Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.28
Liaison Geory Kurtzhals
Submission Date Jan. 4, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Notre Dame
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Geory Kurtzhals
Sr. Director
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an active student group focused on sustainability?:

Name and a brief description of the active student groups focused on sustainability:

GreeND is a student organization that works to coordinate energy and environmental efforts at Notre Dame. The GreeND leadership team strives to inspire and implement visionary “green” initiatives. GreeND collaborates with administrators, faculty, staff, and students to affect meaningful change at Notre Dame and beyond. As of 2021, the Office of Sustainability is the official advisor to this group, which helps with targeted student engagement.


Does the institution have a garden, farm, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery program, or an urban agriculture project where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:

Notre Dame’s "Grow Irish" campus garden started in May 2010 and continues as of November 2021. Garden plots vary in size, with the average being 5’ X 10’ and their use is free of charge for individuals, families, groups of co-workers, or departments. There is a dedicated student garden (both undergraduate and graduate). Gardeners are free to do as they wish with the food they harvest. All gardeners agree to raise their crops organically. Compost is available from University landscape services. The campus garden also provides its gardeners with mulch, seeds, tools, community space, and grass clippings for cultivating the soil. In the Summer of 2020, the Graduate Student Government became more involved in this garden and now assists with many of the logistics onsite.
More information can be found at https://growirish.nd.edu/

Does the institution have a student-run enterprise that includes sustainability as part of its mission statement or stated purpose?:

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

Does the institution have a sustainable investment fund, green revolving fund, or sustainable microfinance initiative through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:

The Applied Investment Management course within the Finance Department blends traditional academic objectives with the practical experience of hands-on investment management. Each class inherits the portfolio handed over by the previous class, together with a set of working policies and guidelines. Subject to University restrictions that apply to all equity managers of endowment funds, the new class will review and amend the portfolio decisions and report to an advisory board.

The Office of Sustainability manages a $2 million green loan fund for projects demonstrating a positive impact on environmental sustainability in campus buildings and operations.
The Green Loan Fund is open to faculty, students, and staff, and is intended to support sustainability projects not directly funded by the Administration. Applicants must demonstrate that their project will incur financial savings and will have a direct and positive impact on Notre Dame's sustainability initiatives. The loan fund provides the required capital with the expectation that the financial benefits realized by the project will repay the initial investment.

Has the institution hosted a conference, speaker series, symposium, or similar event focused on sustainability during the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia, or similar events focused on sustainability:

The Office of Sustainability maintains a webpage with upcoming sustainability-related speakers, conferences, and events that are open to students and faculty of the University. In addition, the Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame sponsors a distinguished lecture series, featuring individuals from the energy industry, academia, and international organizations. Events are located prominently on our website https://green.nd.edu/events/.

Has the institution hosted a cultural arts event, installation, or performance focused on sustainability with the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations, or performances focused on sustainability:

The Snite Museum of Art is the fine art museum on the University of Notre Dame campus. With over 25,000 works of art that span cultures, eras, and media, the Snite Museum's permanent collection serves as a rich resource for audiences on campus and beyond. In honor of Earth Day, 2021, the Snite Museum of Art conducted a virtual gallery tour titled: "Three on a Theme". The tour focused on three works of art that helped viewers connect with our planet. https://sniteartmuseum.nd.edu/visit-us/events/2021/04/22/gallery-tour-three-on-a-theme/

The addition/completion of the Charles B. Hayes Sculpture Park is a favorite spot for students wanting to enjoy the outdoors while studying, taking a tour of the art, and connect with nature while still remaining on campus.

Does the institution have a wilderness or outdoors program that follow Leave No Trace principles?:

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:

The student group GreeND offers trips for students to find adventure and challenge themselves off campus. Three to four trips are planned each year led by professional staff and experienced students. Current escape activities include backpacking and skiing/snowboarding trips, both of which follow Leave No Trace principles.

Has the institution had a sustainability-focused theme chosen for a themed semester, year, or first-year experience during the previous three years?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

Each year, Notre Dame's President picks a campus-wide topic which guides events and discussions throughout the academic year. This is called the Forum. For Academic year 21-22, the Forum theme is 'Care for our Common Home: Just Transition to a Sustainable Future'. This theme has lead to increased events, book clubs, trainings, service, and overall campus engagement throughout the Fall 2021 semester, many of which build on the University's Catholic mission. Faculty will often assign these events as mandatory or extra credit for their students.


Notre Dame Energy Week was first held in 2007 and has become a signature event sponsored by ND Energy and its Student Energy Board. This weeks continues annually, as of September 2021. Energy Week is designed to create awareness and educate the community on current energy-related issues and topics. This week-long event offers a wide range of activities for the Notre Dame community and surrounding areas.

Does the institution have a program through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

The Moreau First Year Experience provides all incoming freshman with dedicated sustainability curriculum that aims to provide sustainable life skills to students. https://corecurriculum.nd.edu/moreau-first-year-experience/

Additionally, sustainability commissioners are trained students who live in each campus residence hall. They teach their dormmates the keys to sustainable living on campus, and work with the Office of Sustainability to host events and improve issues throughout the year.

Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:

Each year the Office of Sustainability employs 6-10 student interns to work on sustainable programming for the campus. Students are also employed to conduct a gameday recycling program for each football home game. They canvas the campus and remind people to tailgate sustainably and to recycle. Information about our current interns can be found on our website: https://green.nd.edu/mission/team/interns/

In the Fall of 2021, a new "Green Team" was established to provide extra capacity for campus athletic events and associated waste. This program is similar to the standard intern program, but more waste oriented.

Does the institution have a graduation pledge through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:

A brief description of the graduation pledge(s):

A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that do not fall into one of the above categories:

The Office of Sustainability at Notre Dame prioritizes opportunities to engage with students in small groups through class projects. Some projects, such as the annual MBA consulting engagement and the Environmental Leadership seminar, are designed by the Office of Sustainability and provided to students. Others are student-generated, such as an ongoing meat-reduction project led by a interdisciplinary undergraduate team. We talk with and encourage students to find unique ways to tackle on these issues given our campus context. A recent student group completed an analysis of expanded campus composting options. In addition to courses, extracurricular groups will propose projects as well. Clubs that get involved annually include GreeND, Design for America, and Fossil Free ND.

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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.