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Academics, Equity, and Resilience: Building Pitt’s First Climate Action Plan
The University of Pittsburgh’s sustainability journey has been expounding over three decades, including the first university-wide Pitt Sustainability Plan (2018) and first AASHE STARS designation (Silver 2018); in 2021, Pitt achieved AASHE STARS Gold. While the Pitt Sustainability Plan covers 15 impact areas with 61 goals, the global focus on climate change helped the University add the target of carbon neutrality by 2037 to the university’s existing goal of 50% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030. While the University of Pittsburgh has five GHG inventories dating back to 2008 and became a Second Nature Carbon Commitment signatory in February 2020, it had never established a climate action plan.
To help others consider and approach their own climate action plans, this session will demonstrate the process, outcomes and roadmap to our neutrality plan while discussing how three key cross-cutting themes of equity, academics and economics were positioned throughout.
This strategy will continue to add to the dialogue within and external to the higher education sustainability community on intentionality and impact of climate strategy and action, which must also enhances our educational missions; ensures equitable process and outcomes; and influence economic resilience for the institution and region by being mindful of externalities.
Presented by Dr. Aurora Sharrard, Director of Sustainability at the University of Pittsburgh