“Real Food” must meet one of four criteria including: (1) local and community-based (2) fair (3) ecologically sound and (4) humane. Pitt joined the Real Food Challenge in March 2015 with an initial goal of serving 20% “real food” by 2020. The University met this goal in Market Central, serving 21% "Real Food" there in fiscal year 2018. As a result, we expanded our goal to serve 25% Real Food across campus by 2025.
University of Thriftsburgh
An on-campus thrift store run by students, but accessible by everybody, The University of Thriftsburgh has a mission to be a working model of sustainability and to encourage students to think about how to reuse and recycle in a whole new light! Visit Thriftsburgh in the O'Hara Student Center to shop, donate, or both!
The University of Pittsburgh is committed to a safe and healthy campus, including ensuring clean drinking water for everyone in the community. Pitt’s Environmental Health & Safety department regularly tests drinking water on campus to verify water quality, including annually in all dorms and buildings with preK-12 students.
In 2018 Pitt became a member of the U.S. EPA's Green Power Partnership, which encourages organizations to use green power to help reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use. In April 2019, Pitt joined the EPA's Top 30 Colleges & Universities purchasing green power, with 15% renewables for FY19.
Sustainable Design & Construction
As outlined in the Campus Master Plan, Pitt’s Office of Facilities Management is continually working to renovate and build greener across campus. Whether pursuing green building certifications, upgrading lighting fixtures, reclaiming construction waste for reuse, or buying from diverse, local suppliers, the University takes sustainability in its built environment seriously.
Dining Hall Waste Reduction
Across campus, Pitt is reducing food waste (22% from the dining halls so far!) through innovative actions that encourage less food waste. Whether going trayless or using smaller plates to help right size portions, Pitt is serious about food waste. Also, any waste cooking oil goes to Fossil Free Fuel through the Refuel Pittsburgh initiative.
Drug Take Back Locations on Campus
The University of Pittsburgh has 2 locations where staff, faculty, students, and the public can drop off unused or expired medications safe and securely:
1) Public Safety Building (Lobby during business hours)
2) University Pharmacy at Nordenberg Hall (During business hours)
Acceptable drop-offs include prescriptions, non-leaking liquids, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, supplements, pet medicines, creams, gels, & ointments
Please DO NOT drop-off needles, syringes, EpiPens or other injectables, inhalers, IV bags, thermometers, chemo meds, lancets, or test strips.
Pitt Solar Photovoltaic Installations
In Spring 2017, Pitt installed its first set of photovoltaic solar panels on the roof of Benedum Hall. To enable student and faculty researchers to analyze the impact of PV position on power output, he panels were installed in different directions and at different angles. The first of many on-campus renewable installations to come, the Benedum PV array helps provide residents, businesses, and industries in Western Pennsylvania with measurable data on the region's solar-powered future.
The help reduce paper usage campus wide, faculty and staff subscribe to "Read Green," which is the default system for advertising campus-wide opportunities and events.
Look around campus for Pitt housing with sustainable features and certification. With a LEED Silver rating, Mark A. Nordenberg Hall is Pitt’s greenest. However, a number of other dorms have sustainable energy, water, and interior upgrades. Don't forget to explore the various dorm-centered rain gardens and the edible berry garden at Darragh Street Apartments!
Opened in 2009, the Carrillo Street Steam Plant helped replace a dirty coal-fired plant and deliver clean steam across Pitt’s campus. Carillo is still one of the cleanest university heating plants in the United States!
Green roofs reduce combined sewer overflows, energy use, and heat island effect, while increasing roof life, providing habitat for wildlife, and productively utilizing rainfall, among other benefits. Check them out at Benedum Hall, Falk School, Barco, the Hillman Plaza, and more!
Did you know Pitt’s first rain garden is on the lawn of the Petersen Events Center, where the garden soaks up excess rainwater and allows it to naturally infiltrate into the soil. With the help of a number of student groups and classes, the University has added more rain gardens, including the most visible on the Cathedral lawn between Heinz Chapel and the log cabin.
To help prevent piles of forgotten, unwanted, and/or wasted printouts, Pitt implemented Self-Service printing throughout campus. Students use their university ID cards to print documents previously sent to the printer
The Pitt Pantry provides all members of the Pitt community regular access to a balanced and nutritious diet with regular shopping hours to obtain food and services of need. The Pantry is run by volunteers and welcomes charitable donations.