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Villanova University Named 2014 Green Business of the Year by Main Line Chamber of Commerce

Main Line Chamber of Commerce Award

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University has been named the 2014 Green Business of the Year by the Main Line Chamber of Commerce for its green achievements and commitment to practicing sustainability within the organization and the outside community. This distinguished accolade was presented to Villanova on June 26 during the Chamber of Commerce’s annual Celebration of Business Leadership.

“It is always wonderful when Villanova is recognized for our continued campus sustainability efforts, but it is that much more meaningful when we are recognized by our own community,” said Liesel Schwarz, Villanova University Sustainability Manager. “Our actions have a direct impact on the local community and we keep that in mind when pursuing sustainable initiatives on campus, such as alternative transportation, green infrastructure and sustainable building design.” 

Villanova has long demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainability through environmentally-focused policies, initiatives and academic programs. Sustainability achievements and initiatives on campus include five LEED-certified buildings, the installation of hydration stations to save bottles, and the use of ionized water cleaning technology on campus that reduces wasted materials and cuts down on toxic chemical use. Over the past five years, Villanova has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by seven percent. The University recently signed the St. Francis Pledge to raise awareness of the suffering felt by the poor as a result of climate change and participated in the 2013 national Campus Sustainability Day. Villanova students also volunteered in the local community to help area elementary schools complete green projects through the Green Apple Day of Service.

In 2007, The Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, President of the University, reinforced Villanova’s commitment to sustainability by signing the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), the goal of which is to make Villanova a climate-neutral campus. Villanova submitted a formal Climate Action Plan to the ACUPCC, designating the year 2050 as the University’s target date for net climate neutrality.

In addition to the efforts aimed at making Villanova’s physical campus more sustainable, the University offers numerous academic programs that provide an emphasis on sustainability. They include a  master’s degree in sustainable engineering; a first-year “Nature and the World” learning community; bachelor’s degrees in environmental science, environmental studies, and environmental biology/ecology; undergraduate minors in environmental studies and sustainability studies; a biology master’s degree, graduate certificate, and advanced graduate certificate with a concentration in ecology, evolution, and organismal biology; a  master’s degree in water resources and environmental engineering; a graduate certificate in urban water resources design, and a graduate sustainability course in “Sustainable Industrial Chemistry.”

Villanova was previously recognized as one of the nation’s greenest colleges by the Princeton Review and the Sierra Club. The University continues to integrate sustainability programs into its curricula, scholarly research, academic and community events, as well as its institutional policy and practice.

Click here to learn more about Villanova University’s commitment to sustainability.

Attached photo caption: A group of Villanovans involved with the University’s sustainability efforts were on hand to accept the Main Line Chamber of Commerce’s Green Business of the Year award recently. Pictured (l. to r.) are Robert Morro, associate vice president for facilities management; Jenifer Derry, director of training and staff development; Liesel Schwarz, sustainability manager; John Olson, chair, President’s Environmental Sustainability Committee and associate professor of biology; Chris Kovolski: assistant to the President for internal and external affairs.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.