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Sustainability at Commencement

Sustainability is an important value at Loyola. As part of our mission of social justice and our role as Chicago’s Jesuit, Catholic University, we are mindful of our impact. Here are a few of the ways our sustainability initiatives manifest themselves during the Commencement season:

Gowns and Regalia

All gowns (except Doctoral) used during the Commencement ceremony are part of Jostens Elements Collection and have the following sustainable aspects:

  • Fabric fiber from renewable managed forests.
  • The zipper tape and teeth are made from 100% recycled PET.
  • The fabric is biobased and will biodegrade.
  • Students may participate in the Josten’s Give Back Program by visiting the site and entering the code on the gown’s hang-tag.

Facilities and Campus

Loyola is committed to reducing our impact through our facilities and activities. You will see examples of energy and water efficiency across campus. We source half of all our electricity from renewable sources including wind and solar. We are also committed to providing an attractive campus that helps absorb rain water and support local biodiversity. You will see this represented in gardens and green roofs all across campus.

Food and Events

Loyola works closely with our catering and vending partners to support a sustainable food system including plant-forward menus, seasonally appropriate options, and options for all dietary needs.

In 2012, Loyola banned the sale of bottled water as a statement on the privatization of water resources globally. More recently, we have made great strides to remove single use plastics and other non-renewable or recyclable items from our dining venues.

We have an active composting program on campus diverting food waste from the landfill to be recycled into valuable soil amendments at a commercial composting facility.

Environment and Social Responsibility Pledge

All Loyola graduates are invited to participate in the annual graduation pledge. This pledge was adopted by the Dean’s Council in 2020 following a resolution by Student Government. As an institution with a deep history of social and environmental justice, the students wanted to engage their peers with a commitment to take these values into their future careers and endeavors. All students are given the opportunity to take the pledge listed below.

“I pledge to reflect deeply and critically upon the social and environmental impacts of all my endeavors. I will aspire to create a just, humane, and sustainable world for all people through my work, my community, and my actions.”