Driving Electric Car Research

Pitt is one of four universities nationwide that is testing a tiny car, the Innova Dash University Electric Vehicle, in the hope of improving electric-car technology and reducing the University's carbon footprint.

Engineers Without Borders

Pitt's chapter of Engineers Without Borders designs and implements sustainable-engineering projects in developing countries.

building with bamboo
Building With Bamboo

Pitt Professor Kent Harries studies the use of bamboo and other materials in constructing sustainable buildings and infrastructures that are resistant to earthquakes.

sustainable shelter
Sustainable Shelter

Students participating in a Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation program created a rapidly deployable emergency shelter constructed of bamboo and zip ties.

Peregrine falcons
Falcons Atop the Cathedral

Since 2002, pairs of Peregrine falcons—once endangered, but now rebounding thanks to legal protections, pesticide restrictions, and reintroduction efforts—have nested atop Pitt’s Cathedral of Learning.

Pitt Making a Difference
Pitt Making a Difference

Students clean up local parks, tend community gardens, repaint buildings, and perform other community services each year on Pitt Make a Difference Day.

Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation
Center of Excellence in Sustainability

Pitt’s Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation is a center of excellence in sustainable engineering, focusing on the design of sustainable neighborhoods.


Pitt's Legacy

  • Pitt signed the 1990 Talloires Declaration supporting mobilization of higher-ed resources for sustainability.

  • Sierra magazine named Pitt one of 'America’s Coolest Schools' for its commitment to environmentalism.

  • Pitt launched its first campus-wide energy management system in 1975.

  • Pitt’s Carrillo Street Steam Plant is one of the cleanest university plants in the United States.

  • A composting system has cut food waste by 75 percent in Pitt’s Market Central dining facility.

  • Pitt’s print shop won Forest Stewardship Council certification for its support of sustainable forestry.

  • 5 Pitt construction projects have earned LEED Gold certification, with 9 more pursuing certification.

  • Pitt’s Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation is a world leader in sustainable engineering.

  • Energy conservation at Pitt has resulted in more than $44 million in energy cost avoidance since 1996.

  • The Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges ranks Pitt among the most environmentally responsible U.S. universities.

  • Pitt placed first in Sustainable Pittsburgh's 2013-14 Green Workplace Challenge in the university category.

Engineering Sustainability Conference

Engineering Sustainability 2015: Innovation and the Triple Bottom Line is set for April 19-21. Sponsored by Pitt’s Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation and Carnegie Mellon University’s Steinbrenner Institute, the conference will present the latest research and practice directed at developing environmentally sustainable buildings and infrastructure.

Sustainable Solutions Competition

Students participating in the Sustainable Solutions Competition work in teams to come up with solutions to sustainability challenges. Pitt’s Office of Student Affairs sponsors the competition.

Pitt Sustainability Awards

This first-annual nomination program will recognize Pitt faculty, staff, students, and groups who are generating awareness, implementing projects, or catalyzing new initiatives in sustainability education, research, or practice.

Check back in September to see how you can submit a nomination. Award winners will be selected in Spring 2015.

Matching Funds Program

To support Pitt’s Year of Sustainability initiative, the Office of the Provost is considering requests for matching funds up to $10,000 to support lectures, seminars, workshops, colloquia, etc., related to sustainability. Programs that bring together individuals from multiple departments are encouraged. Requests will be reviewed on a rolling basis.



Engineering Sustainability 2015
8:00 AM

Innovation and the Triple Bottom Line returns to Pittsburgh April 19-21, 2015! Sponsored by Pitt’s Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation and CMU’s Steinbrenner Institute, the Conference presents the latest research and practice directed at development of environmentally sustainable buildings and infrastructure. Read More>