On July 17 the Business Intelligence Group announced it has awarded Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh a Sustainability Leadership Award in the 2018 Sustainability Awards Program.
The Sustainability Awards honor those people, teams and organizations who have made sustainability an integral part of their business practice or overall mission. In total, 43 people, projects and organizations were awarded for driving sustainability efforts.
Celebrating 125 years, the Conservatory has evolved into one of the most vibrant, thriving cultural attractions and a leading advocate for advanced green-building practices, sustainable gardening and environmental awareness nationally.
Phipps demonstrates that people, plants, health, planet and beauty are inextricably connected, and that sustainable actions — from the construction of one of the world’s greenest buildings to the planting of a raised vegetable garden bed — are vital to ensuring that these critical interconnections are harmonious, mutually beneficial and preserved for future generations.
Sustainability highlights include:
-- Phipps increased its renewable energy generation, adding a 60kW solar array and bringing generation capacity to 200kW.
-- While expanding the campus, Phipps has reduced CO2 emissions from 2005 levels by 56 percent per square foot, exceeding the Paris Climate Agreement goals.
-- Phipps began construction of the Exhibit Staging Center, revitalizing a former public works building on a brownfield. Designed to be net-positive energy and net-zero water, upon completion, Phipps’ Living Campus will include new construction (Center for Sustainable Landscapes), modular (Nature Lab) and renovated (Exhibit Staging Center) green building designs.
-- Phipps took additional steps to educate professionals on the benefits of embracing a holistic, sustainable commitment. The organization launched a new Sustainability Training Workshop program, with the next public workshop available Oct. 9 – 10, 2018, providing professionals with personalized tools and hands-on training on green buildings. The organization also developed a free online Green Building Toolkit Series that details the process behind Phipps’ green project certifications as a resource for others.
-- To show guests that everyone can make a difference in addressing critical issues like climate change, Phipps launched the Make the Switch at Phipps! Green Power Drive. This partnership with a green energy provider encourages guests to switch their home electricity supplier to 100 percent renewable energy. Those that do are given a free membership to Phipps. To date, more than 3,000 households have participated in the program, preventing 24,000 tons of CO2 emissions — the equivalent of 55 million miles driven by an average passenger car.
Learn more about Phipps’ sustainability leadership, innovation and impact by visiting the Phipps Conservatory Green Innovation webpage.(Photo: Phipps Center for Sustainable Landscapes.)