In a 2022 announcement, the provost noted: “As a University we have an ethical obligation to address the climate and equity challenges facing our world. As we engaged in a strategic planning process, I am pleased to say that at all levels we heard unanimous endorsement that sustainability must be a key driver in our education and research mission and outcomes.”

At that time, and in response to efforts to forge a path toward a broad academic and research sustainability program to benefit of Pitt faculty, students, and community, the provost appointed Melissa Bilec to serve in the Office of the Provost as Special Assistant to the Provost for Sustainability. Melissa is also the William Kepler Whiteford Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Co-Director of the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation.

Ad Hoc Committee for Sustainability

Melissa chairs a Faculty Ad Hoc Committee for Sustainability composed of 17 members representing faculty and leaders across Pitt’s campus.

The committee was charged by the provost to develop recommendations for a University-wide sustainability institute, including establishing a vision, mission, and goals; identifying measurable actions to elevate sustainability research, education, and outreach; and developing a governance model, among other elements.

Report of the Ad Hoc Committee for Sustainability

To advance the Plan for Pitt and University-wide Sustainability goals, the committee looks to build on Pitt's existing strengths to elevate a new Pitt Sustainability Institute. This institute will assemble existing sustainability functions, create new value propositions for Pitt, and fundamentally align the University to tackle the biggest sustainability challenges.

The ad hoc committee has identified strategic priority recommendations, a vision and mission, and goals. Learn more at Recommendations.

Read the full report: Pitt Sustainability Institute Proposal (December 2023).

Sustainability Website

Visit the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation website

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