Higher Education Climate Coalition
Carnegie Mellon University

Barb Kviz, Environmental Coordinator
(412) 268-7858
[email protected]

The Climate Initiative at CMU
As a member of the Higher Education Climate Consortium, Carnegie Mellon is committed to aligning its campus practices with the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative. Programs and policies are well underway, and features are described below.

Green Practices

Educational Initiatives & Outreach
Green Design Institute
Robert L. Preger Intelligent Workplace
Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research
(View all Environmental Education.)

Emissions Inventory
Carnegie Mellon has established an emissions inventory and is continuing the project. A student project in the Spring of 2008 completed the latest energy audit based on 2006-07 data, using the Clean Air Cool Planet methodology.  

Carnegie Mellon has also conducted 3 other campus GHG inventories in the past (1990, 2000 and 2004) but not based on Clean Air Cool Planet methodology.

Additionally, the Green Practices Committee is exploring options to decrease the university's carbon footprint.  

Energy: Efficiency, Conservation, and Alternative
Energy conservation is a priority at Carnegie Mellon. Equipment and lighting is routinely upgraded to conserve electricity. The Bellfield Steam Plant transitioned to using natural gas as of July 2009. Carnegie Mellon purchases 29% of its energy from renewable sources, the majority of which is local Pennsylvania wind.

Recycling and Waste Management
Students, staff, and faculty are committed to recycling at Carnegie Mellon. The University participates in the annual nation-wide RecycleMania competition, and recently implemented pre-consumer composting program for food waste.

Buildings and Grounds
Carnegie Mellon University's campus has seven LEED certified green buildings and five buildings pursuing LEED certification. The Robert L. Preger Intelligent Workplace is a Sustainable Architecture Research and Green Building Testing Ground. In 2005, students designed and built a Solar House for the US Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon which was then permanently installed on campus for use as a meeting space.  The campus has over 8 green roofs, and the largest solar installation in the City of Pittsburgh which is located on the roof at 300 South Craig Street.

Carnegie Mellon subsidizes public transportation and on-campus Zip Cars, and bicycling is encouraged. All campus shuttle buses use B5/B20 biodiesel and police vehicles are E-85 flex-fueled capable.  The Facilities Management fleet also has 10 electric powered Club Cars & GEMS used to move about campus.

Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research
(View all Environmental Research.)  

Framework for Achieiving Low-Carbon Cities, a graduate student study of tools and methods for effective city climate action plans, and their implementation.


Net Impact
Engineers without Borders

Eco-Reps – A program that provides peer-to-peer education about environmental concerns.

Student Forums & Conferences - Focus the Nation, Rachel Carson Legacy Conference, Power Shift, (AASHE) Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education Conference.


Click here to view the complete list of recommendations for higher education, available in the Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan.