Sustainability Program

Duchesne’s sustainability efforts took root in the 2016-2017 school year following the May 2015 release of Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment and human ecology. At Duchesne, sustainability is not just an academic concept, but rather a community-wide commitment to improving the school and larger world in which we live. We are guided by the standards detailed in our Goals and Criteria, which call us to teach respect for creation and prepare our students to be good stewards of the earth's resources.


Sustainability 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:

  • Hosted the first “Caring for Creation in Catholic Schools” Conference attended by over 50 students and educators from Omaha Catholic schools. (April 2019)
  • Recognized as the first school in the city of Omaha to launch a composting program. (September 2017)
  • Became the first school in Omaha to install a solar panel array which is capable of generating an average of 25kWh of electricity a day. (September 2019)
  • Recipient of an “Energy Star” rating from the Environmental Protection Agency in 2016, 2018, and 2019 with a current score of 91.
  • Recognized as one of only three schools in North and South America to earn a “Green Star” from the Ignatian Solidarity Network’s 2017 “Ignatian Carbon Challenge 2.0”.
  • Recognized by the French Embassy in the United States as one of three winners of the 2019 G7 Eco-Citizen contest for the school’s efforts to achieve “zero waste.”
  • Currently diverts waste away from the landfill and toward recycling and composting at a rate of 78%
  • Partnered with Goodwill Industries to host an electronics drive that collected 4,900 pounds of electronics for recycling (April 2018)
  • Collected over a half-ton of broken Christmas lights for recycling the past two Christmas seasons.
    The mostly plant-based school lunch program emphasizes sustainability and features locally grown fruits, vegetables, and eggs as well as produce from the school garden. 

Recent Wins

Duchesne Academy was recently awarded an Energy Star certification from the US Environmental Protection Agency for 2019. The Energy Star program recognizes buildings of all types for their energy efficiency and for efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Duchesne currently has an incredible Energy Star score of 91 out of 100. For some perspective, this is a percentile score and means that of all K-12 school buildings across the US of comparable size and age that participate in Energy Star, we are more energy-efficient than all but 9% of them. Not bad for a building whose construction began in 1881!
A minimum score of 75 is required to attain Energy Star certification. This marks the third time Duchesne has received this honor. For more information about the Energy Star program and for tips on how you can become more energy efficient at home, click here.
If you have any questions about the sustainability program at Duchesne, please contact:

Mr. Eric Krakowski
Assistant Principal and Exchange Coordinator