At Holy Cross, sustainability isn’t a buzzword — it’s our collective responsibility. Safeguarding the environment for future generations reflects our Jesuit mission. We embrace this challenge at all levels of our institution — from College-wide initiatives that reduce electrical usage to student-driven programs that promote climate-friendly practices.
Toward A Carbon-Neutral Future
In 2007, former president Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J., signed Second Nature's Climate Leadership Commitment (previously the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment), promising that Holy Cross would reduce its carbon emissions over the coming decades.
As part of the commitment, we have completed the first stage in our Carbon Neutral Plan (PDF), which called for a 20 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2015. The effect of this plan is visible through initiatives like our Green Building policy, which ensures that all major construction and renovation projects are completed according to LEED silver standards at minimum. By 2040, the College aims to be entirely carbon neutral.
We empower students to adopt new and forward-thinking approaches to reducing their environmental impact. Many of these techniques can be found in the College’s Green Guide, which was authored by the Student Government Association’s director of environmental concerns.
Presidential Task Force
At the time that he signed the Climate Commitment, Fr. McFarland also created a Presidential Task Force on the Environment. Together, the task force drafted and implemented our current Carbon Neutral Plan. The team is composed of student, staff and faculty members from throughout the College, who develop awareness initiatives and educational programs that benefit our community.
New Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
Thanks to the Presidential Task Force on the Environment, the College installed electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in the parking garage in 2019. This was made possible by a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and a rebate from National Grid. Learn more on the Parking website.
Eco-Action, the most popular of our environmentally focused student groups, performs education and outreach activities on campus and in the community, and promotes institutional change with the support of the Presidential Task Force.