A Green Q&A With Loyola Marymount University

A glimpse into LMU’s sustainability leadership.

During his time in charge of sustainability at Loyola Marymount, Professor Ian McKeown has made it his goal to lead students and faculty into pioneering green initiatives that will not only have a positive local effect, but that will hopefully create a domino effect in leading by action. As one of our partners, LMU offsets their carbon footprint through CHOOOSE, but McKeown’s work also constitutes the sustainable university sector aptly named Green LMU, which began rallying together prior to 1990. We asked the professor a few questions about their mission and their hope for a greener planet.

How did you first hear about CHOOOSE?

I am in charge of sustainability for Loyola Marymount University. We are one of top ranked university sustainability programs in the world. As part of my work I am always looking to link up the latest technology, innovation, popular culture, and social change to our work. As a member of ACTAI global I came across the amazing work of CHOOOSE. 

What inspired the decision to become climate positive?

We are facing an unprecedented environmental crisis. Loyola Marymount University is ready to tackle this challenge head on. It is part of the core of our very mission and existence. In our goal to serve others through social justice and defending the planet is a major tenant of this mission.  As a leader we need to shift the conversation from chipping away at small successes or reductions with the goal of neutrality. We need to shift to the goal of positivity to rapidly offset what is occurring in the world around us.

What changes do you hope will happen as a result of Loyola’s decision to become climate positive?

Loyola Sustainability under my guidance has 3 main goals to inspire change; carbon reduction/resiliency, education/research, and outreach/awareness. Our grand design is to reduce our impact a measureable amount but not do this in a vacuum so using our research and scholastic powers to link it up with awareness and generating a social movement. We seek to be a leading partner in the global movement.

What would you say to those who want to have an active part in climate positivity but who are resistant to the change it would entail?

Climate change is real and rapidly occurring around us but sometimes these concepts are too abstract for people. The real issue is that we need to be positive for our direct problems we are having right now polluted air, plastics clogging our oceans, deforestation, ocean die offs, tainted drinking water, flooding, fires, and massive storms. This is a right now problem.. it is at its most fundamental a quality of life issue, over 1,300 people die a year in Los Angeles alone from avoidable air quality deaths. We need this to stop now to protect our valuable recreation spaces and better our world. Every action has a reaction and that needs to go in to how we live our lives to truly create positivity. CHOOOSE provides an incredible step in this process.