Sustainability Committee

The Sustainability Committee strives to protect and improve the rights, opportunities, and quality of life for the University community through sustainability. We coordinate within and between the student body, sustainably-minded CIOs, the Office of Sustainability, and student government at UVA.

Where was the Sustainability Committee this summer?

Current Initiatives

  • Game Day Challenge
  • Sustainability Forum 
  • Biophilic Campus Project
  • College at Wise Outreach
  • Improved styrofoam collection and recycling 
  • RA Training
  • FOA for Fraternities and Sororities (sustainability “curriculum” for fraternities and sororities) 
  • EnergizeUVA (a whole month of sustainability events!)
  • College Curriculum Review
  • Zero Waste Pancakes for Parkinson’s
  • We just finished updating our list of student sustainability groups!
  • Expanding hand dryers
  • Reducing the amount of time it takes for the computer screens in libraries to go to black 
  • Student-friendly guide to energy at UVA
  • Sustainability graphics
  • Greening Corner businesses

2013-2014 Student Council Sustainability Initiatives:

  • Earth Week 2014
  • Zero Waste StudCo
  • Zero Waste Pancakes for Parkinson’s and Cavalier Cookout
  • Paperless Basketball Tickets
  • Litterati Campaign
  • GIFT Grant
  • National and Virginia Powershift Conferences
  • Partnership with the UVA Community Garden
  • Green CIO Survey
  • Do the Math Movie Screening and Panel Discussion

Click here for more details!

Recent News & Updates: [catlist name=environmental-sustainability]

White Paper Report 2015-2016

+ Meet the Chairs: Katherine Harrison and Lia Cattaneo

Katherine Harrison

linked in photo

My full name is Katherine Harrison, but mostly everyone calls me Kat. I am a second year in the College of Arts and Sciences. I’m a double major in government and English, with a minor in religious studies. I have been on the Sustainability committee since my first semester at UVa, and this semester (spring 2016) I became the new co-chair. I look forward to helping sustainability become a prominent goal on grounds, not just within the sustainability community. We are working towards a community where “zero-waste” is an option and a priority to organizations throwing events with food. I’m excited to see the impact our committee has on waste reduction this semester.Outside of student council, I am involved in Madison House with Cavs in the Classroom, where I tutor an ESL student every week. I’m a member of Alpha Phi and have served on certain committees within the chapter, like the scholarship committee and the silent auction committee. I also participate in the Women’s Leadership Development Program and Law for Us. When I graduate I hope to go to law school.

College ’18



Lia Cattaneo lia

Lia is a fourth year from Falls Church, VA, double majoring in Civil Engineering and Environmental Sciences. As co-chair of the Sustainability Committee, she is excited to bring together the sustainability community on Grounds, to engage “non-traditionally green” CIOs, and to make sustainability an institutional value. Lia also looks forward to expanding the Committee’s work on Grounds by working with the City of Charlottesville and with other schools across the state. Outside of Student Council, Lia is a co-founder of the Climate Action Society, she serves on the Board of Directors of Madison House, she is the president of the Club Figure Skating Team, and she is active in academic research.

Engineering ’16

Wider Sustainability Community at UVa:

  • Interested in studying sustainability? Check out the new interdisciplinary Global Sustainability Minor, offered through the School of Architecture!
  • There are so many ways to get involved with sustainability at U.Va.! Check out for details!
  • Check out these lists of Sustainable CIO groups and Sustainability-minded Faculty and Staff!
  • Spotlight on…Ride Forward at U.Va.! Ride Forward is a research and design group focusing on sustainable transportation. Current projects include the conversion of conventional vehicles to electric drive (EVs), the construction of advanced solar powered EVs and charging stations, and the design of vegetable oil-powered cars. Check out the group’s website (linked above) to learn how you can get involved!

Past Committee initiatives include:

    • Green Initiative Funding Tomorrow (GIFT) – supporting the creation of a green fee at U.Va. to grant funds to students, faculty, and staff who want to pursue sustainability-related projects
    • Film and Speaker Series
    • Sustainability Business Consultants – working to make local businesses more efficient and sustainable
    • Farmers’ Market with UPC
    • Track-Your-Trash Challenge Week

  • Trayless Dining: a project that removed trays from the University dining halls to limit the amount of water wasted in tray cleaning.
  • Earth Week: enjoy last year’s promotional video: