Announcing the Results: Meet the Winner
Learn more about the Pitt Sustainability Challenge.
Our journey to carbon neutrality can take a big step forward.

The University of Pittsburgh is working to achieve carbon neutrality by 2037 – the 250th anniversary of our founding. “Carbon neutrality” refers to balancing all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions put into the atmosphere by removing or capturing and storing an equivalent quantity of GHG emissions. To achieve that goal, the University of Pittsburgh has three main priorities: reducing our energy demand, cleaning our energy supply, and shifting to low carbon connections.

We’ve already made big strides. Pitt’s most recent fiscal year 2021 GHG inventory for the Pittsburgh campus indicates GHG emissions were down nearly 10% from the year prior, reaching closer to our goal of being 50% below 2008 levels by 2030.

We will award $300,000 to an integrated, impactful, durable, and feasible solution with lasting benefits for the University of Pittsburgh community.  

Help take things to the next level.

The Pitt Sustainability Challenge invites the public to put forth their best ideas to advance carbon neutrality to the benefit of the Pitt community.

Pitt students, faculty, and staff are invited to participate, but applications are also open for external nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Proposals must be led by an eligible Lead Organization. Teams are highly encouraged.

Strong solutions will be aligned with existing Pitt efforts, particularly the Sustainability Plan and Climate Action Plan. The scoring rubric outlines how proposals will be assessed.  


The Pitt Sustainability Challenge will host Q&A webinars in the weeks leading up to the registration and submission deadlines. Webinar sign up details will be emailed to those who have registered for the Challenge and also available via Challenge News & Updates.  

In the meantime, please review the prize rules, timeline, and application, and email us with any questions.

Pitt Sustainability Challenge Planning Team

Special thanks to our University of Pittsburgh internal planning team for this Challenge:

  • CO-CHAIR: Gena Kovalcik, Co-Director, Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation  
  • CO-CHAIR: Dr. Aurora Sharrard, Executive Director of Sustainability
  • Scott Bernotas, Vice Chancellor of Facilities Management
  • Dr. Melissa Bilec, Special Assistant to the Provost for Sustainability & Co-Director, Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation
  • Alexander Ducret, Director of Licensing, Innovation Institute
  • Andrew Falk, Executive Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations
  • Chris Gassman, Senior Associate Director, Center for Sustainable Business
  • Shenay Jeffrey, Director of PittServes, Student Affairs
  • Lucy Sankey Russell, Vice Provost and Chief of Staff, Office of the Provost
  • Jennifer Seng, Assistant Vice Chancellor and Deputy Chief Legal Officer
  • Brian Vidic, Director of Industry Partnerships, Innovation Institute
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