The Falk School of Sustainability & Environment at Chatham University has committed to several campus environmental initiatives to improve its sustainability. These include activities centered around: energy and operations; recycling and waste; campus grounds; alternative transportation; and composting. For activities related to energy and operations, Chatham has purchased renewable power directly or through RECS since 2002 and now purchases 90% of their total electricity usage from a Green-E Certified mix of renewable energy that is primarily wind power. For recycling and waste, Chatham has a composting program in its dining facilities; participates in RecycleMania, a nationwide competition between colleges and universities to participate in recycling, composting, and reducing the most trash every year; eliminated the sale of plastic water bottles; and implemented a reusable take-out food container program for students in fall of 2011.
Chatham’s 32-acre arboretum maintains its decade-long no chemical pesticides policy, and its Eden Hall Campus, in Richland, PA, includes a farm and secondary forest. Chatham combats Pittsburgh’s storm water collection problems with a pond to capture rainwater, allowing water to infiltrate and slowly release into the sewer system on its athletic field, and with rain barrels outside of its Rea House residence hall. To help with transportation, Chatham maintains a fleet of shuttle buses that transport students between its Shadyside Campus and Chatham Eastside that run on 5% biodiesel blend. Lastly, Chatham’s food service provider, Parkhurst, runs a program called FarmSource which purchases 20% of its food from local sources and has eliminated the use of plastic trays in its dining hall.