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The Laudato Si’ and Sustainability Committee is a cross-institutional working group responsible for overseeing the University’s participation in the seven-year Journey to deepen its commitment to integral ecology as envisioned in the Laudato Si’ Action Platform.

Co-chaired by the Vice President for Mission & Identity and the AVP for Facilities, the committee will report to the president of the University and collaborate with other University Committees as required to achieve its purposes.  

Adam Nichols, Building Automation Systems Manager

Brendan Dolan, Associate Director of Residence Life

Barbara Brown, Member of the Board of Directors

Debby Rosenthal, Professor of English

James Greenwolf, Assistant Director of Student Wellbeing

James Watling, Associate Professor, Chair, Coburn Chair of Biology

Jeffrey Your, Manager, Central Scientific Stores and Laboratory Support Services

Jeremiah Swetel, Assistant Vice President of Facility and Auxiliary Services

Katherine Feely, SND, Director of Center for Service-Learning and Social Action

Mariah Webinger, Associate Professor of Accountancy

Molly Russell, Student, Class of 2024

Rodney Hessinger, Ph.D., Interim Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, Professor of History

Rory Hill, Director of Auxiliary Services

Rory O'Neil, Executive Director of Alumni Engagement

Santa Casciani, Ph.D., Professor of Classical and Modern Languages and Cultures; Director of Bishop Pilla Italian/Amer Studies; Director of JCU in Rome

Selen Zarrelli, Director of the Center for Student Diversity & Inclusion

Wilson Ha, Student, Class of 2025

Laudato Si’ Action Plan Goals

John Carroll University

1. Identify, articulate, and expand the ways we walk with and serve those who are marginalized and most likely to feel the greatest impact of climate change.  

2. Articulate a carbon emission reduction goal with tactics and metrics by the end of academic year2024.  

3. Earn Bronze-level STARS rating through the Association for Sustainability in Higher Education (ASHE).  

4. Meet LEED standards in all new building and renovation projects where feasible.  

5. Establish a plan to increase sustainable and resilient features on campus by April  2024.  

6. Establish JCU as an arboretum and become known as a learning lab and destination.  

7. Expand and integrate curricular offerings, pathways, and credentials related to sustainability, climate change, and ecological justice.  

8. Create a campus-wide culture of ecological awareness, advocacy, and Care for our Common Home.  

9. Promote student, staff, and faculty wellness through increased engagement with the natural environment.  

10. Establish and enhance institutional sustainability policies and practices to reduce climate change

Tactics for 2023-2024

  • Revitalize the recycling program by establishing and promoting a branded campaign.
  • Establish a student-led Green Team to spearhead sustainability efforts, includingng capturing alll cardboard during move-in weekend.
  • Move to 100% renewable energy credits.
  • Explore community garden options
  • Hold faculty workshops to create new sustainability
  • Create signage and digital tracking for the academic pathways for The Arboretum at JCU 
  • Complete STARS application and earn a bronze level rating 
  • Establish a carbon footprint reduction goal and timeline by end of 2023.
  • Identify sustainability features to be added to add to campus by April 2024

Design & Construction Projects

  • Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) best practices were employed in all renovation and construction projects
  • Specify Rubber flooring, vinyl tile and carpet with recycled content
  • Material and furniture selections are sought from "Green" suppliers and manufacturers. This means low or no VOC's, recycled or sustainable material, minimum packaging, high durability and long life-cycles to reduce waste downstream 
  • New energy efficient windows were added to both the Schott Dining Hall and RecPlex conference rooms 
  • Energy efficient and Energy Star products were specified, when available
  • Non-hazardous construction and demolition waste is diverted from landfills
  • Crushed concrete from Bohannon Science Center used as fill under new parking lot
  • Crumb Rubber (ground recycled tires) used as infill for synthetic turf field at Don Shula Stadium
  • RTU and roof replacement - B-wing
  • Roofing and façade restoration - Dolan and Pacelli Halls, Rodman, DeCarlo Varsity Center, Grasselli Tower and Administration Building Arcades, Boiler House
  • Existing carpet removed and sent for recycling. New carpet with recycled content and low odor, low VOC paints:
    • Administration Building, Library, Bernet and Campion Hall

4070 Carroll Blvd as Offices for the Department of Military Science

  • Renovated existing structure, new roof, new windows and façade restoration - increased attic and wall insulation
  • New high efficiency HVAC units and hot water tank
  • Six dumpsters of demolition material/construction waste was 100% recycled by Rosby Recycling

Bohannon Site Restoration and Hamlin Quad Improvement Project

  • Preserved and enhanced natural site elements. Provided 3.16 acres (56.4%) pervious area
  • Added bio-retention basin to enhance biodiversity and reduce and filter storm water runoff
  • Site lighting utilizes LED light fixtures to reduce energy use, sky glow and minimize lighting impact on nocturnal environments
  • Demolition debris was reused or recycled as follows:
    • Furniture donated to local restaurant
    • Concrete and masonry was crushed and reused on site
    • Steel and other metals were salvaged for recycling - 2950 CYA

Track and Turf replacement

  • Old turf removed from site to be recycled
  • New synthetic turf:
    • No water or fertilizers required
    • Infill made from recycled tires

Murphy Hall Renovation

The renovation of John Carroll University's Murphy Hall residence hall has earned LEED Silver certification for sustainable features in its design, construction, and operation. Established by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. 

Murphy Hall is the University's first LEED-certified building. Sustainable strategies and practices in the renovation include: new windows; a well-insulated building envelope; maintenance and re-use of the building shell; and energy efficient lighting, electrical, and mechanical systems. Other features include electronically controlled low-flow plumbing fixtures and common area lighting, low-odor materials with recycled content, and multiple areas for recycling. 

Energy & Water Use

The university has invested more than $1,500,000 since 2004 on energy conservation projects including:

  • Lighting upgrades in Campion, Hamlin, and Murphy Halls using electronic ballasts and more efficient LED, CFL, T8 and T5 lamps
  • New electric pickup truck
  • Boiler replacement in Campion Hall
  • Library cooling tower - filter media replacement
  • Installed motion sensors to turn off lights in laundry rooms and restrooms, and in Dolan Center classrooms and labs to turn off lights and reduce air supply in unoccupied spaces
  • Installed water saving low flow shower heads, automatic low flow faucets, and auto-flush toilets
  • Installed condensate recovery on Dolan Center Air Handling units
  • Replaced paper towel dispensers and inefficient electric hand dryers with high efficiency electric Xlerator hand dryers
  • Insulated boilers and hot water lines
  • Replaced old inefficient HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) equipment and controls with more efficient equipment

Food Services

  • Schott Dining Hall has been tray-less since 2008 (reducing food waste and minimizes water and energy needs for cleaning)
  • Reusable Take-out program in place along with the use of Bio-degradable containers diverting approximately 60,000 foam containers from the landfill
  • Excess food donated weekly to shelters
  • Began composting pre and post consumer food waste with Rosby Resource Recycling, to date 5+ tons of food waste has been composted
  • Serve 100% Fair Trade Certified coffee in Dining Hall, Java City, and all catered events; offer at least one Fair Trade Certified coffee blend in Einstein Bagel's at all times, other Fair Trade items used are sugar, tea, rice, chocolate, and bananas
  • JCU Dining has converted to 100% use of green cleaning products
  • 100% diversion of used Fryer Oil
  • JCU Dining refill program (which offers $1 refills on both coffee and fountain beverages across campus) has diverted 8,000 paper cups since its inception in the fall of 2009
  • Total composted food waste continues to increase from previous years in 2012

Landscaping & Grounds

  • Created Hamlin Quad
  • 25 acres on main campus (1.5 acres of display beds) 
  • Eco-friendly fertilizers and de-icing products for snow melting
  • Reducing use of herbicides and pesticides 
  • Added 14 bicycle racks on campus
  • Added 6,000 sq. ft. of native plant gardens
  • Switched from gasoline to propane fuel lawn mowers

Sustainable Business Practices

Administrative Services (Purchasing, Accounts Payable, Payroll, Human Resources)

  • Online/Electronic Form (Reduces Paper & Postage):
    • Electronic (ACH) payments of most vendors
    • Electronic (ACH) payroll deposits
    • W2's are available via ACH (must opt into this program)
    • JCU HR forms (most, except for some 3rd party insurance)
    • Purchasing/Accounts Payable forms (under development)
  • Compressed 4-day work schedule offered
  • Priority is given to sourcing from regional vendor when appropriate and cost effective
  • Evaluating migrating all monthly credit card statement to electronic delivery

Auxiliary Services

  • Copy Center accepts job submissions electronically
  • New copy digital color production equipment allows for on-demand printing
  • Cast Certification system in the mail center can clean mailing lists to reduce wasted postage and mailing
  • Recycling of batteries, printers, cell phones conducted in departments
  • Packaging materials are recycled at the mail center
    • Bulk Styrofoam is recycled at the mail center and at chemistry stores

Information Technology Services

  • Programmed shutdown of unused monitors/computers
  • Replacing LCD computer monitors with more energy efficient LED monitors
  • Networking printers & moving to higher-efficiency printers
  • Paperless admissions application system in place
  • University documents available online only (e.g., undergraduate bulletin, schedule of classes, & university directory)
  • Providing paper recycling bins in each computer lab
  • Limiting student printing budgets to minimize paper waste
  • Recommended power strip shutdown and end of day for individual offices
  • Virtualization of servers (running many servers on a single physical computer, thus reducing power consumption/demand in the data center dramatically) 
  • Personal computer (PC) purchases are Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) and Energy Star certified
  • Recycling of PC's is done through a local firm (Ret3) that specializes in safe environmental disposal and salvage 
  • PC's in classrooms and labs are set to power down during evening hours
  • Faculty/staff PC's use energy-saving mode, where they will go into hibernate (approximately 1% - 3% of normal power consumption) after a period of inactivity during working hours
  • Desktop virtualization in place in some classrooms & labs, and expanding to more locations each semester - 94% power reduction per unit compared to a traditional PC
  • The use of "Paper Cut" software for offices, enabling directed print to lower cost/high volume printers based on size of print job is proposed
  • Duplex printing for printers is the default mode
  • Moving towards online & electronic (paperless) administrative forms, both for submission and reporting (e.g., paperless W2 project) 

Student Life

Student Life Initiatives

  • Spring 2014: "Don't Throw it Away... Give it Away!" during Residence Hall move-out: 351 pounds of food donated to the Cleveland Food Bank and 20 boxes (clothes, toiletries, supplies & appliances) donated to Vietnam Veterans of America.
  • Spring 2013: "Don't Throw it Away... Give it Away!" during Residence Hall move-out: 250 pounds of food donated to the Cleveland Food Bank and 22 boxes (clothes, toiletries, supplies & appliances) donated to The Salvation Army.
  • 189 pieces of furniture equaling 6.52 tons were donated from the halls and shipped to Mixco, Guatemala through the Institution Recycling Network rather than sent to a landfill.
  • 250 mattresses were donated and repurposed by Institution recycling Network.
  • Community Garden behind University Counseling Center supports local food pantry (sponsored by Center for Service-Learning & Social Action)
  • Spring 2012: "Don't Throw it Away... Give it Away!" during Residence Hall move-out: 365 pounds of food donated to the Cleveland Food Bank and 15 boxes (clothes, toiletries, supplies & appliances) donated to Goodwill Industries.
  • Residence halls equipped with recycling containers in every dorm room, with students actively participating in recycling initiatives.
  • New John Carroll Clothes Closet for recycling of gently used clothes.
  • 2nd Water Bottle refill station added in the O'Malley Center. 

2012 IRN Surplus Reuse Program Donations

  • 188 pieces, equaling 9.8915 tons, of resident hall furniture was collected and shipped to development and relief efforts in Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic. 
  • 55 pieces, equaling 5.369 tons, of residential furniture was collected and shipped to development and relief efforts in Santa Rosario, Guatemala. 


  • 13 acres parking lots on 2 sites
  • Approximately 600 Faculty/Staff/Administrators (FSA's) commuting each day
  • Average daily commute for FSA's = 13,355 miles
  • Average yearly commute for FSA's = 2,205,296 miles
  • Approximately 50% of FSA's live within 5 miles of campus
  • JCU Fleet Vehicles (32 vehicles total)
    • 10 - 15 Passenger Vans
    • 1 - ADA 10 Passenger Van
    • 10 - 6 Passenger Minivans
    • 1 - Mail Delivery Minivan
    • 2 - Pick-up Trucks - Grounds
    • 1 - Dump Truck - Grounds
    • 1 - 33 Passenger Bluebird Bus - Fleet Transportation
    • 1 - 15 Passenger ADA Equipped Minibus - Fleet Transportation
    • 2 - Ford Explorer CSS Patrol Vehicles
    • 2 - Scrap Vehicles in transition out of the fleet
    • 1 - Buick Enclave - President's
    • 4 - Utility Golf Carts - Electric
    • 1 - Utility Gator - Gas
    • 2 - Utility Cushman - Gas
    • 2 - Diesel Utility Tractors

The service mission of the university requires a relatively large fleet. The many passenger and minivans are used by students to travel to schools and local communities for services projects, student teaching and internships.