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

STARS v2.2

University of Pittsburgh
EN-9: Staff Professional Development and Training

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.25 / 2.00 Samantha Chan
Assistant Director of Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution make available professional development and training opportunities in sustainability to all non-academic staff at least once per year?:

Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (the rate of staff participation in sustainability professional development and training)?:

Estimated percentage of regular, non-academic staff that participates annually in sustainability professional development and training:

A brief description of any internal sustainability professional development and training opportunities that the institution makes available to non-academic staff:

The University of Pittsburgh offers a variety of internal sustainability professional development and training opportunities for all employees (including non-academic staff). In 2020 alone, the Pitt Sustainability team has engaged 1,011 staff members via presentations about sustainability on-campus. Additionally, three (3) specific sustainability-focused and related professional development offerings are summarized below: 1) Sustainability Professional Certificate Program; 2) Pitt Green Home Office Challenge; and 3) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion educational opportunities.


The University of Pittsburgh’s Sustainability Professional Certificate Program is designed to reinforce the University’s commitment to sustainability with a series of workshops open to all employees. The workshops address both individual behaviors and University programs that impact local, national, and global efforts to become more sustainable(balancing equity, environment, and economics). Below are the classes currently offered;

1) CORE COURSE 1 - Sustainability Foundations: Balancing the Three Es
Hearing a lot about "sustainability" at Pitt and elsewhere? This workshop provides foundational knowledge of the three dimensions of sustainability: economics, environment, and equity. Participants will learn how these disciplines relate to the challenges of climate change, food security, and racial justice and how they can contribute to solutions in the local, national, and global community. Discussion of solutions will start with opportunities and innovation at Pitt and in Pittsburgh.

2) CORE COURSE 2 - Sustainability: Circular, Regenerative, & Just Economies
Hearing a lot of acronyms about investments and the economy, but wondering what CSR, ESG, and SRI really mean? This workshop will provide foundational knowledge on sustainable business practices. Participants will learn about sustainable purchasing, supply chain management, the circular economy, and best business practices that create positive social and environmental outcomes. This workshop will give participants the tools to tap into the wealth of Pitt resources (e.g., Center for Sustainable Business) to become more responsible consumers and help create and support regenerative and just economies.

3) CORE COURSE 3 – Sustainability: Environment, Ecosystems, & You
Heard about Pitt’s commitment to carbon neutrality, renewable energy, alternative transportation, pollinators, and protecting our local ecosystems? This workshop will teach attendees about environmental stewardship, Pitt’s related goals, and how individuals & departments can help us improve our local and global environment. Learn about our recycling, composting, and specialty waste diversion efforts, while diving deeper into understanding climate change, ecologically friendly landscapes, and the how you and Pitt can help build a resilient future for our region.

4) CORE COURSE 4 - Sustainability: Building an Equitable Future
Did you know that equity is 1 of 3 pillars of sustainability? This workshop will explore how equity and sustainability go hand-in-hand. Participants will learn about environmental justice, community development, and inclusion initiatives at Pitt and in Pittsburgh – and how that they and their departments can help contribute to. Professionals will be able to clearly define equity principles, identify systemic issues and systems, and become aware of the role we all play in building a sustainable future for all to thrive.


In response to the global Covid-19 pandemic, the Office of Sustainability began offering a Pitt Green Home Office Challenge that employees can join to learn how to be more sustainable with their remote office setups and practices. To date, 78 people have joined the Challenge who have had the opportunity to attend multiple lunch and learn sessions to learn about various sustainability practices.


As equity is one of the pillars of sustainability, Pitt Sustainability always highlights campus-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion events, trainings, and programs offered to Pitt employees. A few examples of these opportunities are Pitt HR’s Diversity and Inclusion Professional Development Certificate (https://www.diversity.pitt.edu/education/diversity-and-inclusion-certificate-program) and the 2020-21 Pitt Diversity Town Hall Series (https://www.diversity.pitt.edu/events/town-hall-series)

A brief description of any external professional development and training opportunities in sustainability that are supported by the institution :

The Pitt Sustainability team, newsletter, and events calendar very often highlights sustainability-focused and related professional development opportunities external to the University. Over the past 3 years, that has includes 398 events, of which it’s estimated that at least 1 per month is external (if not more).
Pitt Sustainability Events Calendar: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/events/

In Fall 2020, the University of Pittsburgh was a GCSHE Host Institution, allowing all Pitt employees and students to attend AASHE’s Global Conference on Sustainability in Higher Education at no cost. A total of 204 individuals participates in GCHSE professional conference programming, at least 70 of whom were employees of the University of Pittsburgh.

Additionally, the University of Pittsburgh has been a proud partner of the Pittsburgh 2030 District since 2014. Facilitated by Green Building Alliance, the Pittsburgh 2030 District holds regular Partner Meetings (which are external to Pitt). Cross-departmental Pitt staff with sustainability-focused and related positions regularly attend Pittsburgh 2030 District Partner Meetings.

Specific to Sustainability, Facilities, and Auxiliaries, several employees have also acquired or are working towards external sustainability credentials (including the LEED Green Associate, LEED Accredited Professional, and/or GPRO credentials). As a result, these employees regularly pursue and attend professional development opportunities to maintain these credentials.

Estimated percentage of regular non-academic staff for which sustainability is included in performance reviews:

A brief description of how sustainability is included in staff performance reviews :

Due to the nature of their job descriptions, all members of the embedded Pitt Sustainability team have sustainability included in their annual staff performance reviews.
Pitt Sustainability Staff Listing: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/office-of-sustainability/

Additionally, due to the cross-departmental nature of the Pitt Sustainability governance structure, service on internal and external sustainability-related and focused councils and committees, a number of staff across the university have their engagement with cross-campus sustainability efforts and key performance indicators regularly evaluated in their performance reviews (all aligned with the Pitt Sustainability Plan).

Website URL where information about staff professional development and training in sustainability is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.