Sustainability & Social Responsibility | University of Portland

Sustainability & Social Responsibility

The University of Portland is committed to addressing questions of social-ecological concern through disciplinary and interdisciplinary studies of the arts, sciences, and humanities. In pursuit of teaching and learning, faith and formation, service and leadership, the University of Portland recognizes its responsibility to develop and practice a more just and sustainable way of living within planetary boundaries. The University of Portland seeks to promote social and environmental justice locally and globally by fostering a connection between environmental stewardship and the common good.

In considering the economic, social, and environmental consequences of our actions, the University of Portland acknowledges its leadership and commitment to the practical and timely application of sustainability through pursuing the following eight goals from the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, a blueprint to achieve a sustainable future for everyone. 



UN sustainable development goal 3 good health and well-being

Good Health & Well-being

Mental, Physical & Spiritual

Students have acces to the Beauchamp Recreation and Wellness CenterHealth and Counseling Center and Campus Ministry programs to maintain good health and well-being. Bon Appétit, the campus food service, offers students healthy plant-based meal options. Additionally, the Outdoor Pursuits Program organizes off-campus adventures in the Pacific Northwest, connecting students to nature.
UN sustainable development goal 4 quality education

Quality Education

Social-Ecological & Transdisciplinary Curriculum

The Department of Environmental Studies offers a variety of majors and minors designed to address questions of social-ecological concern. Uniquely, the Sustainability Minor consists of cross-listed courses that count as academic credit towards majors in engineering, business, political science, social work, and communication amongst many others. Apart from academic disciplines, all students can gain access to the Pilot Space, a makerspace with sewing machines, 3D printers, laser cutters, and various hand tools.

UN sustainable development goal 10 reduced inequalities

Reduced Inequalities

Diversity & Inclusion of Race, Class, Age, Gender & Sexuality

The Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Program works with students, staff and faculty to ensure that the campus is safe and welcoming to all. Additionally, academic departments offer programs in critical theory to educate students on systemic issues of equity. For example, the Gender and Women's Studies Minor.

UN sustainable development goal 11 sustainable cities and communities

Sustainable Cities and Communities

Housing, Transportation & Waste Management

In residence halls, Sustainability Innovation Ambassadors lead students in living sustainably. Multiple buildings on campus are LEED certified such as Shiley Hall. Bike racks and electric vehicle charging stations are located around campus and the campus bike shop provides bike maintenance to all students, staff and faculty. Furthermore, the 44 and 35 buses stop adjacent to campus. For waste, a student-led compost initiative is in dorms and the Bauccio Commons and Pilot House both compost. Also, see recycling. 

UN sustainable development goal 12 responsible consumption and production

Responsible Consumption & Production

Food, Energy & Water

The campus Physical Plant implements sustainability in regard to landscaping, facilities management, land use and planning, and environmental health and safety. Through Physical Plant the University has 10 campus facilities enrolled in Energy Trust of Oregon's Strategic Energy Management Program (SEM). Additionally, Bon Appétit Management Company, the food service on campus, sources local food, supporting regional farmers. 

UN sustainable development goal 13 climate action

Climate Action

Restore Ecosystems, Reduce Emissions & Practice Sustainable Behaviors

The University aims to be carbon neutral by 2040, through following a climate action plan produced by campus staff and faculty. It also aims to complete an AASHE STARS report in the future. Currently, active student groups on campus such as College Ecology Club and Student Led Unity Garden (SLUG) engage the community in practicing sustainable behaviors. 

UN sustainable development goal 16 peace, justice, and strong institutions

Peace, Justice, & Strong Institutions

Transparency, Service & Community Engagement

The ASUP Committee on Sustainability & Social Responsibility advances campus initiatives to achieve these 8 goals, while the Presidential Advisory Committee on Sustainability follows through on institutionalizing campus initiatives. Contact the ASUP president or senators to get involved with either committee. Additionally, the campus Moreau Center organizes immersion experiences and service trips around environmental justice and affordable housing.

UN sustainable development goal 17 partnerships for the goals

Partnerships for the Goals

Off-campus & On-Campus

University organizations, whether student led or administrative, are encouraged to partner with both on-campus and off-campus organizations in an effort to accomplish the sustainable development goals. As an example of partnership, Moreau Center Volunteer Coordinators work with Friends of Trees.