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: 

White Paper Report 2014-2015

+ Meet the Chairs: Rebecca Walker and Lia Cattaneo

Rebecca WalkerRebecca Walker

My name is Rebecca Walker and I am a fourth year from Deltaville, VA, double majoring in Environmental Sciences and Anthropology. I have been involved with the Student Council’s Sustainability Committee since my first semester at UVa and am really excited to continue the growth and momentum I have seen in this committee over the last three years. I see the Sustainability Committee as a way to bridge the goals for sustainability at UVa with the needs of the student body and am dedicated to finding creative ways of integrating more sustainable practices into student life. In my free time, I love getting outdoors and enjoy hiking, running, and playing croquet. In addition to Student Council, I am involved with College Council, Crafting for Conservation, and Honor.

College ’15

Lia CattaneoLia Cattaneo

My name is Lia Cattaneo and I am a Third Year from Falls Church, VA, double majoring in Civil Engineering and Environmental Sciences. As co-chair of the Sustainability Committee, I am excited to bring together the sustainability community on Grounds, engage “non-traditionally green” CIOs, and make sustainability a pervasive institutional value. I also look forward to working with other schools across the state and the nation to make even bigger changes. Outside of sustainability work, I’m involved in Madison House, Hillel, and Club Figure Skating, and I just love hanging out with friends!

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: