Lasallian Higher Education Focuses on Environmental Sustainability

Lasallian colleges and universities are working to more closely collaborate on environmental sustainability efforts. A recent workshop gave them the opportunity to look to the future.

La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, sponsored a workshop, Lasallian Universities of the North American Region for the Sustainability of the Environment (LUNA-SE), from September 5-6, 2019, with the goal of creating a network and increasing collaboration among Lasallian higher education in the United States by developing common environmental sustainable commitments. The effort is part of an initiative of Campus University Transitions through Sustainable Development, a research group established by the International Lasallian Advisory Research Group (ILARG).

In addition to La Salle University, Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee, Manhattan College in Riverdale, New York, and Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois, participated in the gathering. The workshop was conducted by Brother Martin Montoya, FSC, director of the International La Salle Institute of Sustainability of the Environment (ILISE/Victorin), and Dr. Scott Kerth (Lewis University), coordinator of Campus University Transitions through Sustainable Development, which is an international research project.

The four Lasallian institutions that participated are engaged in a total of 145 environmental activities: 38% of the activities address environmental education, 32% address the natural environment, and 30% address economic sustainability. They established four common environmental sustainability objectives as high priorities for Lasallian colleges and universities in the United States. The participants agreed to work with their leadership to integrate a sustainability mindset throughout their campuses. In addition, they determined that all higher education institutions in the United States are already answering Pope Francis’ call in Laudato Si’ to care for the environment. Also, they agreed that they should work to introduce sustainable development into their institutions’ strategic plans in order to reach the Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations.

This story was contributed by Brother Martin Montoya, FSC, and was edited for context