What You Can Do

Pitt Green Laboratories


Help advance the University of Pittsburgh’s culture of sustainability by becoming a Pitt Green Laboratory! There are four Pitt Green Lab designation levels you can pursue that help us achieve various aspects of the Pitt Sustainability Plan:


    • Sustainable Oak: ≥ 90% of possible points
    • Sapling: ≥ 70% of possible points
    • Sprout: ≥ 50% of possible points
    • Seed: ≥ 1% of possible points

Scores will be normalized taking into consideration the listed items that do not apply to your particular laboratory. The goal is to achieve the highest point level possible while providing an opportunity for every laboratory on campus to become more sustainable with their activities, purchases, and decisions!

Is Your Lab Interested in Going Green?
Is Your Lab Interested in Going Green?

How does my lab participate?

Participating laboratories earn points by auditing their current practices & reporting what sustainable actions and activities they are currently taking to green their spaces. Each sustainable practice is assigned a point value based on its impact, ease, and cost of implementation.

To become a Pitt Green Lab, your laboratory must complete a Self-Assessment Survey with the assistance of your PI that will evaluate your office across 7 different areas:

  • Purchasing
  • Energy Consumption & Equipment Maintenance
  • Water Conservation
  • Lab Recycling
  • Chemicals & Safety
  • Culture of Sustainability
  • Innovation Actions

After completing the self-assessment, your office can earn one of the four University of Pittsburgh Green Laboratory designations to commemorate your determination to helping make our campus a greener and more sustainable place to learn, work, & live!


What do we get if we participate?

  • A door/window decal recognizing you as a University of Pittsburgh Green Lab for the designated year.
  • A plaque/certificate recognizing you as a Green Lab for the designated year.
  • Recognition on the Pitt Sustainability Website
  • Recognition at an annual Pitt Green recognition event

What comprises a “lab”?

For the purposes of the Pitt Green Labs program, a lab is a room or space equipped for scientific experiments, research, and/or teaching.

If you have questions about whether or not you are eligible for the Pitt Green Labs program, please email the Office of Sustainability.

Ready to Get Started?
Ready to Get Started?

1) Create a group consisting of your PI and other lab members that want to participate in the Pitt Green Labs program.

2) Review the Pitt Green Lab Resources Guide alongside the Pitt Green Labs Self-Assessment Overview to better understand what each of the items on the list mean and better understand their importance!

3) As a lab, review and complete the Pitt Green Lab Self-Assessment

4) Be sure to enter the name of your PI and submitter at the beginning of the Self-Assessment.

5) Honestly answer all the questions about actions your office is currently undertaking.  Be sure to manually enter which of the items in each category DO NOT apply to your lab (i.e., your lab will never be able to complete this item for safety reasons OR due to the nature of your research. Monetary restrictions DO NOT qualify as a “Does not apply” response.)

6) Hit “Submit!”

6) The Office of Sustainability team will verify your Self-Assessment, reach out with any follow-up questions, and let you know what level of Pitt Green Lab you’ve attained (and what steps you might consider taking next).

7) To retain and improve your Pitt Green Office status, please plan on re-submitting Self-Assessments once every two years.  Surveys will be reviewed as received, but will be accepted through December 15th of each calendar year.

8) Questions? Email the Office of Sustainability

More about the Pitt Green Engagement Programs

Follow these links to learn more about other Green Programs available at Pitt!