Sustainable Campus

Academics & Administration


Student Projects

Servivce Berry

Academics & Administration (top)

Academic Advising

  • In consultation with the Academic Vice President’s Office, and taking into account feedback received from some faculty advisors and the University-wide effort to be more efficient and environmentally friendly, Academic Advising & Assistance will no longer provide advising files.  Schedules and credit postings, if applicable, for new advisees will be posted online with student transcripts.


  • Environmental Law Clinic - provides representation to not-for-profit environmental programs in the Inland Northwest.
  • Spokane Riverkeeper - helps facilitate cleanup and preservation efforts for the Spokane River.

Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)

  • Gonzaga is a member of AASHE, an organization that provides resources for those in higher education to help them further sustainability efforts on their campuses. They provide tools for professional development to students, and for sustainability planning to faculty and staff. AASHE also gives institutions the opportunity to network on different initiatives with all schools who are part of the association. 

CCASL - Center for Community Action and Service Learning

  • The Notebook Project -  takes cereal box-type cardboard (pressed board) and used, one-sided paper, and binds them into notebooks that are sold at CCASL and the campus book store. All profits fund Earthbound, a program where GU student volunteers go to local elementary and middle schools to run after school activities that are fun and environmentally educational.
  • Spokane River Cleanup - in this annual effort hundreds of volunteers come together to clean-up the riverbanks of the Spokane River.
  • Earthbound - See above.
  • Ruellen-Day Community Garden - The Ruellen-Day Garden, named after one of the early Jesuits here at GU, Fr. Ruellen SJ, and the inspirational founder of the Catholic Worker movement, Dorothy Day, was founded in October 2010 and will have its first grow season in Summer 2011. The first plants to go in the ground were garlic in late October 2010. The garden is approximately 40 by 45 feet in size. The garden will follow organic growing methods and has two composting containers and a greenhouse. The garden's #1 mission is to educate students and the #2 mission is to feed organic produce to those in the surrounding Spokane community who are least likely to be able to buy it.

Climate Commitment (ACUPCC)

Curriculum for the Bioregion

  • This initiative aims to better prepare undergraduates to live in a world where the complex issues of environmental quality, community health and well-being, environmental justice, and sustainability are paramount. This faculty and curriculum development initiative is based on the idea that we live out our lives in specific places but the choices we make and the actions we take have both local and global consequences. The strategy being taken is to create "faculty learning communities" within individual disciplines to build sustainability concepts and place-based learning in foundational college classes; and field- and community-based workshops that update faculty about pressing bioregional issues as well as the people and organizations working on solutions. Visit the Washington Center for more information.

School of Engineering and Applied Science--Faculty and Student Research Projects

  • The Civil Engineering Department has procured several hundred thousand dollars (and are looking for more) to remodel and expand current research and teaching laboratory space for a cluster of environmental and sustainability focused laboratories.  Visit their website for more information. 
  • Mara London has led her students to complete water quality projects in Uganda and Zambia
  • Senior capstone projects in the engineering department can focus on matters of sustainability.  These projects are often funded through EPA P3 grants that Noel Bormann and Mara London have successfully obtained over the last few years. In 2011, Dr. Bormann, Dr. London and their students attended the EPA Earth Day Event on the National Mall in Washington D.C. where they received honorable mention for their "Briquettes from Agriculture Residue and Other Wastes for Use in Biomass Syngas Fueled Power Generation."  A short video on the project can be viewed here
  • In 2012, Dr. Bormann, Dr. London and their students will be returning to the EPA Earth Day Event to present their current research on peri-urban zones, portable water and energy requirements in East Africa.
  • Dr. Mara London has proposed a student grant for a student project entitled "Integration of small-scale vertical hydroponics and non-portable water quality management in urban and peri-urban areas."
Operations (top)


  • All new campus construction as well as large renovation projects will target the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver standard or equivalent. 
  • Paccar Addition - the addition to the Paccar engineering building is gold level LEED certified with the US Green Building Council.
  • Green purchasing concepts shall be integrated into architectural designs, final construction documents and into the final construction of all Gonzaga Buildings, renovations of property or facilities owned by Gonzaga.
  • When maintaining buildings, products with the lowest amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), highest recycled content and low or no formaldehyde shall be used.
  • All carpet distributors and/or manufactures of carpet installed at Gonzaga must have a carpet recycling plan that is approved by Purchasing.
  • The use of chlorofluorocarbon and halo-containing refrigants, solvents, and other products shall be phased out and new purchases of heating/ventilating/air conditioning, refrigeration, insulation and fire suppression systems shall not contain them.

Dining Services

  • Gonzaga Dining Sustainability Initiatives- includes information about buying local, water conservation, waste reduction, reducing hunger in our community, fair trade, recycling, organics, fair trade, and biodiesel.
  • All major food contractors, e.g. Sodexo, will compost food waste to the greatest extent possible.
  • When purchasing agricultural products, all major food contractors shall purchase regionally grown, organic agricultural products, if the products are available and if the vendor can meet the applicable quality standards and pricing requirements.
  • All major food contractors shall agree to work with their distributors to purchase a minimum of 10% locally grown products.  All food contractors shall further agree that the 10% is an initial percentage of dollars spent and that all food contractors will purchase as much local produce and product as possible.  All food contractors and University will review the local purchases annually and mutually agree on increases to the percentages where and when possible.
  • Major food contractors will minimize deliveries to campus to reduce the carbon footprint of the unnecessary vehicles coming to campus.
  • When serving dairy products, major food contractors will use local milk whenever feasible.
  • Major food contractors will follow waste minimization tactics such as providing staff training regarding proper thawing methods, equipment energy use, etc. as well as offering trayless dining.
  • Major food contractors will work with Campus Kitchens and local food banks to help them meet the needs of the community and to reduce waste on campus.
  • Sodexo offers a 15 cent discount on drinks if the student brings his/her own re-usable cup.
  • Sodexo converts its fryer oil into usable biodiesel energy.
  • Sodexo uses Ecolab's Apex,y a dishwashing system designed to save water and energy by using a computer to monitoring the "rack-to-guest" to ensure that minimal resources are being used.  This dishwashing system also uses eco-friendly detergent.
  • At Sodexo locations campus wide, XPress Nap Holders are being used.  These napkin holders save 30% in paper compared to traditional napkin dispensers. The napkins are also made from 100% recycled fibers and left brown to reduce the amount of bleach used.  These napkins are also compostable.
  • Fair Trade and Organic Coffee is sold at all of Sodexo's locations.  Local Craven's Coffee is served in Crosby, Duff's Tilford's, Barney's CoCro and Cafe Lawte.
  • Produce, meat, wheat and dairy is sourced locally when available.  For more information on the local wheat that is used by Sodexo, check out this video.
  • Sodexo turns off its lights during sunny days at the marketplace to reduce energy consumption.
  • Free-range shelled eggs are being used in the Marketplace.
  • r-BST free/hormone free milk is served in all locations.
  • Sodexo serves meatless meals in order to reduce their carbon footprint.  Meatless Mondays are a reminder of how reducing meat consumption greatly reduces carbon emissions.
  • All of the leftover food is donated to Campus Kitchen.
  • Sodexo donated Compost Bins to Campus Kitchen Garden to help their efforts in their greenhouse and garden.
  • Sodxo now grows their own herbs in the Campus Kitchen Garden.
  • Tray-less dining in the Marketplace reduces waste and water consumption.
  • Styrofoam has been eliminated in campus dining.
  • Compostable "To-Go" serve-ware is used in all retail locations.
  • There is a new Go-Green Meal Plan for Off-Campus students, faculty and staff where $50 of each plan goes to a sustainable project on campus voted on by teh students, faculty and staff.
  • A farmer's market is offered on campus in the Fall to promote seasonal eating.
  • Sodexo is sworking with C&S HydroHuts to help build a garden in the Marketplace.
  • Sodexo is piloting SMART, a computer tool that helps determine how energy, water and electricity is being used and how they can reduce it.
  • Sodexo purchased LeanPath, a computer program that weighs the kitchen waste in the COG and determines how much it cost and where it's going in order to build awareness of how much/little we are wasting.
  • Dan Harris has been elected as the Sustainability Champion for Zag Dining and a student manager has been hired to help assist Dan in their Sustainability efforts.


  • All energy using products purchased by Gonzaga shall meet the U.S. EPA Energy Star certification when available and practicable. When Energy Star labels are not available, all purchasing units shall choose energy products that are in the upper 25% of energy efficiency as designated by the Federal Energy Management Program.
  • Energy audit - plant services regularly conducts an auditing to evaluate areas for improved energy efficiency.
  • Lighting - most areas on campus use high-efficiency lighting and are equipped with occupancy sensors.
  • All desktop computers, notebooks, and monitors purchased must meet, at a minimum, Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPAT) environmental criteria designated as "required" (silver registration) or as higher as contained in the IEEE 1680 Standard for the Environmental Assessment of Personal  Computer Products, whenever practicable.
  • Additional consideration will be provided for electronic products that have achieved EPAT Gold Registration.  The registration can be found at  
  • Where applicable, energy efficient equipment shall be purchased with the most up-to-date energy efficiency functions.  This includes, but is not limited to, most efficient space heating systems and high efficiency space cooling equipment. 
  • When purchasing vehicles, Gonzaga shall consider less-polluting alternatives to diseal such as compressed natural gas, hybrids, electrical batteries and fuel cells, as available.
  • When interior or exterior lighting is replaced, the most efficient sources economically and commercially available should be considered for use.
  • Gonzaga supports renewable energy generation in the Inland Northwest by purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) equivalent to 15% of its total electricity usage through Avista’s Buck-A-Block program. More…


  • Composting - GU participates in Spokane's "clean green" program, composting over 35 tons of leaves and needles annually.
  • As part of an ongoing initiative, 25 new computerized irrigation controllers were installed in the spring and summer (2010). These controllers allow staff to remotely monitor and control water outputs across campus based on weather patterns, thus greatly reducing water consumption. Grounds staff are also in the middle of a periodic campus-wide leak detection project to make sure that our University owned water mains are not leaking.
  • When maintaining buildings and landscapes, Gonzaga shall manage pest problems through prevention and the use of environmentally friendly products.  they may either adopt and implement organic pest management and policy practices or adopt and implement and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) policy and practices using the least toxic pest control products as a last resort.
  • All landscaping renovations, constructions and maintenance performed by internal staff members or contractors providing landscaping services shall employ sustainable landscaping management techniques for design, construction and maintenance whenever practicable.  This includes but is not limited to, integrated pest management, drip irrigation, composting and use of mulch and compost that give preference to those products produced at regionally generated plant debris and/or food waste programs.
  • Landscape structures constructed of recycled content materials are encouraged.  The amount of impervious surfaces in the landscape shall be limited whenever practicable.  Permeable substitutes, such as permeable asphalt or pavers, are encouraged for walkways, patios and driveways.
  • Plants should be selected to minimize waste by choosing species for purchase that are appropriate to the microclimate.  Native and drought tolerant plants that require  minimal or no watering once established should be purchased in according with the Campus Landscape Master Plan.

Information Technology

  • Most classroom technology equipment is repurposed, sold, or recycled after end of life.
  • Most computers and monitors are recycled.
  • All scrap metal is recycled.
  • Moving to LCD monitors on all desktop computers and on thin clients across campus.
  • All PC's purchased today are Energy Star compliant.
  • All printers and MFP's purchased or leased today are Energy Star compliant.
  • All power strips/surge suppressors purchased today are Energy Star compliant. 
  • The remote classroom management system shuts down the data projectors in all classrooms after 1 hour and 50 minutes of continuous operation.  All of the projectors are automatically cycled off if they are on at 9:30pm each evening.
  • Whenever practicable, purchased copiers and printers shall be compatible with the use of recycled content and remanufactured products.
  • Remanufactured toner cartridges should be used in all copiers and printers wherever feasible.
  • All energy products purchased by Gonzaga shall meet U.S. EPA Energy Star* certification when available and practicable.  When U.S. EPA Energy Star* labels are not available, all purchasing units shall choose energy products that are in the upper 25% of energy efficiency as defined by the Federal Energy Management Program.
  • Suppliers of electronic equipment, including but not limited to computers, monitors, printers, and copiers, shall be encouraged to take back equipment for reuse or environmentally safe recycling when deemed appropriate by Gonzaga.
  • Whenever possible Laser and InkJet Cartridges shall be properly recycled.
  • Click here for complete list of sustainability measures taken by IT.
  • Click here for a complete description of sustainability measures taken by IT.


  • Gonzaga University will be the first entity on the East-side of Washington State to use Office Depot’s Greener Office Delivery Service beginning Monday, August 27.  In an effort to reduce waste and promote sustainability, the majority of Office Depot orders will be delivered in 40% post-consumer recycled bags rather than cardboard boxes.  These bags are lighter, use much less wood fiber than cardboard boxes, and will not contain any air pillows.In November of 2011, President Thayne McCullough approved a Sustainable Purchasing & Design Policies (SPDP) that committed Gonzaga to purchasing sustainable and environmentally-friendly products.  It also ensures that Gonzaga is limiting its affects on the environment by using products which reduce the use of water, energy, and land.  For more information about the SPDP... 
  • Compostable plastic products shall meet American Society for Testing and Materials  (ASTM) standards as found in ASTM D6400-04. Biodegradable plastics used as coatings on papers and other compostable substrates shall meet ASTM D6868-03 standards. 
  • As of February 2012, Gonzaga announced that all of the white paper purchased would be at least 30% post-consumer content recycled paper. 
  • Gonzaga completes an annual ecological footprint analysis of its paper purchasing/use. More...
  • Paper, paper products, and construction products made from non-wood, plant based contents such as agricultural crops and residues are encouraged wherever practicable.
  • Ensure that all wood and wood contained within the products Gonzaga purchases is certified to be sustainably harvested by a comprehensive, performance based certification system.  The certification system shall include independent third-party audits, with standards or equivalents to , or stricter than, those of the Forest Stewardship Council certification.
  • Packaging that is reusable, recyclable or compostable is preferred, when suitable uses and programs exist and eliminate packaging or the use of the minimum amount of necessary for product protection, to the greatest extent practicable.
  • Purchase or use of previously used or salvage wood and wood products are encouraged whenever practicable.
  • Cleaning solvents should be biodegradable, phosphate free, and citrus-based whenever their use will not compromise quality of service.
  • Paints should be low or no VOC when not cost prohibitive.
  • Industrial and institutional cleaning products that meet Green Seal Certification standards or environmental preferability and performance shall be purchased or required to be supplied by janitorial contractors.
  • All surfactants and detergents used shall be readily biodegradable and shall not contain phosphates.
  • Where practicable, vacuum cleaners that meet the requirements of the Carpet and Rug Institute "Green Label" Testing Program--Vacuum Cleaner Criteria, are capable of capturing 96% of particulates 0.3 microns in size, and operate with a sound level less than 70dBA shall be used by in-house staff and required for janitorial contractors. 
  • Whenever possible, products and equipments should not contain lead or mercury.  For products that contain lead or mercury, preference shall be given to those products with lower quantities of these metals and to vendors with established lead and mercury recovery programs
  • Learn More: Sustainable Purchasing Design Policy


  • - GU participates in Spokane Country's trip reduction program. This provides faculty and staff with more opportunities for carpools, public transit and vanpools than they would otherwise have, and does things like charge a premium for parking for SOV (single occupancy vehicles) in order to discourage people from driving by themselves.
  • Gonzaga offers car sharing with Zipcar; a cost-effective and environmentally-conscious option for occasional drivers. Gonzaga University students, faculty and staff age 18 and older can join Zipcar for a $25 annual fee and will receive $35 in driving credit. Members of the Spokane community and visitors to campus are also eligible for Zipcar membership and benefits.

Waste Reduction, Recycling, & Composting

  • Bottled water ban - The Gonzaga Student Body Association (GSBA) proposed the bottle water ban to Sodexo, the dining service on campus in May of 2008.  Sodexo is in charge of all of the food services on campus and a ban on plastic water bottles on their part ensured that no plastic water bottles would be sold anywhere on campus.  The policy was implemented in September 2008 school year.  First year students are given re-usable water bottles at the beginning of the year during orientation.  In the past, the students were given re-usable plastic water bottles; however, in the Fall of 2011 the students were given glass water bottles.  This switch reduced the students exposure to common chemicals found in plastic and to switch to a more sustainable source--glass rather than plastic.  The main dining hall and other dining facilities allow the students to fill their re-usable water bottles.  There is also a water cooler located in the student union building where students can fill their bottles. 
  • Composting - as of the summer of 2010, a new compactor for compostables will be installed at the COG.  On a trial basis, composting will gradually be extended to Cataldo, the MAC, Jesuit House, and one or two dorm areas (such as by CM and Madonna). Note: the industrial composting facility, Barrtech, can take food waste, clean green, and food contaminated paper and cardboard products, such as pizza boxes. More information...
  • Paperless Student Evaluations - as of the Fall 2011 semester, all student course evaluations will be electronically completed on-line. In addition to saving more than 100 hours of labor, shifting to online evaluations is expected save between 120,000 and 150,000 sheets of paper (more than 24 cases) and 8,000 to 10,000 large manila envelopes and labels. 
  • 25% post-consumer waste recycled paper should be the standard for all applicants where economic use of paper and quality of service is not compromised or the health and safety of employees prejudiced.
  • All recyclable materials are to be recycled through Gonzaga's recycling program.  This includes, but is not limited to: paper, newspaper, cardboard, aluminum, plastic, steel and batteries.
  • The use of multiple use (as opposed to virgin, single use) interoffice envelopes should be used whenever practicable.
  • The use of reclaimed stone and brick and the use of secondary or recycled aggregates will be specified whenever practicable.
  • Transportation products, including signs, cones, parking stops, delineators, channilizers, and barricades shall contain the highest post-consumer content practicable.
  • Products that are durable, long lasting, reusable or refillable are preferred whenever feasible.
  • All documents (by Gonzaga and suppliers) shall be printed and copied on both sides to reduce the use and purchase of paper, whenever practicable.
  • All surplused desktop computers, notebooks, and monitors shall be disposed of through the WA Department of Ecology's E-Cycle Washington program or equivalent.
  • Recycling has long been an important part of Gonzaga’s waste reduction efforts. For more information visit the recycling page.
  • The end of the year student move-out process has been incorporated into Gonzaga's sustainability plan.  At the end of the year the local Catholic Charities set up PODs at various points around campus to collect unwanted items.  This process helped divert over 6 tons of waste and put unwanted items to use.


  • Purchase only the most water efficient appliances available that meet performance standards.  This includes, but is not limited to: high performance fixtures like toilets, low-flow faucets, and aerators; and upgraded irrigation systems.
Student Initiatives (top)

GEO - Gonzaga Environmental Organization student club

For information about how to get involved contact Anastasia Economou

  • Graduation Cap and Gown Hand-Down.  Visit the Facebook page to voice your support.
  • Student Recycling Program- Currently no outdoor recycling containers on campus. No student recycling program on campus. We bought our own unit which is out front of Crosby. Club members responsible for sorting.
  • Spokane Farmers Market on Campus - We will attempt to work with the Spokane Farmers Market and try to get the Wednesday market on campus once during the fall and spring.Convenient access for students to buy their weekly groceries locally.
  • Scotchman Peaks Benefit Meals - We have had fundraiser dinners and lunches to raise money for the Friends of Scotchman Peaks.They are a lobbyist group trying to get the peaks turned into a National Wilderness Area.  We recently raised $80 at our most recent lunch.
  • Volunteering Participation - We regularly or will start participating in the following volunteer projects: Spokane River Clean-Up;  Dishman Hills Natural Area Work Party;  Turnbull National Wilderness; Reserve Work Party & Tree Planting;  ONE World Organic Garden/Kitchen.
  • Earth Week Activities - During this time we are actively involved with many activities and events. E.g. chalking environmental facts, Earth Day Spokane, movie screenings, tree plantings, weeding out invasives with biology professors. In the past we have also collected all the COG food waste to send a message to students to waste less. 

Gonzaga Outdoors 
This organization provides students with an opportunity to explore the wild areas surrounding Spokane with trips for rafting, backpacking, snowshoeing, etc. It gives them the chance to learn skills related to these activities as well as to learn about the wildlife and ecology of the Inland Northwest.

For more information about GU Outdoors contact David Gilbert, or visit them in the basement of Crosby.

  • Leave No Trace (LNT) Outdoor Ethic-teaches low impact wilderness travel to student participants
  • Bike Shop-provides support for commuters
  • Green Bike-semester long bike rental of free cycled bikes
Law Student Initiatives 
  • Environmental Law Caucus - fosters a greater awareness of the environment and its conservation through events designed to enhance our community. Through social and educational functions, students will learn more about the Pacific Northwest and may even identify a new area of interest within the law as well.

School of Engineering and Applied Science

  • School of Engineering and Applied Science--Faculty and Student Research Projects