In his encyclical Laudato Si’, Pope Francis says: “Let us be protectors of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment.” SLUH is helping to fulfill the Pope’s magnanimous vision through a variety of initiatives. Not just because the responsible stewardship of the earth’s resources is a major tenet of Catholic Social Teaching. We choose to live sustainability, to act with intention, because the future needs of others depends on it.



Since 2013, two 25-kw arrays of 100 solar panels, situated on the Si Commons and Joseph Schulte Theater rooftops, have allowed SLUH to realize energy and cost savings. They also provide an opportunity to educate students about the importance of sustainability and being mindful of our impact on the environment. SLUH can access real-time data on the amount of energy being produced by the solar panels, which are directly connected to the grid.

In addition to our rooftop solar panels, other initiatives include:

  • Motion detecting lights in Danis Field House
  • Schoolwide Car FREE Day and campus-wide transportation survey
  • Light vacancy sensor installation done throughout areas when relevant
  • LED lights installs where appropriate, including outside ground lighting and parking lot security lights
  • Painted and upgraded Jesuit Wing windows with a coated ultra-thin, virtually invisible layer of metal, low-e windows reflect infrared heat back into our building. This coating improves the window’s insulation ability, in turn lowering our heating and cooling costs.
  • Updated irrigation control panels for better control and installed rain sensor, which automatically shuts down the system when watering needs are met
  • SLUH has been with the Natural Gas Aggregation Program since 2010
  • Roofing projects completed with Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) single-ply roofing membranes that are heat-reflective and energy efficient roofing systems. TPO single-ply roofing membranes continue to provide SLUH with exceptional resistance to ultraviolet, ozone, chemical exposure. In addition, two inches of insulation decreases our use of energy consumption.

Community Garden

SLUH's Community Garden, vital to and consistent with our school's mission, demonstrates to faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni, and visitors that we:

  • Are committed to finding God in all things;
  • Recognize our place in creation, and
  • Are committed to doing justice.

Also known as the Backer Garden, it is intended to:

  • Be a living, thriving, dynamic, and vibrant addition throughout our curriculum and co-curriculars;
  • Provide an opportunity to our faculty, staff, and students to experience the wonder, joy and satisfaction of working with the earth and to reap its bounty;
  • Foster and build new and stronger relationships between the SLUH community and our surrounding neighbors;
  • Provide an area for respite, relaxation and reflection, and
  • Be a source of fresh produce for our various community service programs.

Food Service

  • We have switched to a more environmentally friendly food container, which includes plates, cups, bowls and napkins.
  • We have a recycling container in the kitchen area that we use to put all of our cardboard, steel, plastic and glass.
  • We currently are buying from Healthy Gatherings, a group headed by Steve Jenkins from Saint Louis University. This group is run by culinary students, buying from local farmers processing the food and delivering it to SLUH. The products that we use include roasted tomato salsa, garlic mashed potatoes, mashed potatoes, sweet potato fries, sweet potato coins, mashed sweet potatoes, sliced apples, and potato wedges.
  • We have an agreement with them to supply the mentioned products. We have had to make some adjustments to our purchasing in order to use these particular products.
  • We do purchase a significant amount of food from local sources. Our regular food supplier, U.S. Foods, offers many products that are locally sourced, such as many of our vegetables and some of the cheese, chicken and beef products.


  • Single Stream Recycling Program
  • Electronics Recycling
  • Holiday Light Recycling Drive
  • Reuse/Refill Toner Cartridges
  • Grease Recycling
  • Shredded Paper Recycling

    recycling facts
  • Plastic water bottles Recycled with Allied Waste are broken down and reused to make carpet.
  • A used aluminum can is recycled and back on the grocery shelf in as little as 60 days.
  • Recycling a single run of the New York Times Sunday Run would save 75,000 trees.
  • A modern glass bottle takes over 4,000 years to decompose in a landfill.
  • About 1/3 of the average landfill is made up of packaging material.
Recycling means jobs for st. louis
  • Almost 16,000 people are employed by St. Louis Metro area recycling businesses
  • The Economic impact of Recycling in the St. Louis Metro area exceeds National averages
  • Call Allied Waste today to start a Recycling program at your business today-Keep Jobs in St. Louis!

Information from Allied Waste and Republic Services and based on a study conducted by the University of MO for the St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District.

"The environment is God’s gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility towards the poor, towards future generations and towards humanity as a whole."

- Pope Benedict XVI

Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate, 2009, No. 48


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