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Announcements and Updates

Win $300,000 and help Pitt achieve carbon neutrality

A person rides a bike that is carrying a yellow sign that reads Seeking New Ideas.

The University of Pittsburgh is now accepting proposals for the Pitt Sustainability Challenge, which will award $300,000 to an integrated, impactful, durable and feasible project that advances Pitt's goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2037.

The challenge seeks innovative solutions that are grounded in an understanding of local conditions; that are ambitious, yet achievable; that show the greatest potential to realize measurable improvements for the Pitt community; and that will endure in their intended outcomes over time. Participants must reach beyond any single understanding of what is possible and think big for the benefit of everyone and to envision a bolder and more sustainable future for Pitt.

Pitt students, faculty and staff are invited to participate, but applications are also open for external nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Proposals must demonstrate deep integration and alignment with Pitt’s existing sustainability frameworks, including the Pitt Sustainability Plan and Climate Action Plan.

“We’re incredibly thrilled to unveil the Pitt Sustainability Challenge to both the Pitt community and the public at large,” said Aurora Sharrard, executive director of sustainability at Pitt. “This challenge supports sustainability as a core value of the Plan for Pitt and the 2018 Pitt Sustainability Plan’s goal to ensure that there is a mechanism for students, faculty and staff to advance ideas for positive impact. We’re excited to solicit innovative and transformative solutions that advance carbon neutrality to the benefit of the University community.”

How the challenge works

To apply for the challenge, read the rules and scoring rubric, then register your idea by March 8, 2023. Once you’re registered, applications are due no later than April 5. Proposals must be led by an eligible lead organization, which you can learn more about here. Team submissions are encouraged.

Judges will evaluate proposals in the summer and finalists will present live pitches to a selection committee. Winners will be announced and projects will begin in fall 2023.

Questions? Email questions [at] pittsustainabilitychallenge.org.