VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University celebrates Earth Day all week with a series of events from Tuesday, April 18 through Sunday, April 23. Festivities will include a sustainability fair and farmer’s market, Kilometers for Climate 5K run/3K walk, Day of Action with federal and state legislators and a keynote lecture from Dominic Frongillo, who was a delegate to UN climate talks on how young people around the world are leading social change through public service, social-responsible enterprises, and community action. The celebration will also include the March for Science on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22 in Philadelphia and the Earth Day of Service on Sunday, April 23, where faculty, staff and students will travel to Sweet Fields in Norristown to plant trees and shrubs.
“Our Earth Day celebrations wouldn’t happen without the tremendous support of the University community, who dedicate so much time and effort to make this possible,” said Liesel Schwarz, Villanova’s Sustainability Manager. “We are very excited about the additions to this year’s schedule and expect a great turnout from Villanovans to support our environment.”
A full listing of events can be found here.
Following the Earth Day commemorations, students and other members of the Villanova community will also be participating in the People’s Climate Movement in Washington D.C. on Saturday, April 29.
In 2007, Villanova University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. Further advancing the University’s pledge to sustainability, he established the President’s Environmental Sustainability Committee on Villanova’s campus. This committee—comprised of faculty, staff, and students from across the University—is charged with taking action on all aspects of campus sustainability and in implementing the President’s Climate Commitment on behalf of the University. In October 2016, College of Engineering Dean Gary Gabriele signed The White House’s Educators Commitment on Resilient Design pledge to train and educate future leaders about the impacts and preparations needed to address extreme weather events and climate change. Villanova has expanded its sustainability efforts, including the launch of new master’s degree programs in Environmental Science and Sustainable Engineering—adding academic programs with an emphasis on the environment and sustainability.
In addition, the University has five LEED certified buildings on campus and has committed to LEED certification for all new construction and major renovation projects. In April 2014, Father Donohue signed the St. Francis Pledge, committing the University to “protect God's Creation and advocate on behalf of people in poverty who face the hardest impacts of global climate change.”
Villanova continues to be recognized as one of the nation’s greenest colleges, having received national recognition for its commitment to sustainability by a number of organizations including the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Villanova recycles and composts up to 48% percent of its waste, sending all of its trash to Covanta, an energy-from-waste facility that burns the trash for electricity. The University has installed over 30 hydration stations on campus to make it more convenient to fill up reusable water bottles. The initiative has already saved the equivalent of more than a million water bottles. In 2016, Villanova received a Tree Campus USA® recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to promote healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation. Villanova also incorporates its commitment to the environment into its community service initiatives. To learn more about Villanova’s commitment to environmental sustainability, click here.