Check out the latest issue of our Sustainability Program Newsletter

Summer Study Abroad in Italy!

Are you interested in Global Sustainability or Studying Abroad?

This summer, the Department of Sustainability is offering a study-abroad program to Assisi, Italy from May 6-14.
Choose from 2  to 3 classes, in Sustainability, Theology and Music, for 6-9 Credits.

  • THEO 257 (3 cr.) Franciscan Spirituality, Ahlgren 
  • MUSC 108 (3 cr.) Music, Love & Death: The Earth, Skeirik
  • SUST 465 (3 cr.) Topics in Sust: Compassionate Economies, Bertaux 

Enjoy daily forest, hill and mountain hikes in the heart of Italy. Dialogue with regional leaders in sustainability; learn how to envision our environmental future; discuss business ethics. Re-trace St. Francis's steps, study music about caring for the earth, and participate in Jesuit/Ignation reflection. 

If Interested, contact Dr. Bertaux, or Brad Rolfes. Accepting Applications NOW! 

See the Flyer for more information!




The following students have been selected for sustainability student intern awards for 2017/18:
Jonathon Duffy, Economics Sustainability and Society major:  Fall and Spring semester 2017-18
Sam Settlemyre,  Economics Sustainability and Society major: Fall semester 2017
Laura Castillo,  Economics Sustainability and Society major: Spring semester 2018
Student receiving the awards will work with Xavier's Sustainability Committee to advance the goals of the committee, including sustainability reporting and measurement.
Please contact the Sustainability Committee co-chairs, Professor Nancy Bertaux ( or John Schulte ( with any questions.


Registration for Summer and Fall Begins March 27, 2017

You should be making an appointment with your advisor now if you haven't already.  

There will be a new sequence of one-credit hour courses offered in the fall. While these courses can be taken separately, they represent a unique opportunity to learn about the creation of a sustainability program from conception to execution. All courses will be taught by Len Sauers, Retired Sr. VP for Global Sustainability, P&G.

SUST 460 / BUAD 660: Strategy and Goal Setting: Sustainability
W 6-8:30 Aug 23 – Sep 20 (1 credit)

The first step that any business must take in creating a sustainability program is to develop a vision, set a strategy and establish quantifiable goals.  In this course students will gain an understanding of the primary drivers of environmental and social sustainability today, including climate change, solid waste management, water scarcity, supply chain responsibility, etc. 
SUST 461 / BUAD 661: Sustainable Product Innovation & Life Cycle Assessment
W 6-8:30 Sep 27 – Oct 25 (1 credit) 

Once a business has established a sustainability program, developing “green” products through sustainable product innovation can be an important next step.  In this course, students will learn the principles of sustainable product innovation by using life cycle assessment to compare the environmental sustainability of selected products and determining why one product is/is not better from an environmental standpoint than another. 
SUST 462 / BUAD 662: Challenges in Executing a Sustainability Program  
W 6-8:30 Nov 1-Dec 6 (1 credit)

As a company executes its sustainability program and markets its “green” products, it can confront a host of external issues such as the sustainable sourcing of renewable materials, environmental impacts of growth, issues around product safety, concerns of NGOs/activists, dealing with competing priorities, etc. In this course, students will gain an understanding of such issues and how to prevent them or address them once they arise.  

Climate Justice Series speaker

Climate Change and

the Merchants of Doubt

    Naomi Oreskes   

 April 6, 2017   7:00-9:00 p.m.


Climate Change: Now What?

Internationally renowned author, geologist, science historian and Harvard professor, Naomi Oreskes is a leading voice on the issue of the role of humans in affecting climate change and is the author of both scholarly and popular books and articles.  

In her recent book, The Collapse of Western Civilization, she speculates on our future if warnings of climate catastrophe are ignored.  Her TED Talk, “Why We Should Trust Scientists” has over a million views.  In the influential  book and documentary, Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco to Global Warming,  Oreskes examined how a small group of scientists joined forces with political interests to challenge the scientific consensus on important health and environmental issues.

Naomi Oreskes 2nd European TA conference in Berlin 2015.JPG

Naomi Oreskes is currently professor of the history of science and affiliated professor of Earth and planetary sciences at Harvard University.  She has lectured widely and won numerous prizes including the 2011 Climate Change Communicator of the Year and the 2015 Geological Society of American Public Service Award.  She met Pope Francis at a special meeting on climate change and sustainability held at the Vatican and in 2015 wrote the introduction to the Melville House edition of the Papal Encyclical on Climate Change and Inequality, Laudato Si’.


CLIMATE JUSTICE SERIES:  We define Climate Justice as climate-related policies and practices that are ecologically sound as well as economically advantageous for all members of society, especially the least well off, who are often the most affected by climate change. 


For more information contact Elizabeth Zuelke ( or 513-745-3385)

 Could you live a zero waste life?  Lauren Singer of NYC can fit all her waste from 4 years into one Mason jar.  Read her blog to see what's in her Mason jar and how she has created a life without garbage.. 


Campus Sustainability News

Sustainability Committee Submits Progress Report to Second Nature

When Pope Francis first visited the United States, one of his primary topics was the collective responsibility of caring for the Earth. We at Xavier believe that this spirit of care begins on campus and radiates out to our homes, communities, state, country and ultimately, the entire world.”– Xavier University Annual Progress Report

After months of hard work, Xavier’s Sustainability Committee has completed our 2015 Annual Progress Report to Second Nature,  the lead supporting organization for the ACUPCC  (American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment).  The report highlights all of the efforts and achievements made in order to come closer to attaining our Climate Action Plan goals.

With the approval of Father Graham, the report has now been submitted. A comparison with previous reports will help Xavier determine what changes or improvements must be made to continue to be on track for the objectives set in our Climate Action plan. 

The final report showed that Xavier’s academic sustainability programs proved to be a great success among students that continues to grow year by year. Xavier’s progress has shown the effort by the university in making climate neutrality and sustainability a part of the curriculum, as well as a growing element in our campus culture.

See Xavier's Progress Report on the Second Nature website.


Xavier Included in 2016 Princeton Review Guide to 361 Green Colleges






  • In March 2008, Xavier University created a Sustainability Committee in response to the requirements of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. The Committee, which represents a cross-section of the campus community, has created a comprehensive plan for achieving climate neutrality and initiated tangible actions to meet the goals expressed in the Campus Sustainability Plan.