Carnegie Mellon University

Sustainability Initiative

Carnegie Mellon is building upon two decades of an engaged effort in support of the broader definition of sustainability afforded by the world's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Our university’s focus includes education, research, and practice in building environmentally sustainable, peaceful, just and inclusive communities.

CMU has maintained existing institutional commitments in the sustainability realm.




Send comments and feedback to the Sustainability Advisory Council 

Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 global objectives to create a more equitable and viable planet by 2030. These goals came together following input from millions of people around the world, with younger generations especially engaged. They were adopted by the global community at the United Nations in 2015. 

Select each goal to learn about the type of work and global challenges they address.

Our Charges 

The Sustainability Initiative's Steering Committee and Advisory Council will lead the following charges:

Grow awareness
of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across the university

the university's engagement with the SDGs
a process of community engagement known as a "Voluntary University Review"
Develop processes
to identify and present high-priority opportunities for the university to consider
on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges regarding CMU's engagement with the SDGs
to the university and the world about our SDG progress and commitments

Our Commitments

As announced to the campus community by Provost Garrett, the following six commitments will help our university advance towards globally-focused SDGs over the next 10 years.

We commit to educate CMU students around the world about the SDGs, recognizing that this framework applies to all of us and represents a special opportunity to create a more peaceful, prosperous, planet with just and inclusive societies.

We commit to help solve pressing problems brought to light by the SDG framework, by acting boldly, taking risks, and applying creativity.

We commit to do this work collaboratively, an approach deeply embedded in our university culture.

We commit that through education, research, partnerships and operational activities, we will demonstrate advancement of the SDGs at CMU.

We commit to create a Voluntary University Review of work being done at CMU and will report these findings in New York at the UN General Assembly this year.

Read our 2020 VUR 

We therefore commit to do more to align our work with the SDGs and build on the good work already done by CMU faculty, students, staff and alumni – whether focused on mitigating climate change, eliminating food waste, reducing violence or ending human trafficking.

Sustainability in the News

Advisory Council

Nina Baird, School of Architecture, College of Fine Arts

Sven Burke, Graduate Student Assembly

Don Coffelt, Facilities Management and Campus Services

Neil Donahue, Steinbrenner Institute, Mellon College of Science, College of Engineering

Matthew Fochs, Graduate Student Assembly

Rayid Ghani, Machine Learning Department, School of Computer Science and Heinz College 

Georgia Giatras, Office of the Provost

Kristin Hughes, School of Design, College of Fine Arts

Barbara Kviz, Staff Council

Vivian Loftness, School of Architecture, College of Fine Arts

Brian Lee, Sustainable Earth Student Group

Julia Lui, President's Cabinet, Student Government 

Nick Muller, Tepper School of Business, College of Engineering 

Dan Nagin, Heinz College

Liam O’Connell, Undergraduate Student Senate

Corina Paraschiv, Heinz College graduate student, CMU UN Association

Elizabeth “Lib” Rosemeyer, Office of Title IX Initiatives

Peter Scupelli, School of Design, College of Fine Arts

Anna Siefken, Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation

Rick Siger, Office of the President

M. Shernell Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion

Sakena Washington, Office of the Provost

Keith Webster, University Libraries