Cathedral of Learning with a blooming pink tree in the foreground
Features & Articles

Earth Day is Every Day

  • Global

From committing to carbon neutrality to transforming the regional economy with green investments, Earth Day is every day at Pitt.

To celebrate Earth Day 2021, Pittwire is revisiting stories that highlight the accomplishments of Pitt’s community and its continued commitment to sustainability. Check out stories of our sustainability champions, green research and student efforts to make the world a better place.

Pitt’s commitments, research and accountability

Among recent honors, Pitt was given a gold rating by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System. Among Pitt’s many sustainability initiatives, three points of distinction were noted: the lowest total energy use per square foot in fiscal year 2020, the new anti-Black racism course for all first year students and Pitt's Cool Food Pledge to cut food-related greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2030.

ICYMI: The University of Pittsburgh has committed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2037, Pitt’s 250th anniversary.

Pitt Research Finds New Green Investment Key to Transforming Regional Economy
A nonpartisan team led by Leslie Marshall in Pitt’s Center for Sustainable Business has created a roadmap for climate-friendly industrial growth over the next decade to add jobs and economic prospects across the Ohio Valley.

The Soil Sisters of Beltzhoover
From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: TaRay Kelly, a member of Pitt’s groundskeeping team, and her sister Raynise are building a business, Soil Sisters Nursery, on the fertile ground of their family roots—an empty lot near where their grandparents’ home once stood.

Pitt Extends Partnership With Enterprise to Support Sustainability Goals
The partnership will help Pitt reduce costs and upgrade its fleet with alternative energy vehicles, which will further support the University’s commitment to making the campus carbon neutral by 2037.

Solar Power Deal Accelerates Pitt’s Sustainability Progress
A new solar power deal is moving Pitt closer to its commitment to be a carbon neutral campus by 2037.

Sustaining Sustainability Podcast
Hosted by Pitt’s Center for Sustainable Business, the series explores sustainability lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic with an international reach and a global perspective.

New Dashboards for Building Energy and Water Use Intensity
Pitt Sustainability is proud to unveil two new interactive sustainability dashboards focused on University building energy and water usage from 2014 through 2019.

Pittsburgh Campus Certified as a Bee Campus USA
For Pollinator Week 2020, bees, butterflies, bugs and bats were pollinating on Pennsylvania’s newest Bee Campus USA. And did you know that the value of insect pollinators to the U.S. economy is a whopping $34 billion? A study from Pitt engineers explains.

Student sustainability efforts

Student Project Places Second in EPA’s Campus RainWorks Challenge
The competition asked students to apply green infrastructure design principles to college campuses across the nation.

11 Undergrads Named 2020 Millennium Fellows
The University of Pittsburgh welcomed its second cohort of undergraduate students to the Millennium Fellows program—a semester-long initiative for undergraduate leaders focused on ways to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Student-developed Recycling Campaign Makes Its Way to Pittsburgh City Hall
A popular course in the College of Business Administration asks students to become a marketing agency and work with real-life clients such as Honda Automobiles, the Central Intelligence Agency and Major League Baseball. Last spring, students developed a recycling campaign for the City of Pittsburgh.

Next Generation
Pitt Med third years create Polycarbin, a recycling system for medical plastic and won first place at the 2020 Randall Family Big Idea Competition for their salvaging company.

Earth Day 2021 Events

The Pitt community is also doing its part to host and promote Earth Day events both in the Pittsburgh area and virtually.

Pitt IT is featuring several events celebrating Earth Day by encouraging folks to go digital through Adobe programs: Adobe Acrobat Skill Builder: Go Paperless and Adobe XD and Adobe Stock: Design for the Future. (Plus, see how Pitt has decreased its printer use throughout the pandemic.)

Pitt Sustainability also has a number of local virtual and in-person events, including activities with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and Allegheny County Parks, clean-up programs and more

The 14th Annual Student Sustainability Symposium will take place on Friday, April 23, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Next week, participate in the Center for Sustainable Business’ Implementing the Marshall Plan for Middle America: Opportunities and Challenges on April 29 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Speakers include CB Bhattacharya, Mayor Bill Peduto, leaders from the U.S. Department of Energy and RAND Pittsburgh and much more.

Lastly, we’ve got 10 tips for celebrating Earth Day in your own home, each day.