• James R. May, Esq. JD, LLM, BSME

Sustainability at Widener

Green Highlight


Founders Hall Certified “Green”

Founders Hall is the first building at Widener, and the first in the city of Chester certified “green” by the U.S. Green Building Council. Founders received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver-level certification.

Green Highlight

 student in chem lab

Green Chemistry Commitment

Widener University signed the Green Chemistry Commitment , joining 17 other colleges and universities at the forefront of a national effort to transform university-level chemistry education.

Green Highlight

 WU Brew

WU Brew

Purchase a bag of organically grown coffee, WU Brew, and you'll be supporting research and service-learning opportunities for Widener students who are engaged in sustainable agriculture practices in Las Lajas, Costa Rica.

Widener University recognizes our responsibility to safeguard the planet and its resources for future generations, and we have a proud history of incorporating sustainability into our curricula, research, outreach, and business practices. We know that the Earth's resources are limited and that how we choose to use Earth's resources has serious, far-reaching consequences—for good or ill. We must consider how we can best replenish and recycle resources. We must also avoid poisoning the air, water, and soil. Finally, we see it as our civic duty to lead environmental efforts to educate, solve sustainability problems, repair damage, and improve processes like energy efficiency—locally and globally.

The former World Commission on Environment and Development defines sustainability as "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." Widener Chief Sustainability Officer James May says that there are three legs to the sustainability stool: environmental, social, and institutional. We must factor in each leg to achieve true sustainability.

We have to do what we can to preserve the world we live in, or we may not have it and its resources for long. Our goal is to help you increase your environmental awareness and stewardship. Explore how Widener supports sustainability and environmental issues in the classroom, on campus, and in the community.


Widener's Chief Sustainability Officer

Chief Sustainability Officer James MayThe sustainability initiatives at Widener University are coordinated and led by Chief Sustainability Officer James R. May, a distinguished professor of law and the co-director of the Environmental Rights Institute and the Dignity Rights Project at Widener University Delaware Law School. In addition, he serves as an adjunct professor of graduate engineering at Widener, where he founded and co-chairs a program on marine policy.

May teaches Environmental Law and about the legal implications of sustainability at constitutional, statutory and regulatory levels. He chairs the University's Sustainability Council, and regularly publishes and speaks about sustainability at conferences around the globe.