Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.64
Liaison Kimberly Post
Submission Date Feb. 22, 2022

STARS v2.2

Saint Joseph's College - ME
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Nancy Kristiansen
Online Business Program Director
Saint Joseph's On-line
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address sustainability in curriculum and/or research?:

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to academics and the plan(s) in which they are published:
Implementation of Sustainability Education
With the support of the Faculty Senate and Vice President and Chief Learning Officer, Saint Joseph’s College commits to Sustainability Education, a teaching approach that uses high-impact practices (HIP) such as community-based learning to create meaningful experiences at the intersection of sustainability and individual disciplines. (Kuh, George D. High-Impact Educational Practices: What They Are, Who Has Access to Them, and Why They Matter. AAC&U, 2008)

Creation of a Sustainability Certificate Program
As outlined in the College’s Climate Action and Sustainability Plan, Saint Joseph’s College commits to developing a Sustainability Certificate Program by 2020. The program will explore the connections between social, environmental, and economic systems, and equip students with the knowledge to apply sustainable, integrated problem solving approaches in their communities.

Development of a Civic Sustainability Lab
Through the deliberate infusion of Sustainability Education and in recognition of the College’s Strategic Planning goal to develop a Center for Natural and Human Environments, the campus will develop a Civic Sustainability Lab to promote, enhance, and reward:
a. community-based learning and research
b. participatory group learning/transformative learning
c. critical thinking/reflective learning
d. student-centered learning/problem-based learning
e. experiential learning
The Civic Sustainability Lab will remove barriers and create space for transformative pedagogy, while improving student-faculty, student-staff, and faculty-staff interactions and learning by working to answer questions about how community-based environmental stewardship activities can enhance social and economic structure and function. Possible examinations include the individual, community, and outcomes of sustainability practices and education, including a sense of place, adaptive capacity, and social capital.

Lab activities will be formally recognized in the annual faculty merit process and rank and tenure consideration, in student curricular and co-curricular requirements, and included in the annual staff assessment process.

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address student, employee, or community engagement for sustainability?:

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to engagement and the plan(s) in which they are published:
Civic Action Plan
As part of a national Campus Compact initiative in 2017, Saint Joseph's College created a civic action plan Taking Action, which deliberately infused sustainability initiatives into our culture of civic and community engagement, and identified three priority goals to strengthen and focus efforts across campus while enhancing the public purpose of the College.
• Goal 1
Academically integrate the theme of “wellness and sustainability” with our commitment to civic engagement.
• Goal 2
We will coordinate the efforts of faculty, staff, and students under the common goal of a sustainable future that includes a healthy environment, economic prosperity, and social justice.
• Goal 3
We will communicate that we are an intentional community dedicated to improving health and vitality in the region.

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address sustainability in operations?:

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to operations and the plan(s) in which they are published:
Phase 1 goals through 2022 that focus on decreasing the usage and consumption of electricity and fossil fuels for heat, Sample Status Update: Currently exploring bio-fuel use through pilot project.

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address diversity, equity, and inclusion; sustainable investment/finance; or wellbeing?:

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to administration and the plan(s) in which they are published:
On July 2, 2020, College President Dr. Jim Dlugos, issued a “Call to Action Against Racism.” Below are some of the goals for the College:

Processes for recruiting students, faculty, and staff of color;
Additional scholarships and financial assistance to support students from under-represented communities;
Audit of our practices and culture relative to diversity, equity, and inclusion;
Anti-racism workshops to community members;
Establishment of an Office of Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Additionally, the Board of Trustees is considering a proposal for a more formal move to ethical investments. An excerpt:
In response to our commitment to the ethics of human life, the dignity of person, the practice of nonviolence and our reverence of Earth, investments in equity and fixed income securities will be avoided in companies that engage in the following:

Production of nuclear, chemical, biological or other weapons or weapons systems or firearms
Manufacture, sale or distribution of tobacco products
Thermal Coal Producers
Oil Sands Producers

Does the institution have a published strategic plan or equivalent guiding document that includes sustainability at a high level? :

The institution’s highest guiding document (upload):

Website URL where the institution’s highest guiding document is publicly available:
Which of the following best describes the inclusion of sustainability in the highest guiding document?:
Major theme

The institution's sustainability plan (upload):
Website URL where the institution's sustainability plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have a formal statement in support of sustainability endorsed by its governing body?:

The formal statement in support of sustainability:
From the Strategic Plan Narrative:

"In every instance a Saint Joseph’s education continues to be recognized as special and
distinctive because an education at Saint Joseph’s College is not ultimately about acquiring skills or memorizing facts; it’s about becoming a person of intention. This applies to every member of the college community and, in fact, to the community as a whole. We are an intentional community—one where everyone is committed to the practice and pursuit of the Core Values that are central to our identity as Catholic and Mercy—faith, excellence, integrity, community, respect, compassion, and justice—in everything we do from our educational programs to the ways we work and live together. As an intentional learning community, we are committed to the continuing growth and development of all of our members—students, faculty, and staff, residents, and visitors. Our continuing focus on these common concerns has led us to embrace the theme of “wellness and sustainability” as a major organizing principle (“wellness” is the human form of “sustainability”). This gives particular focus to all of our educational programs at all degree levels and also informs such activities as our planning and budgeting, the ongoing development of our campus, and, in fact, everything else that we do.

The institution’s definition of sustainability:
"Sustainability involves living in such a way that the needs of all people on this planet can be met – without compromising the ability of future generations to have their needs met. It means using resources responsibly, minimizing pollution and caring for the ecosystems that support us and the millions of other species who call Earth home." (SSC Committee Charter)

Institutional Outcome #10 Environmental Responsibility
1. An attitude of appreciation for the earth in all its beauty and diversity;
2. A recognition of our dependence upon, and influence over, the natural environment;
3. The ability to think and act in a sustainable manner; and
4. Proper stewardship with respect to material goods.

Is the institution an endorser or signatory of the following?:
Yes or No
The Earth Charter No
The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) No
ISCN-GULF Sustainable Campus Charter No
Pan-Canadian Protocol for Sustainability No
SDG Accord No
Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment (formerly known as the ACUPCC), Resilience Commitment, and/or integrated Climate Commitment Yes
The Talloires Declaration (TD) No
UN Global Compact Yes
Other multi-dimensional sustainability commitments (please specify below) Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal sustainability commitments, including the specific initiatives selected above:
The Catholic College takes very seriously the following through its 2012 signing of the Saint Francis Pledge of the Catholic Climate Covenant.
--The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas', the College’s sponsoring community, five Critical Concerns for the earth, immigration, nonviolence, countering racism, and valuing women.
--The Catholic Church commitment to Pope Fancis' Laudato Si
--President Dlugos has signed the Catholic Climate Declaration: https://catholicclimatecovenant.org/us-catholic-climate-declaration

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability planning efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
Please note that sample goals and objectives were referenced from the SUSTAINING THE PROMISE STRATEGIC PLAN and from the SUSTAINABILITY AND CL.IMATE ACTION PLAN, also noting that the ladder is a "sub-set" of the former.

Please also note that the Sisters of Mercy provide the primary guidance for investment strategies that are in alignment with their goals and strategies and is not, therefore, within the scope of the College's administrative planning responsibilities. http://www.mercyinvestmentservices.org/socially-responsible-investing

Given how investment is treated throughout the report, the College does not have a formal investment strategy when looking at investment for the College's portfolio.

There is, however, a Green Revolving Fund and membership with the Billion Dollar challenge due to our commitment to sustainable infrastructure investment.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.