According to the Environmental Protection Agency, sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends either directly or indirectly on our natural environment. Thus, to act sustainably is to create and maintain conditions under which humans and nature can coexist and fulfill the social and economic requirements of present and future generations.
As a Catholic Lasallian institution, CBU is dedicated to environmental stewardship as an integral part of service to the poor and the promotion of social justice. The well-being of God’s all-encompassing creation – the world and all of its inhabitants – is of great concern, especially as indicators of ecological turmoil and climate change are brought to light. CBU values and promotes inquiry into, action for and education about sustainable living in all areas of university life and operation.
When you graduate from Christian Brothers University you will be asked to take the following Lasallian Graduation Pledge: "I pledge to explore and take into account the social justice and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organization for which I work. I will further the Lasallian tradition by continuing to learn and by serving others to build better communities and a better society." At its core, the pledge asks you to place the common interest over the private, environment over profit, community over self, and justice over inequity.
The Sustainability Committee of CBU is a presidential committee created in 2010 to recommend, support and advocate strongly for environmentally sound practices at CBU. These practices are comprehensive, incorporating both the academic and physical components of the university. The Sustainability Committee is thereby responsible for promoting environmental awareness and responsibility to the entire CBU community both in curriculum design and in the use of campus resources and facilities.
CBU and its partners are committed to a more local, healthy, just, and sustainable food system. The mission of the CBU Food Committee is to evaluate and improve our on-campus food services in order to promote an inclusive and healthy community.
Our vision is a university community committed to the betterment of society and the care of God’s creation through our role in the local food system. We believe that CBU can promote education on campus and in Memphis about the interrelationship between food, agriculture, the environment, and health. To the degree possible, our on-campus food should be sourced and prepared in ways that are local, healthy, just, and sustainable. These values will inform choices in food purchasing, preparation, consumption, and disposal. We aim to be a model for the Memphis community.
Our membership is composed of faculty, staff, and students, including but not limited to representatives from Student Life, the Sustainability Committee, the SGA, the Community Peace Garden, the Food Recovery Network, and the CBU Food Pantry (Campus Ministry).
Student Sustainability Coalition
The Student Sustainability Coalition is an officially recognized student club through the Student Government Association. Formed in 2012 by a group of like-minded students, the coalition is committed to collaborating with various university committees, student groups and local institutions to establish community service projects that promote sustainable practices. Students have volunteered to organize events during America Recycles Day and Earth Week, including recycling competitions, PR campaigns, and panel discussions including: the media’s role in shaping beliefs about global warming; the most effective ways to change recycling behaviors and habits; and the environmental and social justice impacts caused by controlling The Mississippi River and its flood plains.
Graphic source: New Zealand Institute for Crop and Food Research (Creative Commons, cropped)