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  • The Griffin

Sustainability Column: Laudato Si’

By Genevieve Fontana, Features Contributor

Did you know Canisius College was one of the first colleges in the United States to enact the Laudato Si’ action plan?

The Laudato Si’ is a Vatican-derived plan that guides institutions to take steps to an overall more eco-sustainable campus. The action plan was heavily influenced by Pope Francis’ 2015 Ecological Encyclical, where he addressed the need for individuals to take action to fight against climate change and preserve our planet for future generations.

You may not know it, but behind the scenes we are on a sustainable journey steered by leaders around campus. Canisius is in year one of our seven-year trek toward sustainability. One of the main reasons we could sign onto this plan was our Undergraduate Student Association's (USA) passion for the cause. The USA wrote a resolution that helped to engage the campus community.

Cansius started our process by conducting a self-assessment to see how our campus aligns with the main objectives of the Laudato Si' action movement. This includes responding to the cry of the earth, the cry of the poor and fostering ecological opportunities and lifestyles. This self-assessment has allowed us to celebrate our wins and recognize where we need to improve around campus. You can view this self-assessment and more at

After much consideration, we have narrowed our focus to a handful of topics we will tackle this semester, and we would love to hear what you think. How can we make our campus more sustainable regarding the issues of resource use (plastics, paper use, food and energy consumption) and nature-friendly initiatives (birds, pollinators, plants, etc.)? Submit your ideas today or any day at!

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