In the autumn of 2016, in response to Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, two generous friends of Duchesne underwrote a partnership between Duchesne and the Verdis Group to evaluate how the school could address matters of environmental sustainability and be a better steward of the earth’s resources. An overwhelming 94% of students, faculty, and staff agreed that sustainability was an important topic for Duchesne to address.
The result of the year-long study resulted in the development of a Sustainability Plan which established the following four goals:
- Zero waste by 2030
- Net positive building emissions by 2030
- A sustainable food system
- Sustainability curriculum integration
Duchesne Academy is proud to be the leader in school sustainability initiatives among Omaha area schools. Some of Duchesne’s sustainability accomplishments include:
- The first school in the city of Omaha to launch a composting program (September 2017)
- Recipient of an “Energy Star” rating from the Environmental Protection Agency in 2016
- One of three schools in North and South America recognized with a “Green Star” from the Ignatian Solidarity Network’s 2017 “Ignatian Carbon Challenge 2.0”
- A diversion rate of 76.6% for diverting waste away from the landfill and toward recycling and composting (March 2019)
- Nationwide recognition in a column from the Catholic News Service (October 2018)
- Participation in the Trex recycling project to collect plastic bags and plastic film to be converted into composite decking materials (began September 2018)
- Partnership with Goodwill Industries to host an electronics drive that collected 4,900 pounds of electronics for recycling (April 2018)
- Institution of a school lunch program which focuses on locally grown foods and the elimination of landfill waste (began August 2018)
If you have questions or would like to learn more about Duchesne Academy’s commitment to environmental sustainability, please contact Assistant Principal/Sustainability Coordinator, Eric Krakowski at firstname.lastname@example.org or (402)810-9979.