Liza is program administrator for the University of Pittsburgh Center for Advanced Manufacturing (UPCAM) and the Center for Industry Studies (CIS) in the Swanson School of Engineering.
Liza started a composting program in the Industrial Engineering shared lunch room prior to composting being a program in Swanson. She transitioned all paper products to compostable items so that faculty/staff could easily reduce the amount of waste they produce each day. She created a compost/recycling information board to easily inform users on how to reduce waste going to landfills. She took extra effort and transitioned many office supplies to sustainable products like TreeZero paper, eco-friendly cleaning products, and 100% recycled paper towels.
Furthermore, she created a portable Sustainable IE Event Kit for small to medium sized events. The kit provides all compostable paper products and compost receptacle so that the department can reduce waste during small meetings and lunches. She even acquired and distributed reusable drink bottles to all IE faculty and staff so that they could all have the opportunity to reduce their consumption of disposable water bottles. Liza enrolled the department in the Grounds to Grow on program for recycling and composting Keurig pods. They prevent almost one full box of pods from going to the land fill every single week!
Liza also began a Sustainable IE newsletter to make sure faculty/staff were properly educated on ways to eliminate waste in their daily lives. The newsletter shares sustainable projects being done in the IE department and ways that faculty and staff could get involved. She educated the department on things such as using “Choose to Reuse” containers and where to return them, how to request a zero waste kit from SOOS, and how to get rid of excess food through the Pitt Food Share.
All catered events that Liza organizes through Sodexo/Campus Catering are ordered as Zero Waste. She was one of the first people to adopt this program, even before it was well known on campus. At a MOST-AM Consortium Meeting last year, 15+ bags of trash were prevented from going to a landfill. At the following MOST-AM meeting that was hosted off campus (at ANSYS training center), she went the extra mile and brought all compostable paper products to the meeting and organized compost and recycling receptacles that weren’t typically provided at their facility. She went out of her way to carry receptacles from Pitt to an offsite location and to bring compost and recycling back to campus to make sure they were properly disposed of.
Lastly, Liza spent much of 2019 finding ways to make the IE Department more sustainable. Following the guidelines in the Green Office Pilot Program, she was able to get our office qualified as a “Sapling” in the program and continues to make improvements to move us up in rankings.
Liza Allison is a 2020 Pitt Sustainability Award Winner (Staff)