Sustainable Campus

Sustainability at Marylhurst

Setting an example for the leaders of tomorrow

As a leader in higher education and in our community, we actively engage in sustainability at Marylhurst University. We work to set an example of service, social responsibility and stewardship in the natural world through academic programs and campus-based sustainability initiatives.

In 2016, Clackamas County presented Marylhurst University with Gold level certification in the Leaders in Sustainability program in recognition of our efforts to take concrete steps to minimize waste, conserve energy and water, invest in employees and support the community.

Marylhurst University

Teaching Sustainable Practices

Sustainability is key in top-ranked academic programs such as:

  • MBA in Sustainable Business
    Our s
    ustainable business MBA prepares students to become advocates of ethical, fiscally responsible business practices in today’s fast-paced, global economy.
  • M.S. in Food Systems & Society
    In this graduate program, students focus on food systems and social change, exploring fundamental challenges and approaches involved in developing more equitable and sustainable food systems.

Our “green” curriculum doesn’t stop with these programs. Like permeable surfaces, sustainability best practices seep through many Marylhurst classes.

Top Online MBA in Sustainability, Marylhurst UniversityBest Sustainable and Renewable Energy Colleges

Marylhurst University

Planning for Now and our Future

We hold a strong sense of stewardship for our beautiful campus, and we’ve been recognized for our efforts.

Leaders in Sustainability program: Gold certification
Marylhurst University doesn’t just teach sustainable business practices; this university “walks the talk.” Clackamas County recognized Marylhurst’s numerous efforts to make operational improvements that bring efficiencies, foster innovation and reduce environmental impacts.

National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat
We take seriously the campus’ health and well-being as a sanctuary for wild nature and for our human souls. We promote habitat conducive to wildlife by planting natives and regular removal of invasives such as English ivy. 

We’ve adopted a comprehensive Sustainability Policy for our campus. Read the entire document here, or check out just the highlights below.

Conserving Energy & Water

Energy Conservation
We’re participating in Energy Trust of Oregon’s Strategic Energy Management program. We are significantly reducing our consumption of electricity and natural gas — and saving money! In our first year, we realized nearly $25,000 in savings, an 8% reduction over the prior year. Here’s how we did it:

  • Installing occupancy sensors that turn lights off automatically; employees are instructed to turn lights off manually when leaving a space and to use natural lighting only whenever sufficient. (Emergency and security lighting remain on.)
  • Heating to 66-70 degrees, cooling (where available) to 74-78 degrees, only during hours buildings are in use. Where possible, unoccupied areas are set to 55 degrees for heating, 85 degrees for cooling – and planned use of space is consolidated as much as possible, to prevent unnecessary heating/cooling.
  • Controlling campus computers’ power usage with “power rules” instructing computers to sleep/hibernate after a period of no activity. Printers are programmed to go into power save mode after 15 minutes.
  • During extended breaks of a week or more, Marylhurst employees unplug desktop printers and lamps, shut windows and doors, close curtains and blinds, and turn thermostats to off, to conserve energy.

Water Conservation
Marylhurst conserves water through targeted, limited use of water for irrigation; low-flow toilets, showers and faucets; replacing high water landscaping with xeriscaping in new projects whenever possible; and by monitoring water billings, investigating and correcting areas of increased consumption.

Making Smart Choices: Food & Waste

We’re actively engaged in smart choices around healthy, local food options as well as managing our waste products.

Savor Cafe operated by Bon Appétit Management Company
Our cafe operates serves fresh, sustainable fare during the lunch hour when school is in session. All are welcome to join us for a healthy, affordable lunch.

Marylhurst Community Garden |
Located just east of campus, between the university and Mary’s Woods, is an organic community garden with 20+ lots tended by students, faculty and the community at large. It is  pesticide-free and herbicide-free!

Recycling & Reuse
Our commitment to recycling and reuse includes a centrally located recycling center, annual waste audit, advocating for paperless communication and reuse of resources such as office supplies. We reduce the use of disposable materials (such as plastic utensils) using compostable or recyclable materials when available. As much as possible, we purchase materials and supplies with a minimum of packaging. We purchase only recycled paper (except when equipment limitations or the nature of the document requires otherwise).

Getting Everyone Involved

We are committed to creating a more sustainable, thriving world by empowering students — and our entire Marylhurst community — to take action on our campus and beyond.

Student Organization on Sustainability |
One of many student organizations helping students engage with one another and enact what they learn in the classroom.

Marylhurst University Sustainability Advisory Council |
This group of students, staff, faculty, alumni and community members helps keep earth stewardship a campus priority and promotes adoption of practices that will help Marylhurst become a model of ecological sustainability.

Events on campus include:

  • Earth Week activities organized by SOS
  • Campus-wide participation in EcoChallenge, a friendly competition in October

Sharing the Ride

Whenever we share the ride, we make this planet a better place to live. We encourage our community to carpool to work or class.

Ride Share
If you are looking for a ride or can offer a ride, post it on our Ride Share Google group. (You must be signed in to your Marylhurst email to participate.)

TriMet line #35 runs seven days a week and connects the Marylhurst campus to Oregon City, Lake Oswego, South Waterfront, Portland City Center, Old Town/Chinatown, Union Station, the Rose Quarter and North Portland (University of Portland). Marylhurst offers its employees a discount on monthly passes.

University Vehicles
We don’t have many university vehicles, but those who do are mapping out their workday to be fuel efficient and use fuel-saving tactics such as maintaining a steady speed (generally at 50 mph or below) and coasting toward red lights.

Inspiring Change: Alumni Stories

With the tools they picked up at Marylhurst – and the passion they always had – Marylhurst alumni are doing amazing work in sustainable practices, here in Oregon and beyond. 

Daniel Nguyen, Class of 2014, Marylhurst University

In an opinion piece for the Portland Tribune, Marylhurst alum Daniel Nguyen ’14 urges business owners to do the right thing – operate more efficiently and conserve energy, as he has done at Bambuza – and support the Clean Energy Jobs bill.

Serena Dietrich, Class of 2011, Marylhurst University

Marylhurst alum Serena Dietrich ’11, MBA in Sustainable Business, was recently named to the Brewers’ Association Sustainability Committee.

Marylhurst M.B.A. alum Tom Fernandez ’11 led the LEED design of Hotel Skyler Syracuse, recently selected as the first in Hilton Hotels’ Tapestry line of upscale, unique hotels.

Enlightened about social justice and the power of policy, Beth Smoker makes a career transition and effects real change in her local food system – and in people’s lives

Interested in becoming a Marylhurst student? Let’s get you started.

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