Sustainability

Alma mater of environmental icon Rachel Carson ’29, Chatham University has proven time and again that no one understands, lives, leads, and teaches sustainability like we do. In 2012, we were mentioned by Forbes as one of the places “contributing to Pittsburgh’s transformation as a destination for green living.” In 2014, we opened our Eden Hall Campus, the world’s first academic community built from the ground-up for the study and design of sustainable living, learning, and development.

Rachel Carson

Chatham’s commitment to sustainability is inspired by alumna Rachel Carson ’29, who launched the modern environmental movement—and changed the world—with the publication of her pivotal book Silent Spring

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Awards & Accolades

From routinely ranking within the top 25 universities in the world for sustainability as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) to six years running as a Tree Campus USA, our initiatives have earned recognition–locally, nationally, and internationally.

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Campus Environmental Commitments

Chatham University's Office of Sustainability is the administrative home of all campus sustainability projects, working to initiate change on campus with the goal of moving Chatham to carbon neutrality. The office coordinates with University departments, faculty, and student groups to take steps to a more sustainable living, learning, and working environment for the campus community.

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Eden Hall Campus

Eden Hall Campus is the world’s first university campus designed to be a showcase for sustainable solutions. With the campus serving as an educational canvas, faculty, students, and the public engage in a collaborative, hands-on approach to learning to develop tomorrow’s leaders in sustainability.

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Student Initiatives

At Chatham, sustainability isn't just about Eden Hall Campus. From purchasing 90% of our total electricity usage from a Green-E Certified mix of renewable energy that is primarily wind power to eliminating the sale of plastic water bottles, our commitment to sustainability is visible throughout our operations.

Green Fund

The Green Fund supports the Chatham University community by providing financial support to any student(s) interested in implementing a sustainability-focused project on campus. The Office of Sustainability oversees guiding students through their Green Fund submissions from the application phase, planning phase, and ultimately the execution phase. In 2015, The Roundup for Green Fund program was instituted at Café Rachel and in Anderson Dining Hall which allows students to round up their totals to donate that extra change to the Green Fund.

Rachel Carson Healthy Planet Award

Named for Chatham's most famous alumna, environmental icon Rachel Carson ’29, the Rachel Carson Healthy Planet Award is awarded to deserving students nominated from high schools nationally and internationally who embody the spirit of Rachel Carson in their dedication to sustainability and community development. 

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Bike Works

Need a bike? Have one already but need some help? Visit Chatham Bike Works in the basement of Woodland Hall behind the Book Store! Opened in 2010, Bike Works is a free work-space available to all Chatham biking community members. We offer by-the-semester or by-the year bike rentals. Bike Works offers shop hours and hands on workshops for riders that focus on different aspects of bicycling. Everyone who rides or wants to ride needs to know about: basic maintenance skills, on-the-road repairs and how to ride safely, to name a few. Contact the Office of Sustainability or check our Facebook page for more info and the semester schedule. 

A Look Inside the Sustainability Leadership Academy

By Friday, the 18 high school students participating in this year’s Sustainability Leadership Academy (SLA) have been together for five days, and they've clearly formed a tightly knit group. They chat and joke as they file into the conference room. Because the past week has been a curated whirlwind.

Law. Explosions. Coffee. Wine. Chatham.

Sandra Taylor, former SVP of Corporate Responsibility at Starbucks, joined Chatham as the new Falk Chair of Socially Responsible Business. 

Awards for Eden Hall Campus and a Chat With the Architects

April was a big month for Eden Hall Campus in terms of external recognition: The Anne Mallinson ’61 Café and field lab were granted official LEED Platinum ratings, and the campus was recognized nationwide with a 2018 Education Facility Design Award of Excellence from the American Institute of Architects. We spoke with president David Goldberg and principal Sandy Mendler of Mithūn, the architecture firm behind Eden Hall’s transformation.

(Almost) Living and (Definitely) Learning at Fallingwater

One afternoon, Kyra Tucker, director of interior architecture programs, walked into Frank Lloyd Wright's iconic architectural masterpiece Fallingwater to find her students sitting on the floor with their shoes off.