If you only have a hammer

By Justin Gerdes

SCU helps shape the Catholic Sustainability Toolkit for colleges nationwide. And not every problem looks like a nail.

Campus leaders at Catholic colleges and universities across the country have a new resource making it easier to incorporate mission-based sustainability into their operations thanks, in part, to SCU Office of Sustainability Director Lindsey Cromwell Kalkbrenner ’04, MBA '09. Cromwell advised the authors of Sustainability and Catholic Higher Education: A Toolkit for Mission Integration, which was released by eight national Catholic organizations at the beginning of the academic year.

“One of the biggest challenges for sustainability officers at any campus is helping the campus community fully understand the meaning of sustainability—taking the campus beyond ‘going green,’” says Cromwell.

The toolkit aims to validate schools already making strides with sustainability programs, and to provide structure and an outline with which to grow their programs. There are case studies and success stories, which she hopes will inspire other schools to take action. The project, she says, encourages “us to leverage our faith-based missions in a unique way.”

Download and open the toolkit to start exploring it. Sustainability and Catholic Higher Education PDF

Kalkbrenner has been active in other faith-based sustainability initiatives. Last year she participated in the Catholic Climate Covenant's Catholic Climate Ambassadors training. For several years she has worked to build a network of sustainability champions in higher education. In October 2011, her office hosted a session for campus sustainability champions at the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) annual conference. Owing to overwhelming demand in years past, the session was expanded to include all faith-based schools.

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