Marquette University is committed to sustainability and environmental justice. Our Jesuit mission and Catholic social teachings compel us to care for others and the environment through sustainability. Putting into practice our commitment requires navigating exciting opportunities and realistic challenges.

In 2015, President Michael R. Lovell joined over 75 institutions in signing the St. Francis Pledge (now known as the St. Francis/Laudato Si Pledge).

This pledge affirms that Marquette University will:

  • PRAY and reflect on the duty to care for God’s Creation and protect the poor and vulnerable.
  • LEARN about and educate others on the causes and moral dimensions of climate change.
  • ASSESS how we, as an institution, contribute to climate change by our own energy use, consumption and waste.
  • ACT to change our choices and behaviors to reduce the ways we contribute to climate change.
  • ADVOCATE for Catholic principles and priorities in climate change discussions, especially as they impact those who are poor and vulnerable.

AASHE Memeber Logo

Marquette University is also a proud member of AASHE, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

The MarquetteUGreen Sustainability Vision

Marquette in the future is a university that reaches beyond boundaries to transform our social, environmental and economic influence today and for future generations. Everyone at Marquette will seek opportunities to innovate, collaborate and advance sustainability as it relates to academic, engagement, operations, students, dining, transportation and community. We do this in pursuit of our Jesuit mission to discover knowledge, develop excellence and cultivate faithful leadership in service to others.

Read our current Sustainability Plan here.

Guiding Principles

Four fundamental actions or behaviors will inspire and guide sustainability at Marquette:
Care - Social and environmental responsibility, including care for creation and climate justice.
Enhance - Health and well-being of students, employees, communities and ecosystems.
Protect - Environmental welfare and ecosystem resilience.
Secure - Economic security and resource conversation.

Sustainability and Its Importance

The most commonly used definition of sustainable development is from the Brundtland Report.

"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." Sustainability is not a fixed state but a process of change that seeks to harmonize environmental protection, social equity and economic viability.

Sustainability is the foundation for the United Nations' global framework for international cooperation on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Land Acknowledgement

Marquette University acknowledges that our campus and Milwaukee are the homelands and waters of the Menominee, Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk, Fox, Mascouten, Sauk and Ojibwe nations, who have known this land and water as a relative for millennia and who remain our hosts on the land today. We also acknowledge that Milwaukee is located along the southwest shores of Michigami (meaning “big water” in Anishinaabemowin), where the Milwaukee River, Menomonee River, and Kinnickinnic River meet. We remember that Milwaukee is covered by the 1833 Treaty of Chicago signed by the United States and Potawatomi and acknowledge it cleaved and dispersed this tribal nation through removal. We also acknowledge the presence of tribal members from Wisconsin sovereign nations in Milwaukee, including the Oneida Nation, Stockbridge-Munsee Community Band of Mohicans, Brothertown Nation and Ojibwe Nations – namely, the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Sokaogan Chippewa Community and St. Croix Chippewa Indians. We further understand and honor that the greater Milwaukee area is home to a large, resurging urban Indian community that includes diasporic Indigenous peoples from around North America, as well as from the Global South, the Pacific, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Marquette University further acknowledges and pays respect to the elders and ancestors past, present and emerging whose histories, knowledge and cultural traditions have shaped the land and water of the greater Milwaukee area and can enrich practices around its stewardship. We affirm our commitment to practice ongoing good relations with the land and water and with sovereign Indigenous Nations that caretake them. In acknowledging the long-held relationships fostered by these lands and waters, we seek to strengthen and recommit ourselves to ongoing and future kinship responsibilities with each other and the Earth. In the spirit of reconciliation, we can authentically attend to and create the conditions of hospitality for current Indigenous students and community members and all yet to walk with us.