MMU expanding its commitment to sustainability

Mount Mercy University has announced new efforts to promote sustainability literacy and stewardship practices, expanding its commitment to serving the common good.

“Mount Mercy’s latest strategic plan opens the door for significant progress on our sustainability goals,” said Professor of English Joy Ochs. “This work couldn’t have come at a better time, and though our goals are lofty, we’re positive we can make a real change in organizational culture, student experience and regional outreach.”

These expanded efforts will include staff to lead sustainability initiatives, development of academic programs in sustainability studies, a new Sustainability Scholars program, student co-curricular opportunities in socially conscious entrepreneurship, sustainable infrastructure on campus, staff development programs and community outreach.

Mount Mercy was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in line with their five Critical Concerns: Racism, Immigration, Nonviolence, Women and Earth. Ochs said she sees room to grow in commitment to these areas.

“It’s important to integrate care for the Earth into our organizational culture to the same degree as the other four Critical Concerns,” Ochs said. “We have not previously had an integrated, university-wide plan to address care of the Earth as it is expressed in attitudes, policies, and educational outcomes, and now we will be able to do just that.”

Ochs said that because of these upcoming efforts, she expects the Mount Mercy community will better understand and embrace the need to care for the Earth and those affected by environmental injustice in our region.

“By instilling a sustainability mindset, modeling stewardship behaviors, educating students, faculty, staff, and the community in care of the Earth, and communicating about our progress, we will be embedding sustainability into the core mission of our institution, to the great benefit of generations of students to come.”

These sustainability efforts are supported through a grant from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.

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