Friday, September 15, 2017

Sustainable Pittsburgh Announces Winners Of The 2016-17 Green Workplace Challenge

Sustainable Pittsburgh Thursday revealed the top scorers of the 2016-2017 Pittsburgh Green Workplace Challenge during an evening celebration at the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh’s Strip District.  
A yearlong, friendly competition, the GWC enables businesses, nonprofits, municipalities, and universities to track and measure improvements in energy, water, waste, and transportation.
More than 90 employers from throughout southwestern Pennsylvania completed the competition, twice the number from the previous GWC.  In total, these participants took 2,009 green and sustainable “actions,” each of which earned them points in the challenge.  
Point-earning actions include: switching out less efficient light bulbs, implementing a recruitment policy to encourage diversity and inclusion, offering employees paid time off to volunteer in the community, establishing recycling programs, and encouraging carpooling.
Energy/Water Savings This Year
Several participants focused on water saving tactics this year, including installation of low flow faucets and toilets, waterless urinals, and being proactive about fixing leaks.  
These strategies, in part, led to water savings greater than the three previous GWC competitions combined.  
Participants saved more than 33 million gallons of water—enough to cover the playing surface of PNC Park to a depth of 46.3 feet.
Participants also saved enough energy to power 1,562 average U.S. homes for a year (16,889,806 kWh of energy), translating to $1.3 million in cost savings.  Factoring in the social cost of carbon, the savings are between $1.45 - $2 million.  
The amount of energy saved equates to more than all the owner-occupied homes in the 15219 zip code, including Polish Hill, Uptown, Hill District, North Oakland, and parts of Downtown.
In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, participants reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 11,662 U.S. tons and prevented 1.22 U.S. tons of PM 2.5 from entering the atmosphere.  Methane was reduced by 2,537 pounds.
Autumn Secrest, Green Workplace Challenge Program Manager for Sustainable Pittsburgh, said, “The results of this year’s Green Workplace Challenge are further demonstration of growing commitment to sustainable business practices.  With more active participants than ever, representing thousands of employees in southwestern Pennsylvania, employers are showing just how every sustainable action adds up to make a difference. We all can be humbled and inspired by the commitment of these organizations.”
The evening’s keynote speaker, Bob Nutting, Principal Owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates and member of CEOs for Sustainability, shared bottom-line benefits of sustainable business practices at organizations as diverse as PNC Park, Seven Springs Mountain Resort, and Ogden Newspapers.  
He described the competitive edge sustainability offers with advantages ranging from differentiation in the market to operational savings, employee engagement, and product innovation.
Winners Are
The 2016-2017 GWC top scorers in each category are as follows:
-- Micro Business Category Winner: Rolling Pepperoni, with a stunning come-from-behind victory – 446 points.
  -- The micro business runner up is Botero Development with 165 points.
  -- Third place in the micro business category is Pashek + MTR at 133 points.
-- Small Business Category Winner: AE Works (by a slim margin) – 560 points.
  -- The small business runner up is evolveEA with 518 points.
  -- Third place is IKM Incorporated with 408 points.
-- Medium Business Category Winner: WESCO International (by a slim margin) – 258 points.
  -- The medium business runner up is: The Mall at Robinson – 216 points.
  -- Third place in the medium business category is IKEA Pittsburgh – 162 points.
-- Large Business Category Winner (for a second year in a row): Highmark – 1,737 points.
  -- The large business runner up is FedEx Ground – 976 points.
  -- Third place in the large business category is: BNY Mellon – 695 points.
-- Micro Nonprofit Category Winner: Millvale Community Library (a come-from-behind victory) – 1,131 points.
  -- The micro nonprofit runner up is PA Resources Council – 576 points.
  -- Third place is Cribs for Kids at 312 points.
-- Small Nonprofit Category Winner: Conservation Consultants Inc. (by a slim margin) – 625 points.
  -- The small nonprofit runner up is Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy – 618 points.
  -- Third place in the small nonprofit category is Green Building Alliance – 517 points.
-- Medium Nonprofit Category Winner:  ALCOSAN – 1,097 points.
  -- The medium nonprofit runner up is Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh – 245 points.
  -- Third place in the medium nonprofit category is Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh – 184 points.
-- University Category Winner: University of Pittsburgh – 1,001 points.
  -- The university runner up is Chatham University – 465 points.
  -- Third place in the university category is Carnegie Mellon University – 447 points.
-- Small Municipality Winner: Township of Upper St. Clair (a come-from-behind victory) – 323 points.
  -- The small municipality/local government runner up is Borough of Monaca – 250 points.
  -- Third place in the small municipality/local government category is Moon Township – 218 points.
-- Large Municipality Winner : Allegheny County (despite some heroic last-minute effort by City of Pittsburgh) – 1,851 points.
  -- The large municipality runner up is City of Pittsburgh – 793 points.
Top Energy Saver - Millvale Community Library
The Top Energy Saver Award was presented to the organization that achieved the highest percentage of measured reduction in workspace energy consumption from this competition year compared to the prior year, as measured using the U.S. EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager.  
Sustainable Pittsburgh presented Millvale Community Library with the Top Energy Saver award.  The Library reduced energy usage 27.8 percent over the course of the year.
Top Water Saver - Highmark
Similarly, the Top Water Saver award is presented to the organization that achieved the highest percentage of measured reduction in workspace water consumption from this competition year compared to the prior year, also measured using EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager.  
Highmark received the Top Water Saver award, having reduced water usage 20.7 percent
Top Legacy Energy Saver, Water Saver Awards
Sustainable Pittsburgh presented two additional awards this evening: Top Legacy Energy Saver and Top Legacy Water Saver.  These awards are for the organizations that demonstrated the most energy savings and water savings, respectively, after participating in all four of the Green Workplace Challenge competitions.  
The Green Building Alliance earned the Top Legacy Energy Saver Award.  GBA has seen savings of 44.6 percent in energy compared to the original baseline year of 2010-2011 (which was the year of the first competition).  
Allegheny County earned the Top Legacy Water Saver Award, having seen savings of 33.09 percent in water compared to the original baseline year.
All winners received special awards made from reclaimed materials, produced by partners through the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse.
Cumulative Energy/Water Savings Since 2011
The cumulative water savings since the first GWC competition in 2011, through this fourth competition, resulted in participants saving more than 100 million gallons of water.  
This is enough to cover the playing surface of PNC Park to a depth of 138.2 feet.
The cumulative energy savings since the first GWC are more than $10 million (including social cost of carbon: $10.98 - $14.9 million).  
This translates to saving a year’s worth of energy for 11,829 average U.S. households.
Constellation, an Exelon Company, is the GWC Presenting Sponsor and the Pittsburgh Business Times, 90.5 WESA and WYEP are the Media Sponsors.
Constellation, an Exelon Company, is the GWC Presenting Sponsor and the Pittsburgh Business Times, 90.5 WESA and WYEP are the Media Sponsors.
For more information, visit the Pittsburgh Green Workplace Challenge website or contact Kait Miller by sending email to:  
For more information on programs, initiatives and upcoming events, visit the Sustainable Pittsburgh website.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates. Like them on Facebook, Follow them on Twitter.  Click Here to support their work.
To learn more about green innovation in the Pittsburgh Region, visit the Pittsburgh Green Story website.
(Photo: Back Row (L-R) Rich Heller, University of Pittsburgh; Indigo Raffel, CCI; Safiya Hodari, AE Works; JoAnn Rizzo, AE Works; Quinn Zeagler, Green Building Alliance; Kathy Hrabovsky, Allegheny County; Abby Lawler-Morycz, Allegheny County; Zaheen Hussain, Millvale Community Library; Ron Sarrick, Township of Upper St. Clair. Seated (L-R) Phyllis Barber, Highmark; Megan Cieslak-Mazza, ALCOSAN; Teresa Bradley, Pennsylvania Resources Council; Kelli Williams, Millvale Community Library; Maureen Olinzock, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy; Katherine Schuler, Rolling Pepperoni. Not Pictured: WESCO.)

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