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Sustainability Initiatives

In the classroom and in the community, Notre Dame students demonstrate their commitment to protect the planet by engaging in sustainable practices and promoting environmental responsibility.

Preparing leaders in sustainability

Notre Dame's innovative Environmental Sustainability Major offers three tracks for undergraduates: policy, science and sustainable entrepreneurship. Whether in business, government, education or the nonprofit sector, the program prepares students to act as responsible stewards, mindful of Earth’s delicate balance and motivated to seek solutions.

Practicing Green Principles

Campus Sustainability Committee

A working group comprised of members of faculty, staff, graduates and students, the committee created a 5-year strategic plan for campus sustainability. Its educational outreach includes panels and workshops, such as “Mining the Mountains: The Real Cost of Mountaintop Removal,” a discussion of the ecological, economic, health and moral issues surrounding the controversial method of surface coal extraction.

Student Environmental Organization (SEO)

The SEO organizes events to promote responsibility and sustainability, including the sale of earthgrams, Research Day programming, themed menus in dining hall, campus-wide clean up day; educational displays and tree planting. Each year they partner with the Tri Beta Honor Society in a campus tree planting. The effort is funded by the SEO’s printer cartridge recycling program and planned with the assistance of the facilities management department and campus sustainability program. To date, program participants have planted 31 trees throughout the Notre Dame campus.


Small changes yield big results!

*Tray-less dining saves 200 gallons of water for every 1,000 meals 
*Indoor herb garden provides fresh flavor year-round
*Locally-sourced foods conserves fuel and supports local farmers
*Dining Hall waste becomes organic compost
*Recyclable containers reduce landfill use
*Student's unwanted items are donated at the end of each year 
*Single stream recycling throughout the campus makes it easy to be green
*Used books and e-books save money and trees 
*Green Seal-certified cleaning products and recycled paper reduce chemicals in the air 
*Environmentally friendly paper and inks saves trees and money