Santa Clara University

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Graduation Pledge

Seniors: Join your classmates in a pledge to consider the social and environmental consequences of your careers. By taking the SCU Graduation Pledge, you define for yourself what it means to be socially and environmentally responsible. The Grad Pledge is part of the Graduation Pledge Alliance, a global community of conscientious graduates. There is not obligation to turn down jobs... the graduation pledge is simply a way for you to ensure that your job represents more than a paycheck.

Members of previous classes and their future plans: (See more photos...)

group of students with whiteboard student with whiteboard
student with whiteboard group of students with whiteboard

Join them! Take the Graduation Pledge.

Organizations in support of the Graduation Pledge at SCU
Alumni Association
Career Center
Department of Environmental Studies & Sciences
Office of the Provost
Sustainable Business Studies Club
Student Sustainability Convergence
Net Impact

 

What does my job have to do with sustainability?

If you've got a job lined up in a field like accounting, finance, education, or anything else that may seem completely unrelated to the social and environmental values the Grad Pledge encourages you to consider, think again. The Grad Pledge has something for all college graduates. Here are some reasons why:
  • Social entrepreneurship is a growing trend, and many companies, big and small, are making an effort to ensure that their practices do not interfere with social justice or the environment. Most companies will have a corporate responsibility statement on their website. 
  • Even actions as simple as supporting a sustainable paper recycling program or a company-designated charity can be in solidarity with the Grad Pledge.
  • The Pledge lets you define " social and environmental responsibility" for yourself and is therefore designed just for you to think about what these values mean to you.
By signing the Grad Pledge, you are saying that you'll take the values of SCU with you into the working world and keep the earth and its inhabitants in mind as you make your living.


Things to consider when looking for, or switching to, a sustainable career:

  • Tools of Change:  This offers case studies, tools, and other resources to help promote comprehensively sustainable practices.
  • Complete Guide to Ethics Management - An Ethics Toolkit for Managers: Read this guide about how to promote business ethics.
  • Social Edge: A network for social entrepreneurs with inspiration for improving the social aspects of your future career
  • Starting Bloc: A five-day workshop and extended membership for young professionals interested in promoting corporate social innovation
  • GreenBiz: News about all kinds of sustainable businesses and tips for how to promote sustainability in your own workplace

Living green at work

Now that you’re out of college, you’ll find that many lifestyle habits that are good for the earth are also good for your wallet. Here are some simple changes you can make—in the office and out—that will help you stay eco-friendly after graduation.

  • Reduce emissions when on your commute by carpooling with a co-worker who lives nearby, using public transportation, or riding your bike. You can save up $2,174 each year by carpooling 40 miles round trip with just one other person. If you don't know of anyone who you can share rides with, try erideshare.com to find a commuting partner. You can also try Zipcar, which is a really convenient option for people living in the city or near public transportation. 
  • Pack a reusable coffee mug or water bottle--you can even stash a few plates and some silverware instead of buying their disposable counterparts. Instead of ordering food "to-go" from a restaurant, bring leftovers from home to avoid the extra packaging. 
  • Use a CFL bulb in your desk lamp and in your home. These bulbs last ten times longer than their incandescent counterparts and use only about thirty percent as much energy. 
  • Turn off and unplug your computer and other electronics when you leave your office in the evenings. Even in a low-power mode, these items are still using small amounts of energy which contributes to CO2 emissions. Also try plugging your office and home electronics into a power strip which you can turn off when you’re gone for periods of time. 
  • If you travel for your job, consider buying carbon offsets for each flight you take. You can do this at www.carbonfund.org. 
  • Consider starting your own compost. With a little dedication and patience, it’s easy to do and extremely beneficial for the environment. See the US EPA’s guide for how to create your own compost pile and what you can and can't compost. 
  • Make sure you recycle! Go to the website of whatever city you end up living in to learn about their municipal recycling program and to see what they do and do not accept. Also, make sure your office has a recycling program. If not, refer to our guide for how to start one yourself! 
  • Purchase “eco-friendly” cleaning products. Good brands are Mrs. Meyer’s and Seventh Generation. They feature products made with natural and biodegradable ingredients that aren’t tested on animals, and are socially conscious. 
  • Use Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, eBay or freecycle.org to buy and sell used furniture or household goods and office needs.
  • Instead of joining a gym, save emissions and money by exercising outdoors. Consider joining a running or biking club. For more information, visit http://www.timeoutdoors.com/.


Contact Us

Center for Sustainability
Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053 sustainability@scu.edu