Higher Education Climate Coalition
Chatham University

Mary Whitney, University Sustainability Coordinator
(412) 365-1686
[email protected]


The Climate Initiative at Chatham
Chatham University has a historic commitment to environmental protection. The University's foundational focus is the environment. Chatham is home to the Rachel Carson Institute, and it boasts a strong Environmental Science program. Chatham's current initiatives to reduce green house gas emissions are wide-randing and comprehensive.

Eden Hall Farm
School of Sustainability

Educational Initiatives & Outreach
-Environmental Studies Department
-Environmental Science Department
-Green Horizons Student Group
-Rachel Carson Institute

Emissions Inventory
As a signatory of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, Chatham has pledged to work toward carbon neutrality. Chatham's commitment is detailed here.

The University completed its baseline green house gas emissions inventory in 2007, through the work of a committee comprised of faculty, staff, and students. The 2007 baseline inventory report is available. Updates will be posted as the audits are completed each year.

Energy: Efficiency, Conservation, and Alternative
Energy conservation is a priority at Chatham.  The school has purchased renewable power either directly or through RECS since 2002, and now purchases 15% of their total electricity usage from a Green-E Certified mix of renewable energy that is primarily wind power.

Recycling and Waste Management
Chatham boasts a composting program in its dining facilities that gathers pre- and post-consumer materials, including takeout containers.  Waste fat is sent to a regional biodiesel plant.  Its school-wide, single-stream recycling program is successful and includes student administration.

Buildings and Grounds
The University is committed to reusing historic buildings before undertaking new construction whenever possible. Rea Hall is a green-living residence hall, where students commit to living an ecologically-aware lifestyle.  The building features water and energy-saving technology appropriate for a historic home. 

Chatham has a decade-long no chemical pesticides policy and actively preserves green space throughout its campuses. Its Shadyside campus is an arboretum featuring 115 species.   

Chatham has purchased the area's first hybrid police car, which is used as a regular patrol car.  Chatham owns and operates 3 biodiesel shuttles  to reduce the need for individual car travel between campuses.  The University subsidizes two-thirds of the cost of bus passes for all campus community members.  

Rea Hall is also home to the school's bicycle co-operative.

Nancy Gift, Acting Director of the Rachel Carson Institute
Lisa Vavro, Sustainable Urban Design

The student environmental club, Green Horizons, works to educate Chatham students on environmental policy and practices. 

The student chapter of the American Marketing Association runs the annual RecycleMania competition. 

Chatham has just formed a student chapter of the US Green Building Council, sponsored by the Interior Architecture program.

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