Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.51
Liaison Aurora Sharrard
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Pittsburgh
EN-5: Outreach Campaign

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Samantha Ford
Sustainability Projects Coordinator
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution held a sustainability-related outreach campaign during the previous three years that was directed at students and yielded measurable, positive results in advancing sustainability?:
Yes

Has the institution held a sustainability-related outreach campaign during the previous three years that was directed at employees and yielded measurable, positive results in advancing sustainability?:
Yes

Name of the campaign:
Recyclemania / Campus Race to Zero Waste

A brief description of the campaign:

The University of Pittsburgh's students and employees have participated in the national RecycleMania competition annually since 2010. In 2020, RecycleMania changed its name to Campus Race to Zero Waste (though it is referred to as both in this submission).

Pitt’s campus-wide Recyclemania / Campus Race to Zero Waste collaboration is led by the Student Office of Sustainability, but delivered in collaboration with Facilities Management, Pitt Eats by Compass, the Office of Sustainability, Athletics, and many other sustainability team members and supporters across campus.

Pitt’s annual Recyclemania offerings vary by year, but over the past 3 years, they’ve included information campaigns, tabling, and events that promote on-campus recycling, composting, and other material diversion (including hard-to-recycle items and and via food recovery). Pitt's typical 8-week Recyclemania program typically includes tours of the University's recycling and composting partner facilities, tabling events, a waste audit, art opportunities, and a Basketball Game Day Challenge event. Recyclemania is directed to the entire University community.

In 2021, due to the Covid-19 global , Pitt forwent formal Campus Race to Zero Waste participation for a full "Zero Waste Week" of mostly virtual activities. Learn more about the 2021 Pitt Zero Waste Week: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/zero-waste-week-2021/


A brief description of the measured positive impact(s) of the campaign:

During the 8 weeks of the 2019 RecycleMania competition, the University of Pittsburgh recycled 38% of materials, earning 73rd place in the "Total Recycling" category out of 159 participants. The University recycled over 19.7 pounds per capita ranking in 32nd place in the "Per Capita Classic" category out of 216 participants.

Recyclemania was truncated in 2020 due to Covid, but still Pitt was able to divert 852,988 pounds of waste from the landfill, earning 69th place in the "Diversion Rate" category, and reaching 38.5% diversion campus-wide. The University also recycled 14.8 pounds per capita, ranking in 25th place in the "Per Capita Classic" category out of 192 participants.

During 2020 Recyclemania, Pitt also had a March 2020 Clean & Swap Day that was employee-focused. Clean & Swap Day was created to responsibly re-purpose unwanted office items. After employees swapped items, the remaining 728 pounds of office supplies were donated to the Educational Partnership Program, a local nonprofit that provides resources for public school teachers.

2019 & 2020 Recyclemania Results: https://recyclemania.org/scoreboard/past-results/
Pitt 2020 Clean & Swap Day news: https://www.at.pitt.edu/news/clean-and-swap-event.
Pitt 2020 Clean & Swap Day Event details: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/clean-swap/

In 2021, due to the global pandemic, Pitt forwent formally participating in Campus Race to Zero Waste participation and hosted a mostly virtual "Zero Waste Week" Feb 22-26th. Due to timing of this STARS submission engagement data was still in the process of being calculated and unavailable for reporting.


Name of the campaign (2nd campaign):
Clutter for a Cause

A brief description of the campaign (2nd campaign):

Since 2016, the University of Pittsburgh has actively encouraged and supported a greener student move-in and move-out process with the “Clutter for a Cause” initiative.

On-campus students are asked to leave donate-able and reusable items behind in designated areas. Off-campus renters are invited to bring the items to be reused and recycled (instead of contributing to the landfill). The University helps the following items find reuse: non-perishable food; gently used clothing; small furniture; household items; books; school and office supplies; and small appliances and electronics. University students and employees collect, sort and re-purpose or donate all household items, furniture, textiles, clothing and even non-perishable food items.

All items collected are either resold at the University of Thriftsburgh (on-campus thrift store) or donated to local thrift stores.

Pitt’s Clutter for a Cause efforts engage offices and departments across campus, including Housing, Residence Life, Surplus Property, the Pitt Pantry, Student Affairs, and Sustainability. Pitt partners on off-campus collection with the Oakland Planning and Development Corporation. Local, nonprofit reuse stores also accept Clutter for a Cause items, including Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania, St. Vincent de Paul Society, and the Free Stores in Wilkinsburg and Braddock.

Pitt’s Clutter for a Cause helped highlight the need for campus-wide textile recycling, which the University launched in January 2020 (see Credit IN-49).

2019 Pittsburgh City Paper article on Pitt’s success saving thousands of pounds of items from the landfill annually via Clutter for a Cause: https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/clutter-for-a-cause-offers-convenient-solutions-to-pitt-students-looking-to-keep-discarded-items-out-of-landfills/Content?oid=15621893


A brief description of the measured positive impact(s) of the campaign (2nd campaign):

Clutter for a Cause collections are delivered during move in, move out, and summer sessions, keeping 43,700 pounds of clothing & small household items (though mostly clothing and textiles) out of the landfill from 2017 through 2019; approximately 8,000 pounds of non-perishable food items were donated to the on campus food pantry (Pitt Pantry) and a local community partner.

In April 2019 alone, on-campus collection gathered 1,200 pounds of household goods and 800 pounds of clothing to be resold at Thriftsburgh AND donated 8,000 pounds of goods to local nonprofit reuse stores (listed below). Due to the Covid-19 global pandemic, 2020 Clutter for a Cause data is not complete.


A brief description of other sustainability-related outreach campaigns:

FOSSIL FREE PITT COALITION
The University of Pittsburgh’s student-led Divestment campaign, Fossil Free Pitt Coalition, has been active on campus since 2014. Combining with faculty and staff interests over the years, the Fossil Free Pitt Coalition’s activity led to the creation of a 2018-19 Socially Responsible Investment Committee comprised of students, staff, and faculty. Following on that report, The University’s Board of Trustees’ adopted a SRI Screening Process in February 2020 – and decided to create a Board Ad Hoc Committee
charged with reporting on “options on whether, to what extent, and via what methods the University, in its Endowment, should consider divestment from fossil fuels in existing and/or future investments.” This report was released January 15, 2021 and was considered by the full Board of Trustees at its public meeting on February 26, 2021.

Fossil Free Pitt Coalition: https://www.facebook.com/FossilFreePitt/

2020-21 Ad Hoc Committee on Fossil Fuels of the Board of Trustees of the University of Pittsburgh: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/bot-ad-hoc-fossil-fuels-2020-process

PITT GREEN HOME OFFICE CHALLENGE

In the face of Covid-19 pandemic, Pitt’s Office of Sustainability created an outreach campaign dubbed the “Pitt Green Home Office Challenge.” The Challenge was designed to keep Pitt employees actively engaged in cultivating a thriving culture of sustainability in Pitt’s work environment while working remotely. The goal of the Challenge is to educate employees on how to think more holistically about their home workspaces and how small changes can have big impacts. The Pitt Green Home Office Challenge includes a self-assessment that calculated participants carbon savings and overall ranking within the current Green Office scoring structure.

To date, 73 Pitt employees have participated in the program, saving 588,451 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalents from being produced through their home office sustainability practices.

Learn more about the Pitt Green Home Office Challenge: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/what-you-can-do/green-home-office-challenge/

Check out the Pitt Green Home Office Challenge Results: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/green-home-office-challenge-results/


Additional documentation to support the submission:
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2019 & 2020 Recyclemania Results: https://recyclemania.org/scoreboard/past-results/

Pitt 2020 Clean & Swap Day news: https://www.at.pitt.edu/news/clean-and-swap-event.

Pitt 2020 Clean & Swap Day Event details: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/clean-swap/

Pitt's Clutter for a Cause webpage: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/clutter-for-a-cause/

2019 Pittsburgh City Paper article on Pitt’s success saving thousands of pounds of items from the landfill annually via Clutter for a Cause: https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/clutter-for-a-cause-offers-convenient-solutions-to-pitt-students-looking-to-keep-discarded-items-out-of-landfills/Content?oid=15621893

Pitt Green Home Office Challenge: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/what-you-can-do/green-home-office-challenge/

Fossil Free Pitt Coalition: https://www.facebook.com/FossilFreePitt/

2020-21 Ad Hoc Committee on Fossil Fuels of the Board of Trustees of the University of Pittsburgh: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/bot-ad-hoc-fossil-fuels-2020-process

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.