Quinnipiac University
Sunrise over the Rocky Top Student Center

Strategic Plan

Sustainability

With direction from across the Quinnipiac community, the sustainability committee settled on a vision and framework that defines sustainability in three thematic and strategic areas: learning, living and leading.

We envision a Quinnipiac that is a model for sustainability in Southern New England, building its practices and leveraging its campuses to promote a healthy regional ecosystem, and to engage in practices that equip current and future students, faculty and staff to embody sustainable practices in their personal and professional lives, equipping them to thrive in a world increasingly influenced and affected by environmental disruption.

Download the Sustainability Plan (PDF)

Join Us at These Events Focused on Sustainability

Earth Week Photo Contest in Nature

April 18, 2021

9:00 AM - 9:00 PM (ET)

Online Virtual Event

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Earth Week Giveaway with Quinnipiac Political Science Association (QPSA)

April 19, 2021

9:00 AM - 7:00 PM (ET)

Online Virtual Event

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Earth Week Bingo

April 19, 2021

8:00 PM - 9:30 PM (ET)

Online Virtual Event

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Earth Week Trivia

April 21, 2021

8:00 PM - 9:30 PM (ET)

Online Virtual Event

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Earth Day Fair Indoor Activities

April 22, 2021

10:00 AM - 5:00 PM (ET)

Carl Hansen Student Center SC 133 Piazza

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Goals

The Sustainability Committee, with membership drawn from administration, faculty, staff and students, aims to provide:

1

Vision and Goals

A vision and goals for what sustainability means for Quinnipiac, the University of the Future

2

Strategies

Strategies that promote the most efficient and responsible use of resources in all of our operations to enhance sustainability

3

Curriculum

Opportunities to integrate principles of sustainability across the academic curriculum

4

Campus Culture

Approaches to embed sustainable practices into the daily experiences of students, faculty and staff

5

Progress Measurement

Metrics that enable measurement of progress against the university’s sustainability vision and goals

Our Community in Action

Students work out and do yoga

Quinnipiac enters new era as construction begins for Recreation and Wellness Center

Staging for the construction of a new Recreation and Wellness Center will begin this week. The project marks the beginning of a bold and exciting era as the university’s 10-year master plan, “Designing Our Future,” unites and enhances its three campuses.

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Chuck Saia holds a copy of his new book

Book offers leadership lessons; proceeds benefit Lupus and environmental sustainability studies

As Chuck Saia ’91, MBA ’94, began to write his new book about advice for young leaders, he reflected on his own life story, the moment that changed everything on 9/11.

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Kimberly DiGiovanni speaks to crowd

Professor named chair of an Urban Waters Initiative for Connecticut DEEP

Kimberly DiGiovanni, assistant teaching professor of civil engineering at Quinnipiac, has been named chair of an Urban Waters Initiative (UWI) for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

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Kent Golden

Creating a compelling story to make a difference

One of the things that make Quinnipiac professors unique is that many remain active in their respective industries, continuing to bring innovative, industry-leading techniques to their curriculum. Senior Instructor of Interactive Media and Design Kent Golden ‘00 is one of those people.

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Students retrieve water samples from the Quinnipiac River.

Biology professor receives $21,000 grant to investigate river pollution

Biology professor Courtney McGinnis earned a $21,000 grant from The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven to continue investigating pollution in the Quinnipiac River.

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Strategic Directions

As the model for a sustainable University of the Future, Quinnipiac pursues sustainability in three areas: learning, living and leading.

Learning

Conduct Audits
  • Faculty expertise

  • Current environmental initiatives

  • Campus culture

  • Curriculum

Build Curricular and Co-Curricular Elements
  • Implement new majors

  • Develop University Curriculum courses

  • Establish an eco-rep program

Set and Achieve Targets
  • Establish an environmental ELO*

  • Integrate sustainability as a theme throughout all curricular programs and activities

Sunset over the quad and business center
Sunset over the quad and business center

Living

Conduct Audits
  •  Waste and energy

  • Water consumption audit

  • Transportation options

  • Use of plastic

Act
  • Recycling education*

  • Food recovery programs*

  • Increase access to existing campus and regional transit services

  • Conserve water in landscaping efforts

  • Promote mindful behavior of water resources*

Aspire
  • Target reductions of single-use plastics*

  • Promote alternatives to single-occupancy vehicles*

  • Build a flagship sustainable facility, using Living Building Challenge criteria*

A student studies on the rooftop patio on the north haven campus
A student studies on the rooftop patio on the north haven campus

Leading

Research/Form
  • Institutional memberships

  • Comprehensive monitoring and report systems*

  • Appoint a campus implementation leader and committee

Initial Implementation
  • Hire an in-house environmental health & safety officer

  • Apply a monitoring system to a limited number of campus facilities & activities*

  • Join a membership organization

Full Commitment
  • Seek recognition/certification

  • Expand monitoring and reporting*

  • Fully establish office of sustainability with a CSO*

Snow blankets the campus surrounding the pond on the Mount Carmel Campus.
Snow blankets the campus surrounding the pond on the Mount Carmel Campus.

Environmental Justice

Four students walk across campus among fall foliage
What It Is and Why It’s Important

Environmental justice is grounded in the belief that all people have the right to a clean and healthy environment, irrespective of race, gender, income, ethnicity or educational level. Studies have demonstrated that low-income communities of color disproportionately bear the health and livelihood burdens of environmental destruction and decline. Thus, environmental sustainability is not separate from racial justice: Black, indigenous and people of color are affected by environmental racism, in addition climate-related disasters disproportionately affect these same marginalized communities.

The university’s 10-point Plan for Racial Justice lays out an ambitious agenda for institutional strengthening. As we work to advance racial justice through this plan of action, we must work equally hard to advance environmental equity and justice into our identity and actions locally, regionally and globally — advocating for both our planet and our people. Ensuring an environment that meets present and future needs inevitably requires adjustments to the social and economic systems that depend upon and impact that environment. Quinnipiac will work to advance ecological learning, living and leading while remaining cognizant of the implications for the social and economic systems in which we are embedded.

Read the 10-Point Plan for Racial Justice

Why Act?

In Fall 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a highly publicized special report on climate change that delves into the differential impact between warming of 2.0 degrees and warming of 1.5 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels. The major takeaway from this report is that the extra half degree of warming would have a significantly more severe impact on the earth systems we rely upon as a species for maintaining an inhabitable climate, a steady and predictable food supply, diversity of land and ocean species and security for human settlements given extreme weather and sea level rise.

“Climate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security, and economic growth are projected to increase with global warming of 1.5°C and increase further with 2°C” (IPCC 2018, headline statements).

Moreover, the window is very rapidly closing where action can be taken to keep us within even this more dangerous 2.0-degree rise.

Summary Timeline for the Sustainability Plan

Beginning 2021

Short-Term Goals (1-3 years)

  • Conduct audits: curriculum, energy use, water/waste/plastic*
  • Pursue institutional membership • Initiate monitoring system/dashboard*
  • Hire environmental health & safety officer

Medium-Term Goals (3-6 years)

  • Build curricular and co-curricular elements: major, UC, eco-rep program*
  • Implement water conservation, transport options, food & waste stream efficiencies*
  • Establish Office of Sustainability with CSO*
  • Seek institutional recognition/certification

Long-Term Goals (7-10 years)

  • Reduce single-use plastics on campus*
  • Build a flagship sustainable building*
  • Establish an environmental ELO & begin reporting educational outcomes*

 

Download the Sustainability Plan (PDF)

Our Approach

Sustainability has different meanings to different people and communities. Quinnipiac follows the definition promoted by the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development: that environmental sustainability entails the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. At the same time, current visions of sustainable development recognize the deep connections between environmental preservation, economic health and social justice.

Vision

Consistent with the university’s Strategic Plan, our community advances environmental sustainability by being a model steward of our own natural resources and by educating our students, faculty and staff to be proactive in their efforts to advance sustainability in their professional and personal lives. We partner with local and regional communities to achieve outcomes that support the long-term sustainability of our larger culture, in a way that recognizes and seeks to eliminate existing barriers to full participation in and enjoyment of the environment for all members of the community. 

We envision a Quinnipiac that is a model for sustainability in Southern New England. In communication and collaboration with other area universities, it promotes a sustainable transportation infrastructure, leverages its campuses to promote a healthy regional ecosystem, and engages in practices that demonstrate to current and future students, faculty and staff work environments, lifestyles and practices that will help to reverse decades of environmental harm, prepare to weather the effects of climate disruption, and promote an ethic of care for and repair of natural systems.