After enrolling in the Vatican’s Laudato Si’ Action Platform and assessing our progress toward the seven goals, we developed an action plan for the remainder of the initiative’s first year.
RESPONSE TO THE CRY OF THE EARTH
- The director of climate and sustainability will collect emissions data associated with travel, energy and water usage, plastic use, and food consumption at facilities throughout the U.S.
- The director of climate and sustainability will oversee installation of solar panels at one location as a pilot project.
- The director of climate and sustainability will begin a project to reduce plastic use throughout the institute.
- Institute departments will begin planning face-to-face meetings using a tool that helps determine optimal meeting sites that would result in the lowest travel emissions produced by attendees.
RESPONSE TO THE CRY OF THE POOR
- Mercy Volunteer Corps will place a volunteer with Sanctuary Farms, an organization in Philadelphia that addresses the health inequities resulting from systemic racial oppression and economic injustice by converting abandoned and neglected areas into spaces that promote safety, hospitality, nutrition and growth.
- Mercy Focus on Haiti will graduate 200 participants in Pathway to a Better Life in September 2022 after an 18-month ultra-poverty-eradication program and will enroll 150 families in the “Travay pou Mange” (Work to Eat) program that provides training in microenterprises that help participants become more self-sufficient.
- Mercy Focus on Haiti will expand the number and geographic distribution of 500- to 1,000-gallon ferro-cement cisterns to collect rainwater in the Gros Morne region, using locally available materials. This saves women from having to walk an hour or even two to a river to collect water for home use and growing of crops.
- The Justice Team will engage 24 people affiliated with Mercy in border immersion experiences that include exploring the root causes of migration, including climate change, extreme weather and displacement by extractivism.
- Mercy Investment Services will expand and deepen the integration of environmental, social and governance investment strategies by (1) increasing funding of investment managers that understand and mitigate the environmental and social impacts of their investments and (2) initiating a review of investment manager diversity and inclusion efforts to promote participatory action.
- The director of climate and sustainability will seek ethical solar panel manufacturers for current and future solar panel projects.
- Mercy Investment Services will continue its response to the Chapter 2017 Recommitment statement that includes a call to “intensify efforts to align our investments with our values” by (1) implementing additional extractive industries screens adopted by its board of directors; (2) originating additional commitments to the Environmental Solutions Fund, which invests in renewable energy, energy and water efficiency, materials recycling, green buildings and sustainable agriculture; (3) committing additional investments to projects whose primary thematic area is environmental sustainability, impacts from the extractive sector or migration, or that address a just transition to a low‐carbon future in the Mercy Partnership Fund; and (4) continuing rigorous engagement with more than 150 corporations using shareholder advocacy to promote sustainable production and consumption.
- Sisters will be educated about the option of natural burial.
- Many co-workers will choose to work from home up to two days a week, as allowed in a new human resources policy, reducing emissions from commuting.
- The Justice Team will work with others to adapt materials from the Awakening to a New Consciousness extractivism theological reflection process for new audiences and uses.
- The Justice Team will promote the Laudato Si-related offerings of our retreat centers and other ministries on the Institute website and internal Merced site.
- Mercy Focus on Haiti will expand programs with Mercy-affiliated high schools, colleges and universities to promote educational and service projects for the ultra-poor residents of Haiti.
- The Justice Team will invite our Mercy network to virtual Season of Creation activities offered through the Catholic Climate Covenant and Laudato Si’ Movement.
- Mercy’s Prayer and Ritual Committee will incorporate a Mercy for Earth theme in Mercy Day 2022 resources.
COMMUNITY RESILIENCE AND PARTICIPATION
- The Justice Team will engage 80 Mercy advocates in the Encounter for Our Common Future campaign for climate action in the U.S.
- The Justice Team will engage 15 Mercy university students, faculty and staff in a Washington, D.C, immersion experience in May 2022 focused on climate change, culminating in advocacy with their legislators.
- The Justice Team will engage 50 Mercy advocates in the Poor People’s Campaign’s June 18 mobilization in Washington, D.C, and engage many more in online participation and advocacy.
WIDER MERCY ENGAGEMENT
- The Justice Team will create a Season of Creation Laudato Si Action Platform guidebook with suggested actions that individuals and ministries can take to address the seven goals.