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Villanova University Sustainability Efforts Recognized in Game Day Challenge

Villanova was the only Philadelphia-area college or university to participate in event

Villanova University Sustainability Efforts Recognized in Game Day Challenge

VILLANOVA, Pa. –  Villanova University ranked second in waste minimization among participating FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) schools during the 2015 Game Day Recycling Challenge—an effort across college campuses nationwide to collect large amounts of waste that can be recycled. Villanova participated during its first-ever Zero Waste football game on September 23, 2015 when it hosted the University of Pennsylvania.

“Given that this was our first Football Zero Waste Game, I am happy with our results and how we measured up to other schools,” said Liesel Schwarz, Villanova’s Sustainability Manager. “Putting together a Zero Waste Game is a team effort and I appreciate all the hard work put in by the Villanova Grounds Department, Custodial Services and Athletics.”

In addition to its waste minimization ranking, Villanova scored 76 percent in its Diversion Rate. This means that 76 percent of the trash produced at the football game was able to be diverted from the waste stream.

“We’re thrilled with the results of Villanova Football’s inaugural Zero Waste Game,” said Ric Laudenslager, Villanova’s Recycling Coordinator. “As we begin to plan year two of the Zero Waste Game, we’ll look to make improvements across all categories to become a leader among the FCS schools.”

Villanova does not send any waste from campus to a landfill. All trash collected from the University is transported to Covanta, a nearby facility which transforms waste into electricity and produces a smaller carbon footprint than a traditional landfill. Villanova’s compost is delivered to Linvilla Orchards in Media, Pa.

Villanova’s recycling efforts are able to shine year-round, as Men’s Basketball also hosts a Zero Waste Game. That game will take place on February 3, 2016 at the Pavilion against Creighton.

In 2007, Father 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.

Villanova continues to be recognized as one of the nation’s greenest colleges.  The University recently received national recognition for its commitment to sustainability by both Sierra Magazine and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Villanova recycles and composts up to 41% of its waste, sending all of its trash to Covanta, an energy-from-waste facility that burns the trash for electricity. Villanova has installed 20 hydration stations on campus to make it easier to fill up reusable water bottles. The initiative has already saved more than 1.5 million water bottles. In addition, the University incorporates its commitment to the environment into its community service initiatives. In fact, Villanova was named the Green Apple Day of Service Champions by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 2014.

To learn more about Villanova’s commitment to environmental sustainability, click here.