In recent years, I have been involved in conversations with colleague college and university presidents from across the country about the idea of signing a carbon-neutrality pact on behalf of our respective institutions. These conversations have been in-depth, meaningful, and sincere.
I have applauded my colleague presidents and their institutions for the care and consistency with which they have addressed the issue of sustainability and the role that colleges and universities should take in addressing these concerns. Clearly we have a role to play – a significant leadership role. Many of my peers have signed a pact, committing their institutions to achieving carbon neutrality as soon as possible. While I am committed to the ideals that these pacts entail, before signing on to this movement on behalf of St. Bonaventure, I thought it wise to engage the campus community in a conversation – a thorough investigation of what this means to our community.
As a Catholic institution in the Franciscan tradition, clearly we have a historical commitment to and responsibility for conducting our personal and professional business in a “sustainable” manner. However, also in the Franciscan tradition, we must carefully consider all of our community members’ perspectives on this matter in the context of the challenges and opportunities that face us today.
The Sustainability Commission has been charged to do just that: create opportunities for education, dialogue, and discussion toward creating St. Bonaventure University’s vision and associated policies and procedures that will guide our institutional climate commitment. I express appreciation for the many members of our community: faculty, staff, students, alumni, administrators and friends, who have signed on to lead this discussion – to lead St. Bonaventure University to a sustainable future.
Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., S.T.D.
President of the University