Higher Education

Pittsburgh’s colleges and universities play a vital role in the city’s success, from developing the next generation of leaders to generating breakthrough discoveries. Similarly, Pittsburgh’s institutions of higher education have accepted responsibility for leading the way in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and banded together to form The Higher Education Climate Consortium (HECC) to cooperatively implement recommendations. HECC meets quarterly in an effort to address the short-term (within 2 years), medium-term (within 5 years) and long-term (beyond 5 years) recommendations on how colleges, universities and their 70,000 students can reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. For Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan, Version 2.0, HECC developed a series of recommendations addressing energy use, transportation, recycling & waste management, and general sustainability.

Select a participating school from the drop down menu above for their specific campus initiatives. 

The HECC member schools span the breadth of Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods and student cultures.  The schools’ united commitment to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions reflects established initiatives on each campus.  For instance, while the Art Institute’s students are engaged in environmental community service, the Community College of Allegheny County has launched The Green Institute to teach sustainability classes, Chatham University recently opened its School of Sustainability, Carnegie Mellon University has eleven LEED certified buildings, Duquesne University won the EPA Energy Star Award for its cogeneration plant, the University of Pittsburgh recently opened its ultra-low emission steam plant, Point Park University’s new dance complex is certified LEED Gold, and the list goes on.

HECC Mission
Actively engage all Pittsburgh region colleges and universities to collaborate, share information, and set goals regarding research agenda, education curricula, operations, outreach activities, and commitments that reduce greenhouse gas emissions so that the organizations comprising HECC align with the City of Pittsburgh’s overall greenhouse gas reduction goal.

HECC Vision
Revolutionize the image and activities of Pittsburgh region’s higher education systems by working collaboratively to strengthen this region’s position as a leader in addressing its greenhouse gas emissions, as well as determining what is feasible in the Pittsburgh region to achieve carbon neutrality.

Several of HECC’s member schools are featured in the Princeton Review’s 2015 Guide to Green Colleges.

HECC is a winner of PurBlu Beverage, Inc.’s GIVE Energy Pittsburgh Prize sponsorship.

Higher Education Climate Consortium Contacts

Erika Ninos, 2016 HECC Co-chair
PittServes Sustainability Program Coordinator, University of Pittsburgh
(412) 648-1293
[email protected]

Mary Whitney PhD, 2016 HECC Co-chair
Director of Sustainability, Chatham University
(412) 365-1686
[email protected]