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Mount students in field working on sustainability efforts


“All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents.”

~ Pope Francis in Laudato Si’

Interested in learning more about sustainability at the Mount? Want to get involved? Contact us today.

Contact ESSC

Sustainability at the Mount


The papal encyclical, Laudato Si’, reminds us: “When we speak of the ‘environment,’ what we really mean is a relationship existing between nature and the society which lives in it. Nature cannot be regarded as something separate from ourselves or as a mere setting in which we live. We are part of nature, included in it and thus in constant interaction with it.”

We each are in constant interaction with nature, and as a campus community, the Mount has the capacity and responsibility to address environmental concerns. Furthermore, when we practice stewardship for the environment we demonstrate that we recognize that everything is connected: “Concern for the environment thus needs to be joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings and an unwavering commitment to resolving the problems of society.”

This is the primary work of the Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Committee.

Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Committee

The Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Committee (ESSC) works to bring awareness of environmental concerns to the Mount community. The committee consists of faculty, staff and students working together to:

  1. Gather information about environmental issues impacting the Mount and MSMU impact on the environment;
  2. Plan outreach events to educate the community;
  3. Make recommendations regarding the University’s impact on and stewardship of the environment.

Policy Review and Implementation

The ESSC reviews policies and makes recommendations concerning issues that affect the University’s use of natural resources, implementation of ecologically friendly initiatives as part of the University’s vision statement and strategic plan, and implementation of green architecture standards and landscape designs, purposes, and practices.

Environmental Awareness

The ESSC considers ways to increase environmental awareness on campus, understanding the importance of environmental issues in our commitment to social justice, commitment of the campus community to environmental issues, and institutionalized consideration and assessment of environmental effects of all proposed changes to policy or operating procedures, when appropriate.

Resource Use and Conservation

The ESSC makes recommendations regarding energy use, waste disposal and recycling, water use and quality, water and air emissions, air quality, conservation, land use and preservation, biodiversity, and sustainability.

The work of the ESSC requires a community-wide effort to make implemented changes most impactful. The membership of the ESSC encompasses many stakeholder groups across campus (faculty, staff and students) with the recognition that environmental stewardship requires involvement in every part of campus life.

2023-24 Committee members

Sarah Brown
(faculty, elected)

Alejandro Cañadas, Ph.D.
(faculty, CIEEM director)

Jack Dudley, Ph.D.
(faculty, elected)

Elizabeth Holtry, M.F.A.
(faculty, elected)

Abigail Kula, Ph.D.
(Chair, faculty, ENVS program coordinator)

Stephen McGinley, MTS
(faculty, elected)

vacant (student, Environmental Club president)

vacant (student, SGA representative)

Recycling at the Mount

What else can you do?

Don't Just Recycle, Recycle Right!

Placing non-recyclable items into the recycling dumpster puts our 24/7 recycling program at risk. Do not place bagged materials in dumpster – empty materials into the dumpster and trash the bag. Do not rely on the recycling logos you find on packaging because the labels are often incorrect.

Only Recycle These Items

What's Not Recyclable?

How does a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) work?

Watch this video from to learn more about how items get recycled.


Reach out to us with questions or comments at


Campus Race to Zero Waste

Campus Race to Zero Waste (formerly known as Recyclemania) is an annual, nationwide competition among universities to increase recycling on their campuses.

Weekly recycling rates are reported, and the Mount regularly finishes near the top of our school size category. The Environmental Club for students plans events during the competition, such as weekly recycling tips, “how to” recycle ambassadors stationed in the dining hall and signs posted in dorms and across campus.

For more information or to get involved, contact Associate Professor David Wehner, Ph.D.

Environmental Club students in canoes

Environmental Club

Students interested in environmental stewardship and sustainability are encouraged to join the Environmental Club. The club is active in organizing outreach events throughout the year including panel discussions at SPARC and demonstrations during Recyclemania. The group has participated in tree planting events and field trips.