People. Passion. Planet.

The Center for Sustainable Communities nurtures social, environmental, and economic sustainability on the campus of Saint Joseph’s College in Standish, ME, and in our community. As we work together to advance social justice and sustainability, we create opportunities for innovation, leadership, and change.


Carbon Neutrality. Community Resiliency.

Reaching across disciplines to help Saint Joseph’s College grow sustainably and steward our resources responsibly. Guided by the Mercy Critical Concerns, the Sustaining the Promise Strategic Plan, and the Mission and Core Values of the College, we work collectively to:

1. Achieve carbon neutrality by 2036;

2. Promote a culture of sustainability among students, faculty, staff, administration, and surrounding communities;

3. Establish the campus as a living laboratory for sustainable solutions; and

4. Inform effective and inclusive sustainability- focused decision making on campus and in the community.


Climate Action and Sustainability Plan

civc action, carbon committment, and silver STARS logo

In 2015, the College adopted a Climate Action and Sustainability Plan establishing benchmarks, developing goals, and monitoring progress toward carbon neutrality on campus.

The College earned a STARS Silver rating in 2017 from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) in recognition of its campus-wide sustainability achievements. This program is the most widely recognized in the world for reporting comprehensive information related to a college’s sustainability performance.

In 2018, Princeton Review recognized the College for its environmental responsibility and features Saint Joseph’s College of Maine in the 2018 edition of its book, The Princeton Review’s Guide to 399 Green Colleges.

Green Funds

The Green Revolving Fund (GRF) is an investment fund that finances energy efficiency, renewable energy, waste reduction, and other sustainability projects on campus. It provides capital for special projects conducted by Facilities that reduce environmental impact and can repay the fund with cost-savings within seven years.

The mission encourages environmentally sound technologies and practices on campus. The fund furthers the broader academic mission of the College while helping it to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It functions as an independent fiscal entity managed by the Center for Sustainable Communities. The Fund will grow from projects cost-savings reinvesting them in new projects, while offering engagement and hands-on learning for the College community.

Green Community Fund (GCF)

A percentage of savings from the GRF energy efficiency projects are being allocated to the GCF. The Fund will:

  • Focus on smaller projects that may have longer payback timeframes, or even no financial payback, but that will foster sustainability awareness among members of the College.
  • Community and empower them to develop their own solutions.
  • Consider projects proposed by College community members that promote sustainability in education, campus culture, and behavior.
  • Consider project ideas from all areas of campus, including academic courses, independent student research, student organizations, and academic departments.
  • Award money that does not necessarily require repayment.


Learn more about the Center for Sustainable Communities on the Saint Joseph’s College of Maine’s website!