• What is the scope of the Office of Campus Sustainability?

    The Office of Campus Sustainability focuses on sustainable infrastructure and engagement. The office ensures campus buildings and grounds are designed and managed in ways that reduce our energy and water use, reduce waste, and promote a healthy environment for our students, staff, and faculty. We also work with students, staff, and faculty to help them understand what it means to live a sustainable life and how to get involved in sustainability initiatives on campus.

  • What is the mission and vision of campus sustainability?

    Sustainability Mission Statement
    As stewards charged with advancing the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, the Catholic University of America is committed to improving the environmental well-being of the campus and the greater community.

    Sustainability Vision Statement
    All Catholic University of America community members are encouraged, engaged, inspired, and motivated to take steps to reduce their carbon footprint and improve environmental quality.

  • Is there a campus-wide sustainability plan?

    Yes, the University released a 5-year campus-wide sustainability plan in Fall 2020. The plan is intended to generate positive environmental change, promote education and research, preserve resources, raise awareness, reduce expenditures, generate exciting dialogue, and create new Catholic University community engagement opportunities. Check out the FY 2023FY 2022, and FY 2021 progress reports highlighting sustainability successes since the release of the plan.

  • Who can I get in touch with for additional questions?

    If you any questions about sustainability on campus, please contact:

  • How do I follow sustainability updates?

    Follow us on Instagram @cuasustainability and be sure to sign up for the Green Cardinal newsletter.

Get Involved

  • Are there sustainability-focused academic programs on campus?

    Catholic University offers several undergraduate and graduate programs related to sustainability, most notably the Sustainability Minor for undergraduates.
  • Are there student clubs focused on sustainability and the environment?

    The Catholic University Environmental Club is dedicated to demonstrating the efficiency, effectiveness, and importance of sustainability through interdisciplinary educational programs, service opportunities, and engagement.

    The American Conservation Coalition - Catholic University Chapter seeks to activate young people that are tired of partisan inaction on the grassroots, state, and federal levels -- bringing forth prosperous action on environmental issues that impact us all.

    CUAdventures strives to enrich the health of the student body through monthly weekend day hikes to local natural areas, as well as occasional meetings and other outdoor excursions.

    If you are interested in these student clubs, check them out on the NestIf you’re interested in creating a new organization, reach out to the Office of Campus Activities for more information.

  • How is the Student Government Association involved in sustainability initiatives?

    The Student Government Association's Environmental Initiative brainstorms and executes ideas on how to make Catholic University more environmentally aware and sustainable. The Initiative works closely with the Office of Campus Sustainability.

  • I'm a student; can I work in the Office of Campus Sustainability?

    Yes, the Office of Campus Sustainability offers work study positions during the academic year. If you are interested in working on our team, check out Handshake at the start of each semester for job listings.
  • Are there sustainability events on campus?

    The Office of Campus Sustainability, along with the sustainability-focused clubs on campus, host events all year long! October is Campus Sustainability Month and April is Earth Month so there are many events during those months in particular. 

    For the latest updates and events, follow us on Instagram @cuasustainability and sign up for the Green Cardinals newsletter.

  • I am a staff or faculty member; how can I get involved in sustainability on campus?

    Everyone on campus - students, staff, and faculty - is encouraged to get involved in sustainability! Consider joining the University's community garden or taking a sustainability tour. Become a Sustainability Captain for your building, or join the faculty Connect & Collaborate series on Care for our Common Home. Check out our Get Involved page for more ideas.

  • How do I set up a community service project related to environmental stewardship?

    Reach out to and we will work together with you and Campus Ministry to set up a community service opportunity.


  • Does the University have solar panels?

    Yes, Catholic University has a total of 2,600 solar panels on Main Campus and North Campus. Solar panels are installed on Aquinas Hall, Flather Hall, Gibbons Hall, Pangborn Hall, the Raymond A. DuFour Athletic Center, the Grounds and Maintenance Building, and the O’Boyle Parking Lot. The 2,600 solar panels have a combined 677 kW of installed capacity. For more details, check out the Catholic University of America Interactive Tour Map.

    Additionally, the University is in the process of installing a 25-acre ground-mounted solar array on an undeveloped portion of West campus. The array will have 6 MW of installed capacity. For more details, check out the press release.

  • What is the Energy Project?

    The Energy Project was the biggest effort to conserve energy on campus in recent years. This project removed the old campus-wide steam heating and cooling system and replaced it with an energy-efficient, modern heating water system served from the campus central plant. Read our blog post about the Energy Project to learn more.

  • How can I reduce my energy use on campus?

    Check out our guide to energy and water efficiency on campus! We also have guides on how to reduce waste and live mindfully.
  • Are LEDs widely used on campus?

    Yes, the Pryzbyla Center, the Crough Center, the DuFour Center, and Hannon Hall have all had significant lighting upgrades to LEDs.


  • Does the University have LEED-certified buildings?

    Catholic University has four LEED-certified buildings. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is one of the most prominent green building certifications in the world. Our LEED Certified buildings include:
    • The Crough Center
    • Opus Hall
    • Maloney Hall
    • Father O’Connell Hall

    To learn more, check out our Green Buildings webpage.

  • Will new buildings on campus achieve LEED certification?

    Yes, new buildings, including Garvey Hall and the nursing and science building, will be certified under the LEED rating system.
  • How does the University ensure indoor air and water quality is safe for inhabitants?

    The Environmental Health and Safety Department maintains a safe and healthy place to learn, work, and visit. EHS ensures the University operates in a manner that protects our environments in alignment with applicable federal, District of Columbia, and other codes and regulations. Contact EHS for additional information.

  • I heard there are green roofs on campus. Is this true?

    Yes, there are three green roofs on campus. A green roof or living roof is a roof partially covered with vegetation. These roofs can absorb rainwater, provide insulation, enhance existing wildlife habitats, and reduce the heat island effect. Father O’Connell Hall, the University Garage, and Aquinas Hall have green roofs. Learn more about green roofs in our blog post about greening our campus.


  • Are there alternative transportation options on campus?

    Yes, the Department of Transportation and Parking has a list of a list of alternative transportation resources on campus, including information about biking, taking the Metro and Metrobus, campus shuttles, and more.
  • Can I ride a bike on campus?

    Yes, there are over 400 bike racks located on campus.

Recycling and Waste Efforts

  • Does the University recycle?

    Yes, you can recycle paper, cardboard, metal, plastic, and glass on campus. Recycling bins are available in all buildings and across the grounds. Learn more about what is recyclable here.

  • Does the University compost?

    Yes, you can compost food waste and items that state that they are compostable in the Pryzbyla Center and Garvey Hall. Learn more about what is compostable here.
  • Are disposable utensils, take-away boxes, and napkins environmentally-friendly or compostable?

    Check out the exhibit boxes about the waste stations in the Pryzbyla Center to identify whether an item should go in the trash, recycling, or compost. If you are unsure what can be recycled or composted, it is better to throw something in the trash than to contaminate the recycling or composting bin!

  • Where can I donate items I don't need any more?

    There are many opportunities on and off campus to donate items. On campus:

    Food: Cardinal Cupboard, located on the first floor of the Pryz, is a food pantry available to all students, faculty, and staff. If you have any non-perishable items to donate, bring them directly to Cardinal Cupboard. More information and hours are available here.

    Clothing and Small Household Items: Cardinal Closet is Catholic University’s on-campus free thrift store. The Closet carries women’s and men’s clothing in all sizes, and includes business, causal, athletic, formal, and maternity clothes, and more. All students, staff, and faculty members are welcome and donations are always welcome.

    Check out our Green Move Out Guide for additional resources on where to donate items locally.

  • How much waste does the University divert from the landfill?

    In FY 2023, the University diverted 37% of all waste from the landfill. Check out our recycling and waste page to learn more about efforts on campus.