Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability

Why It’s Important

  • Sustainability is Core to our Jesuit Identity 

    Seattle University’s commitment to sustainability runs deep. In fact, it is grounded in Jesuit values that date back more than 450 years. We take our cue from St. Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits, who encouraged his early companions to “Find God in All Things."

    Seattle University Jesuit day of serviceThe Jesuits of today are explicitly making sustainability a vital part of their apostolic mission. “We need to learn—both scientifically and theologically—about our entanglement in the processes causing environmental degradation,” reads a decree that was adopted by General Congregation 34, the Jesuits’ worldwide meeting in 1995.

    In 2006, the Oregon Province of the Jesuits responded with a plan of action that includes “a vision of sustainable communities which hold all creation as sacred” and “a commitment to respect and care for the community of life…especially the poor and most vulnerable.”

    Here at Seattle University, our Jesuit ethos calls us to revere the life-giving force of the natural world, to care for creation as responsible stewards of the planet, and to work for justice so that no peoples are disproportionately affected by environmental degradation. 

    That's why we have a President's Committee for Sustainability, which drives our Climate Action Plan.  And it's why we implement sustainable practices across campus.

    Working for Environmental Justice 

    Seattle University Youth Initiative's Just Serve eventSocial justice is part of everything we do at Seattle University, which includes sustainability.   Environmental Justice means that no group of people, regardless of race, color, national origin, or income should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, municipal, and commercial operations or government programs and policies.Ways we support environmental justice include:

    • Our Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability (CEJS) enables interdisciplinary scholarship, teaching, and learning in environmental sustainability and its intersection with issues of justice.
    • The Law School offers an environmental justice seminar, puts on panel discussions, and several professors' research the issue.
    • Seattle U's urban farm donates all produce to food banks and educates low income community members on organic farming practices.