Environmental Sustainability

Misericordia University Mercy Hall

At Misericordia University, students receive a quality education through both powerful, career-focused academic programs as well as opportunities to participate in our Charisms of Mercy, Service, Justice, and Hospitality. It is our aim to to help mold students into compassionate, ethical human beings who will create a better future and a better world.

Through both an Environmental Sustainability Committee comprised of faculty and staff, and a Student Environmental Sustainability Committee, the University has made significant progress with raising awareness on issues surrounding environmental sustainability and creating change across campus.

Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Sustainable Development Goals

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.

United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals


In the spirit of our Mercy heritage, and the Sisters of Mercy Critical Concern of “Care for Earth”, the Committee strives to ensure that the University continues on the path to being good stewards of planet earth. The Committee is committed to raising awareness of the interconnectedness of all earth’s life through education of the Misericordia community and advocacy to adopt behaviors that reflect those consistent with sustainability and the reduction of our carbon footprint.

2019 Earth Day Reflection

Recent Initiatives and Achievements

  • Tobacco/Smoke-Free Campus (July 1, 2020)
  • Lights Out - Energy Conservation campaign (Feb. 2020) - Click here to view a pdf of the poster
  • Misericordia President, Thomas J. Botzman, Ph.D., signed the U.S. Catholic Climate Declaration (2018)
  • Creation of Pollinator Garden (2019); Pollinator Garden registered as a Mercy Monarch Milkweed Garden (2019)
  • Campus Sustainability Assessment Initiative (utilizing a template from the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System) - (2018-2019)
  • Placement of Recycling Bins at Mangelsdorf Field for football games (2017)
  • Environmental Sustainability placed in University's Strategic Plan for the first time (2018)
  • University became registered member of the Association of the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (2018)
  • Cougars Print Services announce efforts in environmental sustainability (2018)
  • Yearly Celebration of Earth Week (more departments are participating by offering events/activities)
  • Environmentally conscious caps & gowns for commencement
  • The construction phases of the forthcoming Henry Science Center approach Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards by limiting the demolition of the existing building, creating and implementing a construction waste management plan, and the architects choice of new building materials and energy saving materials.
Frank M. and Dorothea Henry Science Center
Frank M. and Dorothea Henry Science Center artist rendering

Did You Know ...

  • misericordia students on environmental walking tourThe consumption of the average U.S. Citizen requires 18 tons of natural resources, per person, per year, and generates an even higher volume of waste
  • Less than 1% of the world's water is available for human use
  • A New York to Los Angeles plane trip generates 1.8 tons of carbon dioxide per person
  • Americans use 2,500,000 plastic bottles every hour
  • Rainforests are being cut down at the rate of 100 acres a minute
  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a television for three hours, or the equivalent of half a gallon of gasoline
  • Recycling a single run of the Sunday NY Times would save 75,000 trees
  • The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle can run a 100-watt light bulb for four hours, or a compact florescent bulb for 20 hours. It also uses 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than when a new bottle is made from raw materials

Earth Week

Earth Week 2019


Reduce the Use of Single-Use Plastics
& Global Climate Change
April 23–April 27, 2019


Misericordia student 2019 Earth Week shirt


Environmental Sustainability Did You Know Poster

Recycling at Misericordia

Environmentally Conscious Caps & Gowns through Campus Store

In the effort to remain green on campus, all ­­­Misericordia students will be wearing environmentally conscious GreenWeaver® regalia, made here in the USA. This line of graduation wear is made of fabric spun from molten plastic pellets produced from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles.

Each day in the US more than 60 million plastic water bottles are thrown away. Most end up in landfills or incinerators, and millions litter America’s streets, parks, and waterways. With an average of 25 plastic bottles being used to produce your cap and gown; you are helping to ensure a cleaner, healthier future for our planet.

Since 2017, Misericordia University has helped to divert OVER 32,350 plastic bottles from landfills!


Prior Initiatives and Achievements

  • Environmental Sustainability Committee established (2015)
  • Recycling Educational and Awareness Initiative - especially regarding single-stream recycling (2016)
  • Placement of Recycling Bins in every office and classroom in collaboration with the MU Employee Leadership Group (2017)
  • Initiated Student Environmental Sustainability Committee (2017)
  • Inclusion of Program on Environmental Sustainability in First-Year Student Orientation (2017, 2018, 2019)
  • Adoption of Campus-wide Water Bottle Practice -eliminating plastic water bottles from events (2018)
  • Installation of Dog Stations (that have biodegradable waste bags and signs that direct dog walkers to leash and pick after their dogs on campus) - (2017)
  • Styrofoam cups banned for athletic team use by Athletic Director (2017)

Student Environmental Sustainability Committee Achievements

  • Initiated Student Environmental Sustainability Committee (2017)
  • Campus Survey on Environmental Sustainability by Student Committee (2019)
  • Student Committee advocated for elimination of use of take-out bags at Chick-Fil-A for patrons eating in restaurant (2017)

Environmental Sustainability and Metz Dining Services

Environmental Sustainability Committee Achievements: Metz Dining Services

  • Advocated for Metz to obtain and sell reusable salad containers for regular salad patrons (2018-2019)
  • Metz Dining Services went strawless in main dining room - except for those who ask (2018-2019)
  • Starbucks started using strawless and recyclable lids (2019)
  • Meatless Mondays in the dining room started during Earth Week (2019)
  • Collaboration with Metz Dining Services for Removal of Plastic Straws in Dining Hall
  • Student Committee advocated for elimination of use of take-out bags at Chick-Fil-A for patrons eating in restaurant (2017)
  • Advocated for the use of reusable cups at Starbucks (2017)

Click here to view the Metz Culinary Management Sustainability web page.

Environmental Sustainability Committee Members

Sr. Cindy March, Chair
Associate Director of Mission Integration
VP Mission Integration Office

Kim Caffrey
Executive Assistant to Vice President
VP Mission Integration Office


Anna Fedor
Associate Professor
Chemistry Department

Laurie Finnegan
Project Manager Facilities - Grounds Manager
Grounds Department

Jim Hedglin
Custodial Supervisor
Housekeeping Department

Paige May
Assistant to the Director of Athletics
Athletics Department

Gina Oriolo
Graduate Residence Hall Director
Residence Life Department

Dave Pasquini
Enrollment Marketing Coordinator
Enrollment Marketing Department

Charles Richardson
Dean, College of Business
Business Department

Anthony Serino
Associate Professor
Biology Department

Chris Somers
Director of Campus Ministry
Campus Ministry Department

Cosima Wiese
Biology Department

Kathy Zawatski
Administrative Assistant
Student Success Center

Sr. Jean Messaros
VP Mission Integration/Administrative Liaison
VP Mission Integration Office

Misericordia University Mercy Hall

News List

Misericordia University hosted an interactive virtual faculty panel on Thursday April 30 to discuss COVID-19 and the wide-ranging impact this virus is having on our society.
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