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CMU Libraries Sustainable Practices: Home

CMU Libraries Sustainable Practices

Frederick Franck. Seven Generations
The plaque reads: “In all our deliberations we must be mindful of the impact of decisions on the next seven generations" - From  the Great Law of the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy.”

This guide is being developed  by the University Libraries Green Team  containing resources and tools on how ecological sustainability can be incorporated into library projects and office practices. Sustainability considers long term environmental impacts on our bioregion and the planet for a more-than-human world.

Contact a member of the Green Team at  any time with questions, comments and suggestions!

Heidi Bartlett
Julie Chen, Chair
Melanie Gainey
Hannah Gunderman, Co-Chair
Ruth Ann Schmidt
Leah Zande

University Libraries Green Team Mission
To encourage, facilitate and educate about strategies and practices that promote sustainability within the University Libraries in keeping with the values of the UN Goals for Sustainability adopted by the CMU Sustainability Initiative including, but not limited to the reduction of energy use, reduction of waste, use of sustainably sourced materials, and environmentally sound methods for recycling, composting and disposal.

CMU Libraries Initiatives


Scotty Goes Green Office Certification Program
CMU LIbraries is Certified Bronze

Redistributing, Recycling, or Disposing of CMU Library Inventory
Guidelines for handling University Libraries property such as office furniture and computer/peripherals.
Recycling/trash stations are available throughout the libraries plus a mega station in Maggie Murph Cafe for recycling batteries and CDs.

Environment: A Multidisciplinary Research Guide
CMU library resources related to the environment across disciplines (databases, reference, books, media, research guides, etc.) including Environment: CMU Librarians LibGuides, green events, initiatives, and news at CMU and beyond.



CMU Libraries Hunt Library outdoor tables adorned with found and upcycled art on Earth Day 2019 by Jill Chisnell.


Libguide: CMU Think: Greening the Urban Environment
with Martin Aurand and Julie Chen

Food For Thought First Thursdays
An hour program (12 noon - 1) on the first Thursday of every month in the Hunt Staff Lounge for library colleagues which occasionally features environmental themes. Programming by Kate Barbera, Ryan Splenda and Sarah Young.

May 2, 2019
Birding in Western Pennyslvania with Melanie Gainey
Discussion and walk.

March 7, 2019
Seed Exchange
"Whether you’re an avid gardener or just thinking about giving gardening a try this spring, please stop by.  Bring your seed packets, seed catalogs, garden planning notebooks and lunch—we’ll provide the seed envelopes!"

Carnegie Mellon Initiatives

CMU Sustainability Initative
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.

Environment at CMU
Links to all university-wide environmentally related programs and practices at Carnegie Mellon

Scotty Goes Green Office Certification Program


University Policies: Recycling

University Center Recycling Room

Carnegie Mellon STARS Reports
Sustainability tracking, assessment and rating system

CMU Economic  Input-Output Lifecycle Assessment (EIO-LCA) Tool
EIO-LCA is a mathematically defined procedure using economic and environmental data to determine the effect of changing the output of a single sector.  Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a way to investigate, estimate, and evaluate the environmental burdens caused by a material, product, process, or service throughout its life span.

Smell Pittsburgh
Install an app on your mobile device and visualize and report outdoor pollution odors. Developed by CMU Create Lab.

Simonds Principles
The principles have been incorporated into the University's capital planning process, under the auspices of Campus Design and Facility Development.

The sustainability principle states:
"Highest-level environmental sensibilities should be integral to the design, construction and management of all built and open spaces, consistent  with the university's international standing in sustainable and green practices and cutting edge systems and technologies, with particular emphasis on water and energy efficiency, the life-cycle of materials, biodiversity, storm water management, and transportation management."


Pittsburgh Partnerships

Sustainable Pittsburgh operates on the 3Es of sustainability. The org "affects decision-making in the Pittsburgh region to integrate economic prosperity, social equity, and environmental quality as the enduring accountability, bringing sustainable solutions for communities and businesses."
Take the  “I Am Sustainable Pittsburgh” pledge.

Pittsburgh is a member of the Biophilic Cities Network