The Institute of Environmental Sustainability, Loyola University Chicago’s new laboratory of environmental innovation, will have its grand opening on 6 September 2013. In a welcome statement in the Institute’s website, Dr Nancy C Tuchman, founding director, shares that the new Institute is committed to developing responsible solutions, in the service of humanity, to environmental problems. This new facility, academic offerings, and programs intend to take Loyola University Chicago’s sustainability leadership to the next level.
The Institute puts forward its mission to engage students so that they understand and can respond to local and global environmental issues through: delivering core environmental science courses to raise awareness and action; preparing students for socially responsible professions in environmental science, policy, education, business, and health; advancing knowledge of environmental problems and developing solutions through original research and community outreach. The Institute also strives to advance sustainability in operations across all university campuses and to develop an environmentally conscious culture throughout the university.
The new state-of-the-art, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) -certified facility features an adjoining residence hall, greenhouse, aquaponics facilities, biodiesel plant, collaborative research laboratories, and the largest geothermal facility in the Chicago region.
In addition, the university’s Office of Sustainability is decreasing the environmental footprint of the campus making Loyola among the most energy-efficient campuses in the US. The Loyola University Retreat and Ecology Campus, located 50 miles from Chicago, has a student-run organic farm and over 70 acres of forests and wetlands that are prime outdoor classrooms for learning about nature in nature and practicing land management, conservation, and restoration techniques.
With these, the Institute advances the university’s mission of seeking God in all things and working to expand knowledge in the service of humanity through learning, justice and faith by providing a rich and transformational educational experience grounded in teaching and research excellence, experiential learning, and student entrepreneurial action in the service of nature, humanity, and the planet.