As a community rooted in the values of St. Francis, the Sylvania Franciscan Village (SFV) is committed to caring for creation by modeling and promoting environmentally-sound practices across campus and beyond.
In January 2012, the Village released a Statement of Principles on the Care for Creation and the Environment. “The Sylvania Franciscan Village is a community of brothers and sisters interconnected with all of creation,” the statement reads. “We have a spiritual responsibility to integrate our values of community, stewardship, reverence and service into our planning, decisions and actions to ensure the preservation of all creation for future generations.”
This statement inspired further action to reduce the Franciscan community’s ecological footprint and educate the Village about environmental sustainability, and numerous projects have been developed across campus in the years since.
In 2017, the SFV received funding from the Toledo Community Foundation to assess progress made through these efforts with the help of Seven Generations Ahead, a non-profit organization that supports sustainable community development. The consulting firm was tasked with evaluating the policies, leadership decisions and education and outreach efforts that instill Franciscan values of environmental sustainability and lead to positive behavioral changes across the community.
During the winter and spring of 2018, Seven Generations Ahead staff conduced an external review of operations, policies and strategic plans of the Sisters of St. Francis (OSF) and their sponsored ministries. Further information was gathered by conducting a community-wide survey, focus group discussions and interviews with key stakeholders.
Gary Cuneen, founder and executive director of Seven Generations Ahead, visited campus June 7 to present the results of the sustainability assessment to leaders of Village member organizations as well as other interested members of our Franciscan community.
The report notes a strong foundation and history of commitment to the concept of sustainability within the entities of the Village, as evidenced by numerous physical changes that have been made to advance energy efficiency and sustainability. It also identified gaps and offered several recommendations for areas in which the Village could go farther to incorporate sustainable practices.
“The final report provides a valuable look at progress that members of the Village have made in translating our principles into action, as well as offering direction for where we can improve and build upon these efforts to promote sustainability,” says Sophia Lloyd, SFV director. “Our next steps will be for leadership across the Village, as well as the Environmental Wellness Committee, to closely examine the sustainability report and determine what approaches and recommendations the Village is best positioned to act upon.”
View the Sylvania Franciscan Village Sustainability Assessment.