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Pitt captures one of the top honors in Sustainable Pittsburgh's Green Workplace Challenge

News release published with permission of Sustainable Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (June 26, 2014) ... On Wednesday, June 25, Sustainable Pittsburgh revealed the leaders of the 2013-2014 Pittsburgh Green Workplace Challenge, a yearlong competition for businesses, nonprofits, municipalities, and universities to track and measure improvements in energy, water, waste, and transportation. The finale and awards ceremony took place from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Chatham University's Shadyside campus, in the Mellon Board Room.

Over 100 organizations signed up for the challenge, which began in June 2013 and ended on May 31, 2014. Participants completed a total of 1,668 actions, contributing to a more sustainable southwestern Pennsylvania.

The winners are as follows:
Large Business Category Winner: FedEx Ground - 650 points.
The large business runner up is BNY Mellon - 611 points.
Third place in the large business category is: Highmark - 367 points.

Medium Business Category Winner: DMI Companies - 647 points.
The medium business runner up is: Veolia Water Solutions and Technologies - 171 points.
Third place in the medium business category is IKEA Pittsburgh - 165 points.

Small Business Category Winner: Pashek Associates - 659 points.
The small business runner up is evolve:EA - 642 points.
Third place in the small business category is Evive Station - 26 points.

Municipality/Local Government winner is Allegheny County - 265 points.
The municipality/local government runner up is City of Pittsburgh - 244 points.
Third place in the municipality/local government category is Cranberry Township - 158 points.

University Category Winner: University of Pittsburgh - 322 points.
The university runner up is Carnegie Mellon University - 146 points.
Third place in the university category is Duquesne University - 107 points.

Medium Nonprofit Category Winner - ALCOSAN - 1,602 points.
The medium nonprofit runner up is Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh - 140 points.
Third place in the medium nonprofit category is Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium - 61 points.

Small Nonprofit Category Winner: Conservation Consultants, Inc. - 486 points.
The small nonprofit runner up is Green Building Alliance - 327 points.
Third place in the small nonprofit category is Global Links - 76 points.

The top scorer in the Observer category, a non-competitive category, is Oxford Development Company.

Special awards were presented for the Top Energy Saver and Top Water Saver. Sustainable Pittsburgh presented Conservation Consultants, Inc. (CCI) with the Top Energy Saver award. CCI demonstrated a 22 percent reduction in energy. ALCOSAN received the Top Water Saver award, reducing their water usage by 76 percent.

Combined, all of the active Green Workplace Challenge competitors saved enough energy to power 3,308 average U.S. homes for a year (37,300,000 kWh of energy savings), translating to $3.02 million in cost savings. Factoring the social cost of carbon, which is the estimate of the economic damages associated with increases in carbon dioxide emissions, the range of dollar savings is between $3.08 and $3.27 million. The amount of energy saved equates to more than all of the occupied homes in the Bluff (468 homes), Friendship (1,072), Glen Hazel (270), Polish Hill (778), and Regent Square (543) for a year.

Additionally, the amount of water saved translates to the amount used by 57 typical U.S. households in a year. (5,421,000 gallons saved!) In terms of reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, participants saved over 4,821 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, which translates to roughly 121 airline flights of 500 miles, about ¾ of a day's worth of all flights leaving Pittsburgh International Airport on a typical day.

Matt Mehalik, Program Manager for Sustainable Pittsburgh, said, "The organizations that have participated in the Green Workplace Challenge once again illustrate that each action to save resources contributes to a larger effort that makes a large impact. And our region moves along towards a more sustainable path with each and every effort. Taking action indeed makes an important difference."

The GWC award ceremony featured welcoming remarks from Bill Flanagan, Executive Vice President, Corporate Relations, Allegheny Conference on Community Development; Philip Johnson, Interim Director, Environment Program, The Heinz Endowments; Debra Lam, Chief Innovation & Performance Officer, City of Pittsburgh; Stephen Pilarski, Deputy Manager, Allegheny County; and Mary Whitney, Sustainability Coordinator, Chatham University.

The keynote was presented by Dr. Gregory Reed, Director of the Electric Power Initiative and the Electric Power Systems Laboratory, Swanson School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Reed shared innovative developments and opportunities related to the ways electric power can be used more efficiently in the near future.

"The efforts of Pittsburgh Green Workplace Challenge participants inspire many of the initiatives that lead to new technology developments that improve upon energy efficiency and drive the creation of new markets," said Dr. Reed. "Direct current technology is one great example. The Pittsburgh region is taking a leadership role nationally in DC innovation and demonstrations."

The top scorers from each category participated in a panel discussion and Q&A session to reflect on their GWC experiences from the past year and on what propelled them to the top of the leaderboard.

The Pittsburgh Green Workplace Challenge is an initiative of Sustainable Pittsburgh's Champions for Sustainability business network. The GWC is on Twitter ( www.twitter.com/pittsburghgwc ) and on Facebook ( www.facebook.com/pittsburghgreenworkplacechallenge ). Community Energy is the GWC Presenting Sponsor and the Pittsburgh Business Times and 90.5 WESA are the Media Sponsors.

More information about the GWC is available at www.gwcpgh.org .

Champions for Sustainability (C4S), a network for sustainable business solutions, brings together companies large and small to put sustainability into practice. A program of Sustainable Pittsburgh, C4S provides value via education, technical assistance and consulting on operational needs, and serves as a catalyst for new enterprise and innovation for cementing the business case for sustainability.

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Sustainable Pittsburgh (SP) affects decision-making for the Pittsburgh region to integrate economic prosperity, social equity, and environmental quality bringing sustainable solutions to communities and businesses. Over the past 17 years, SP has proven adept at building coalitions for change on issues that get at the heart of sustainability for southwestern Pennsylvania.

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