Sustainability Committee develops new strategic plan


Jade Gelsimino

Chris Magoc, Ph.D. led the Sustainability Committee meeting to help increase Mercyhurst’s efforts in going green.

Brittany Smyth, Staff writer

The Sustainability Committee at Mercyhurst is creating a strategic plan to help improve environmental sustainability at the university to foster a healthier planet.

The committee recently had a meeting covering the strategic plans that it would like to implement into the school. Around 15 staff members and students got together to speak about these plans on Wednesday, Feb. 26.

The meeting covered aspects such as, reducing and monitoring electricity usage, geothermal savings, reducing waste on campus, educate proper recycling and the effects that being sustainable will have on the institution’s return on investment.

The Sustainability Committee wants to, “reaffirm the Mercy Mission, attract students, save us money, cut carbon emissions, and help ensure a habitable planet for our children and grandchildren,” Chris Magoc, Ph.D., a history professor at Mercyhurst, said.

Created in 2000 and originally called the Green Team, the group was created to spread a campus-wide awareness of environmental stability.

Magoc helped create the Green Team with a couple of his colleagues.

“In 2012 we changed the Green Team into the ‘Sustainability Committee,” Magoc said.

The Sustainability Committee is committed to educating students and the community on how to live a more green lifestyle. It has developed programs and projects to help ensure a more sustainable future for Mercyhurst University while educating students and staff.

Lecturer of biology at Mercyhurst, Sarah Bennett, considered different opportunities for the growth of sustainability here at the institution.

“We have a commitment to push this forward and enough people on campus who are willing to do the work. There are a lot of things we can go without a lot of money and sometimes little money at all. This will set us up for our future,” Bennett said.

The Benedictine Sisters are also joining this movement by making their office more sustainable. The main idea of becoming more sustainable is to reduce energy waste in order to generate revenue and savings.

After attending an event with the Green Building Alliance, an organization that wants, “the places where we live, work, learn, and play to be healthy and high-performing,” Sustainability Committee members took the pledge to create green initiatives in the Erie community, starting with Mercyhurst University.

The meeting discussed where Mercyhurst is now with sustainability and what the institution can do to implement green initiatives to help reduce waste and save money.

The idea is to be mindful of what the school is doing. Implementing green initiatives will bring a bright future to Mercyhurst by reducing costs.

Anyone interested in contributing ideas for strengthening the environmental performance of the university is asked to speak with the Sustainability Committee.

All are welcome to join the meetings.

If there any ideas for the Sustainability Committee on how to help Mercyhurst University, email Chris Magoc at or Sarah Bennett at