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Local Businesses & Organizations Honored For Their Environmentally-Friendly Efforts

Fifty employers from around the region were recognized for their efforts to become more environmentally friendly over the last year.

Since 2011, Sustainable Pittsburgh has been encouraging businesses to incorporate more green practices with its annual “Green Workplace Challenge” awards.

Some of the top winners included:

  • The Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh was awarded Top Energy Saver for reducing energy use by more than 20 percent over the past year, as well as Top Water Saver for reducing water usage by 17 percent.
  • Allegheny County was awarded Top Waste Reducer for decreasing landfill usage by 62 percent.
  • GTECH Strategies was awarded Top Commuter Footprint Reducer for reducing its greenhouse emissions by having employees change their commuting habits such as carpooling and riding bikes to work.

Sustainable Pittsburgh said all of the businesses and organizations combined took 1,931 “green actions” over the course of the last year. It also says the participants, “saved enough energy to power 1,541 average U.S. homes for a year.”
In addition to the green actions laid out by Sustainable Pittsburgh, the participants collectively provided 34 “innovative actions” they came up with themselves, according to Matt Mehalik, program director at Sustainable Pittsburgh.  He said those actions resulted in substantial energy reduction.

“The impact of these competitors saved enough energy to take 10 percent of the entire City of Pittsburgh’s single-family homes off the grid for a year,” said Mehalik.

The amount of trash kept out of landfills because of the competition was significant too, said Mehalik.

“They saved over 436 tons of landfill waste kept out of the landfill. That’s the weight of one-and-a-half Boeing 777s,” said Mehalik.

Mehalik also said he thinks having environmentally-friendly workplaces is a high priority for young people thinking about coming to Pittsburgh.

“The air quality, both indoor and outdoor, gets better, the lighting improves and their costs go down. So these places become healthier and happier places to work,” he said.