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

STARS v2.2

University of Pittsburgh
EN-11: Inter-Campus Collaboration

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Samantha Chan
Assistant Director of Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution currently a member of a national or international higher education sustainability network?:

The name of the national or international sustainability network(s):
The national or international sustainability networks below are those in which the Pitt Sustainability team is active. Across the University, there are likely other collaborations not reflected on this list.

1) AASHE - Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
2) Aspen Institute’s Business & Society Roundtable Network
3) Bee Campus USA - Xerces Society
4) College and University Food Bank Alliance
5) Human Rights Institute’s Economic & Social Rights Research Group (convened by University of Connecticut)
6) Real Food Challenge
7) National Institute of Health’s Health in Building Roundtable
8) PLAN - Post Landfill Action Network
9) Second Nature (Including Commuting Working Group co-convened with SIMAP)
10) Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council.
11) U.S. Green Building Council (Member, 2019)
12) Sustainable Development Solutions Network, U.S. Chapter

Does the institution actively participate in a regional, state/provincial, or local higher education sustainability network?:

The name of the regional, state/provincial or local sustainability network(s):
The regional and/or state sustainability networks below are those in which the Pitt Sustainability team is active. Across the University, there are undoubtedly many other collaborations not reflected on this list.

1) Allegheny Conference on Community Development (Sustainability Committee, 2018-2020)
2) Allegheny County’s Green Action Team
3) Bike Pittsburgh's Universities Bike & Pedestrian Committee
4) Clean Pittsburgh Commission
5) Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services
6) Higher Education Climate Consortium (Pitt Co-Chair)
7) International Living Future Institute (Pittsburgh Living Product Hub, Advisory Committee)
8) Ohio River Valley Institute
9) Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education (Basic Needs Working Group)
10) Pittsburgh Earth Day
11) Pittsburgh Food Policy Council
12) Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission
13) Sustainable Pittsburgh’s CEOs for Sustainability (Advisory Committee)
14) Sustainable Pittsburgh's Plastics Collaborative (Steering Committee)
15) Will Allen Foundation

Has the institution presented at a higher education sustainability conference during the previous year?:

A list or brief description of the conference(s) and presentation(s):
1) Menstrual Equity is Not a Luxury. Period
Presented on Pitt's Zero Waste Period initiative. The session focused on identifying the stigma and inequities surrounded menstruating people (typically women, trans, and non-binary people) and how students are considered a vulnerable population for being unable to afford products. Then described how Pitt built the project on campus, how internal and external stakeholders were identified, how funding was acquired, how to ingrain inclusivity and accessibility, and general best practices.

2) Inputs to Outputs. Taking an Event Beyond Zero-Waste to Green Certification
Presented in this session on identifying the social aspects of green event certification to address an event beyond its material impact. Discussing the following; how a zero-waste event is defined and tips on ensuring that events are zero-waste, and address the topics of building partnerships, incorporating concern for energy and water consumption, identifying sustainable and ethical purchasing behaviors, sourcing items from places with ethical labor and fair wages, creating accessible and inclusive events.

University-to-University Collaborative Models to Scale Up Climate Action and Resiliency Efforts
(Smith Group, Boston University, Emory University, & University of Pittsburgh)
Universities are seeking wider opportunities with external partners and collaborators to scale-up their positive impact to both mitigate climate change as well as ensure increased resiliency in a changing world. There is an increased need for universities to think beyond their boundaries and traditional approaches to address issues surrounding climate change. Universities are finding that cooperation between regional peer partners provides system approaches to scale-up for mutual benefit. This session will highlight drivers, outline specific actions and value through the lens of three regions: Pittsburgh, Boston and Atlanta. National collaboratives will also be featured in which partnerships were established to mitigate the impacts of climate change and increase resiliency.

Biking to Campus: How Universities are Joining Forces to Create a Grassroots Movement.
(BikePGH, Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham University & University of Pittsburgh + 2 Chicago Universities)
“The session was about the Pittsburgh University Bike/Ped Committee’s efforts to start and sustain a working group of university bike/ped staff across campuses who have joined forces to create more Bicycle Friendly Universities. The presentation also discussed Pittsburgh and Chicago’s efforts to host Bike to Campus events, an event similar to Bike to Work Day, but geared towards students, faculty, and staff at the Universities.”
Learn more: https://bikepgh.org/2020/04/24/bikepgh-attends-first-virtual-national-bike-summit/

Though a University of Pittsburgh hosted event, this conference attracted 12,000 participants from across the country:

1) Organized and led panel discussion with local experts on environmental justice issue in a session called "Environmental Justice is Social Justice: Past, Present, & Future in Southwestern Pennsylvania. View recording go here: https://pitt.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=c6b2d734-a2c6-4d9a-bf54-ac08010a497d
2) Presented and facilitated discussion in "Black-Owned Businesses at Pitt: Opportunity and Commitment. View recording go here: https://pitt.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=be08f788-068c-434f-a614-ac850127919b
3) Organized and led panel discussion in "Protest to Policy: Environmental Justice, Economic Justice, Economic Equity and Community Activism". View recording go here: https://pitt.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=bc850c3a-1110-4750-ad15-ac0800f4bc0a

Has the institution submitted a case study during the previous year to an external higher education sustainability resource center or awards program?:

A list or brief description of the sustainability resource center or awards program and submission(s):
Pitt's Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities Management Scott Bernotas has been named an Environment + Energy Leader for 2020 (E+E 100), which highlights leaders and innovators taking action to improve their organizations’ bottom lines while advancing progress toward a more sustainable world for future generations.

Read more about Scott's award, based on his nomination: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/fm-avc-scott-bernotas-named-to-ee-100/

Environmental Leader's 2020 Award Book: https://landingpage.businesssectormedia.com/environmentenergyleaderawards2020/

Has the institution had employees or students serving on a board or committee of a sustainability network or conference during the previous three years?:

A list or brief description of the board or committee appointment(s):
AASHE Advisory Council
(Member, Dr. Aurora Sharrard, Director of Sustainability)

Clean Pittsburgh Commission, City of Pittsburgh
(Member, Erica Ninos, Sustainability Coordinator, PittServes)

Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services
(Board Member, Dr. Aurora Sharrard, Director of Sustainability)

Higher Education Climate Consortium of Pittsburgh
(Co-Chair, Dr. Aurora Sharrard, Director of Sustainability)

Will Allen Foundation
(Board Member, Dr. Aurora Sharrard, Director of Sustainability)

Ohio River Valley Institute
(Advisory Council, Dr. Leslie Marshall, Pitt Center for Sustainable Business)

Pittsburgh Earth Day
(Board Member, Dr. Leslie Marshall, Pitt Center for Sustainable Business)

Pittsburgh Food Policy Council
(Steering Committee, Nick Goodfellow, Sustainability Manager, Pitt Auxiliaries)

Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (regional metropolitan planning organization)
(Commissioner, Dr. Aurora Sharrard, Director of Sustainability)

Sustainable Pittsburgh's Plastics Collaborative
(Steering Committee, Nick Goodfellow, Sustainability Manager, Pitt Auxiliaries)

Sustainable Pittsburgh's CEOs for Sustainability
(Advisory Committee = Gena Kovalcik, Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation; Dr. Leslie Marshall, Pitt Center for Sustainable Business; & Dr. Aurora Sharrard, Director of Sustainability)

Does the institution have an ongoing mentoring relationship with another institution through which it assists the institution with its sustainability reporting and/or the development of its sustainability program?:

A brief description of the mentoring relationship and activities:
Through AASHE’s Mentorship Program, Pitt’s Director of Sustainability (Dr. Aurora Sharrard) has been officially collaborating with Bo Solomon, University Sustainability Officer at Drexel University, along with several meetings with the entire Drexel Sustainability team.

Since 2007, Pittsburgh’s institutions of higher education have accepted responsibility for leading the way in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and banded together to form the Higher Education Climate Consortium (HECC) to cooperatively reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strive towards carbon neutrality. The University of Pittsburgh has always been an active HECC member, including playing both mentor and mentee roles with other organizations, depending on the area of consideration. In 2019, Pitt renewed its co-chair role of HECC (in partnership with Duquesne University), helping officially reinvigorate both HECC and the regional mentoring network it creates. Active HECC members currently include: Carlow University, Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham University, the Community College of Allegheny County, Duquesne University, Penn State University’s Pittsburgh Center, and Robert Morris University, and the University of Pittsburgh. Though HECC meets quarterly, communication between HECC member universities is regular.

Has the institution had employees or students serving as peer reviewers of another institution’s sustainability data and/or STARS submission during the previous three years?:

A brief description of the peer review activities:

A brief description of other inter-campus collaborative efforts around sustainability during the previous year :
In 2014, the University of Pittsburgh was a founding Property Partner of the Pittsburgh 2030 District's boundary expansion Oakland (the Pittsburgh neighborhood where Pitt is located). Pitt's Pittsburgh 2030 District commitment is to work towards the international 2030 Challenge goals of 50% reductions in energy consumption, water use, and transportation emissions by the year 2030 (including carbon neutral new construction by 2030). This commitment is made alongside over 100 other property owners in the City of Pittsburgh, who work both individually and collaboratively to meet those goals, with monthly meetings available. Additionally, to track both Pitt and the entire Pittsburgh 2030 District's efforts towards achieving the 2030 goals, the University provides annual energy and water data to Pittsburgh 2030 District convener Green Building Alliance through the U.S. EPA EnergyStar Portfolio Manager tool for all Pittsburgh campus buildings. This information is aggregated and publicized in the annual Pittsburgh 2030 District progress reports.
Learn more: https://www.2030districts.org/pittsburgh/annual-progress-reports

Website URL where information about the institution’s inter-campus collaborations 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.