VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University was recently recognized as a sustainability leader in the 2015 Sustainable Campus Index, ranking fourth in the Dining & Food category. In addition to the Dining & Food ranking, Villanova also received a Silver STARS rating.
The Sustainable Campus Index highlights top-performing colleges and universities in 17 areas, as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). STARS was developed by theAssociation for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). The Dining Services subcategory, one of 17 areas of focus in the Index, recognizes institutions that encourage sustainable food systems that promote health, support local economies and maximize positive environmental and social impacts.
“I am extremely proud of the great work our menu committee and culinary team have done to focus on bringing more local and organic food products onto our menus and into our dining outlets,” said Timothy Dietzler, Director of Dining Services at Villanova. “Our nutrition program, VEG, has been the catalyst for driving more plant based menus in our dining outlets, and tripling the volume of fresh fruits and vegetables we serve across campus.”
“Villanova’s Dining Services has proven to be a star performer in the campus’s sustainability efforts year after year,” added Liesel Schwarz, Villanova’s Sustainability Manager. “They have always been game to try new things and partner with others on campus. The students enjoy working with Dining Services because they know they will listen and help in any way they can.”
In 2007, Villanova President the Rev. Peter Donohue signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. Further advancing the University’s pledge to sustainability, Father Donohue established the President’s Environmental Sustainability Committee on 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.
Since that time, Villanova has expanded its sustainability efforts, including the launch of a new master’s degree program in Environmental Science, adding yet another academic program 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 on campus. 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.
To learn more about Villanova’s commitment to environmental sustainability, click here.