Renewability at ACU

Many of you would know by now that our commitment and unique approach to sustainability at ACU embraces both the encyclical Laudato Si’ and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis emphasises the importance of personal and communal renewal to help us embrace the challenge of stewardship and caring for our environment, our common home.

He writes that “there can be no renewal of our relationship with nature without a renewal of humanity itself”, and that “a great cultural, spiritual and educational challenge stands before us, and it will demand that we set out on the long path of renewal”.

To help us respond to this challenge, the theme of ‘Renewability’ has been chosen for this year’s ACU Sustainability Week which is being held across all campuses next week from 21-27 August. The 'renewability' theme invites us to respond in both practical and personal ways to caring for our environment: practically, by using our resources in renewable and sustainable ways; and personally, by renewing our individual and organisational commitment to sustainable practices.

With this in mind, I invite you to engage with Sustainability Week next week. There will be several opportunities to reflect on our own attitude to sustainability: in finding opportunities to connect and engage with communities through our Indigenous gardens on campus, in finding more sustainable ways to re-use, recycle and dispose of common household or office waste items, in exploring new books or films aligned to the theme, and in learning about sustainable ways we can continue to protect our coral reefs and oceans.

Read more about the events taking place during Sustainability Week.

On each of our campuses, we will host practical activities that will invite us to use our energy, food and common items in a renewable way: through clothing shared via the community closet, book and sporting good swaps, campus clean-up walks, Ride2Uni breakfasts and bike maintenance workshops, sustainable cooking and herb garden workshops, and the provision of food in environmentally friendly packaging from environmentally conscious food truck partners.

I leave you with a beautiful Catholic prayer which calls on the Holy Spirit to “renew the face of the earth”. Let us use Sustainability Week to respond to Pope Francis’ challenge to renew our relationship with nature and with each other, and so cooperate with the Holy Spirit to renew the face of our common home.

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