University adopted a comprehensive Sustainability Strategy which sets ambitious goals over the next 20 years.
In order to accomplish the goals set in the Sustainability Strategy, the office has partnered with departments and divisions across campus to launch initiatives and programs intended make the university more sustainable.
The University of Notre Dame strives to be a leader in sustainable operations, education and research and a role model for responsible citizenship. Notre Dame recognizes its responsibility to conserve the natural environment while promoting long-term economic and social justice for all members of society, and works to foster a pervasive focus on the connection between environmental stewardship and the Common Good.
Notre Dame’s Sustainability Strategy is centered around three strategic goals:
• Reduce Emissions: Reduce the University’s carbon and other energy related emissions through conservation, efficiency, technology and optimization of fuel utilization and energy sources.
• Conserve Resources: Optimize resource utilization on campus with a focus on overall waste reduction and increasing reuse and recycling.
• Increase Awareness: Expand sustainability knowledge and understanding at Notre Dame through communication and outreach, with a particular focus on the connection between sustainability, Catholic Social Teaching and the Common Good.
The pursuit of sustainability is directly related to the Catholic Mission of the University. In his encyclical Laudato Si’, Pope Francis reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. He urgently appeals for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. "We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.” The Office of Sustainability acknowledges this need and actively works to weave faith into its programs.