Meet the 2018 Top Scorers

2018-2019 SP Challenge Winners - Group photo at PNC Park

Large Business

Highmark Health - 985 points

Highmark Health - 985 points

Highmark Health’s success was built upon past initiatives taken as well as individual daily actions taken by all employees. At Highmark Health, environmental stewardship reflects our strong commitment to the health of community members. The Sustainable Pittsburgh Challenge supports our commitment, providing the opportunity to track our progress in important areas of resource conservation and engage in spirited competition with peer organizations. The SP Challenge confirmed that every action counts and that it takes more than one person or one organization to tackle the issues associated with climate and the environment.

We thank the SP Challenge for pushing us further on behalf of good health.

Medium Business

Tetra Tech - 913 points

Tetra Tech - 913 points

Our office has about 200 employees and among these employees there are many different levels of cooperation in this competition. When invitations for lunch meetings are sent out to the office, I follow up and reply to all to encourage everyone to bring plates and utensils to use for the meeting or to use the ones that we have provided in the kitchen.

Our office has an annual holiday potluck luncheon. The green team encouraged everyone to bring their own plates, cups, and utensils. Some people brought their plates and others were in line to get their disposable plates. Christine, a member of our green team, had a stack of glass dishes and handed them out to everyone in line that did not bring their own plate. It was hard for them to refuse! I thought this was a funny way to get more people in the office to participate. I notice more people in the office using reusable coffee cups and dinnerware.

Small Business

Pashek + MTR - 2977 points

Pashek + MTR - 2977 points

This has been Pashek + MTR’s 5th time to compete in the Sustainable Pittsburgh Challenge. The growth of our business equals the growth of our Green Team, which now includes 1/3rd of our staff! And it has been fun to involve all our employees who have been very supportive in sustainable changes in the office and implementing their own at home. It would also seem we can be very competitive!

Despite the fact that many of us enjoy running, yoga and riding our bikes to work, perhaps we all do that to offset the best treat in the office: Elaine’s homemade pies. So, with a pie of choice offered as the prize for our Sustainable Internal Competition…well, let the race begin!

The contest started with several people ready to run a mad dash. As the months lengthened, two employees maintained the even pace it takes to master a good race. But exactly how Sustainable can one person be? What if one toilet is my house is low flushing, but the other isn’t? Can I get a half point? Does every single light in my house have to be LED? How about 85% of a point? All great contests end in a photo finish and this one was no different.

Best of all, while the winner got to choose the pie, we all got to enjoy it. And we all learned that are always things – little things – we can do to be more sustainable. All a person needs is some friendly encouragement…and maybe a homemade pie!

Micro Business

3R Building Sustainability - 925 points

3R Building Sustainability - 925 points

3R Sustainability, under parent company SRI Registrar, is a signatory of the UN Global Compact, a B Corp certified company, and recognized with its JUST Label. It is our mission to set an example of what a good global corporate citizen can be and proudly demonstrate leadership in sustainability here in Pittsburgh.

Participating in the Sustainable Pittsburgh Challenge was a fun and thrilling opportunity to learn and do more about overall sustainability. One focus was the quality of air where we live and work and actions to improve it whenever possible. Our whole team was very involved, and the effort was definitely a collaborative one, earning us our 1st White Ribbon in Air Quality.

One of our proudest achievements was our high participation in the air quality monitoring sessions organized by ROCIS. More than 60% of our team volunteered, monitoring their homes for 3 weeks to measure and record air particles, CO2, CO, and radon. High participation showed we had a highly committed team. Additionally, the 3R office space was evaluated. Based on the office monitoring results, management took action to increase the fresh air supplied into our work space and replaced the filters on the air handling units.

Air quality is always a topic of discussion in Pittsburgh. Beyond improving air quality for ourselves at home and work, our organization is now better educated and equipped to assist clients and the community with air quality improvements. 3R has always had the goal of being a service leader, and now is also leading as a responsible, resilient, sustainable company for its stakeholders, the community, and the environment.

Large Nonprofit

Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh - 243 points

Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh - 243 points

Medium Nonprofit

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank - 2363 points

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank - 2363 points

We are fortunate at Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank to have a Sustainability Committee dedicated to the maintenance and enhancement of our regenerative practices. 

In spring 2018, we participated in ROCIS's Low Cost Monitoring project. Through this study we learned about air quality in general and especially in our home base of Duquesne, PA. Many of our staff engaged with the monitors, watching as the CO2 rose during meetings in our large conference room. The more we learned the more we saw how vulnerable populations are more at risk and often in environments where air quality conditions are poor. We immediately connected this knowledge to our own work recognizing the mounting health risk factors for our neighbors in need.

Our experience with ROCIS was so eye opening we knew more members of our staff would want to participate in this program for the health of their own homes and families. In fall 2018, with a well coordinated effort, we hosted a ROCIS Cohort at our facility with all 12 participants being food bank staff. Because we live as far as North to South Hills and Monroeville to Mckees Rocks we gathered a wide swathe of data to look at and discuss daily.

During the Sustainable Pittsburgh Challenge not only did we take inventory of sustainable systems already in place, the challenge also gave us the motivation and courage to try big new things. We gained a perspective on our work we did not have before. When it feels as if there is always so much to be done, the SPC allowed us to take stock of all we, and previous committee members, have accomplished and helped clarify the trajectory for our future sustainability plans.

Small Nonprofit

Conservation Consultants, Inc. - 2949 points

Conservation Consultants, Inc. - 2949 points

In the 2018 Sustainable Pittsburgh Challenge, Conservation Consultants Inc (CCI) reached high level waste diversion and investment in renewable energy as our greatest achievements this year!

CCI has measured and weighed its waste streams for years, but it wasn’t until our second full waste audit through Pennsylvania Resource Council in 2018, that we looked even CLOSER look at our waste. The first audit is what led us to separate out paper towels, which represented the bulk of our waste. Last year, CCI evaluated our waste contamination rates and the first results of our pilot “compostable service-ware” program. Together, everything added up to more than a 95% waste diversion rate – plus some great employee engagement throughout the week- long waste-audit!

In 2018, CCI became an official partner of the Climate Reality Project’s 100% Committed Campaign where we pledged to shift to 100 percent renewable electricity. While the pledge is great, CCI went one step further and is now fulfilling its electricity needs with 100% PA wind power. CCI is proud to be partnered with the Climate Reality Project and is excited to be part of a more renewable future!

Micro Nonprofit

Millvale Community Library - 422 points

Millvale Community Library - 422 points

The Millvale Community Library was inspired and honored by our win in 2017. While we hope to come out on top once again, we know that the competition this year is super tight. Our organizational mission is to be an agent of positive change. Inspired by the work of communities and organizations throughout Western Pennsylvania, we are always proud to build on our work by creating youth and adult educational programming that contribute to the ever increasing understanding of sustainability in Millvale and beyond. This includes partnering with groups like New Sun Rising to create tools like the soon-to-be released Air Quality Dashboard, which will be publicly displayed in the Millvale Library, and will provide real-time air quality data and its implication on our health in order to work towards reducing negative impacts.

Large Municipality

Allegheny County - 2408 points

Allegheny County - 2408 points

Allegheny County was very proud to demonstrate significant water savings last year compared to 2017. Overall, we saw a 13% decrease in the five buildings registered for the Sustainable Pittsburgh Challenge. Individually, we saw the following percent decreases in water use: 22% at the County Courthouse, 13.6% at the County Jail, and almost 13% at the County Office Building. We also have conducted significant education and outreach. About one-third of the respondents to the Sustainable Pittsburgh Baseline Transportation Survey were Allegheny County employees, and overall, the Office of Sustainability reached 2,753 employees and 25,258 members of the public last year.

Medium Municipality

Moon Township - 519 points

Moon Township - 519 points

Moon Township is very proud of all our achievements for the 2018 SP Challenge. We began early in 2018 and developed the Township’s Annual Goals and Initiatives to promote sustainability. The SP Challenge helped broaden our strategies in bringing sustainable solutions to our municipality and assisted with funding sources and plan development for township resource management. Our planning efforts include the following: storm water education/management, tree canopy loss restoration, riparian buffer restoration as well as new and exciting initiatives such as “return to meadows”, “no mow zones”, sustainable trail building (nearly 20 total miles in 3 parks), native species plant nursery, Robin Hill Fleur de Lune sensory garden, and a Meadow Trail plan. We also were able to proudly achieve Live Well Allegheny status and implement Tobacco Free Parks initiatives.

Our strategic plan identified the Township’s interdepartmental “Green Team” with specific responsibilities. Our plan also draws on the skills and experience of two township advisory boards; the Environmental Advisory Board (EAC) and the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. Moving our strategic plan from a planning phase into a full implementation phase with coordinated input from our advisory boards and support from the elected officials allowed us to create better awareness in the community and to more fully engage our residents through education and participation.

Small Municipality

Borough of Monaca - 185 points

Borough of Monaca - 185 points

Micro Municipality

Borough of Etna - 1557 points

Borough of Etna - 1557 points

University

University of Pittsburgh - 1080 points

University of Pittsburgh - 1080 points

In terms of sustainability, 2018 was a big year for the University of Pittsburgh – and communicating those efforts campus-wide as part of our Sustainable Pittsburgh Challenge competition is an important piece of creating a culture of sustainability at Pitt.

In January 2018, Pitt formalized decades of green initiatives with the first campus-wide Pitt Sustainability Plan. An introductory letter by Chancellor Gallagher acknowledged: Long-term sustainability “requires deep and lasting changes that will enable future generations to thrive in a world that is environmentally responsible, socially equitable and economically robust. It is a great challenge—one that our University’s mission, which is to harness knowledge for society’s gain, perfectly positions us to tackle.”

In July 2018, Pitt gave campus-wide sustainability activities, strategies, and partnerships a centralized home by establishing the Office of Sustainability. Focused on implementing the Pitt Sustainability Plan, campus-wide sustainability efforts are now tracking measurable progress on the Plan’s 61 goals across stewardship, exploration, community, and culture.

K-12 Schools

Environmental Charter School (13-Month Challenge) - 234 points

Environmental Charter School (13-Month Challenge) - 234 points

Participating in the Sustainable Pittsburgh Challenge was a valuable opportunity to audit our own practices and extend our organizational goals. We pride ourselves on “growing citizens” who actively engage in making the world a more just and sustainable place for everyone. To do this work, we must embrace each day as an opportunity to deepen our commitment to the planet, each other, and the future. Collaborating with organizations such as Sustainable Pittsburgh reminds us that our collective steps forward make a deeper impact when taken together as a community. This is a lesson that we can mirror with our students as we stand with them shoulder-to-shoulder as partners in this effort.
Central Catholic High School (Classroom Challenge) - 595 points

Central Catholic High School (Classroom Challenge) - 595 points

Central Catholic is very proud of the many achievements it has produced throughout the 2018 - 2019 SP Challenge, but more than anything we are proud that we have inspired some of our young men to become the next generation leaders in the field of Environmental Science and Sustainable Living. The challenges that we have completed in our Environmental Science class and in the Environmental Club have shown the students that they can become difference makers in our school and community by championing green living and turning many small sustainable living practices into significant impacts. This in turn has led some of our students to enthusiastically look forward to majoring in Environmental Science so that they can continue their journey to become the next generation of environmental leaders. We not only see this as an optimistic sign that our youth will prioritize environmental causes, but we are also proud to have inspired our students to become the next generation of morally guided leaders in this incredibly important field of science.

Top Energy Saver

Borough of Etna: Reduced Energy by 25% over 2017 baseline

Top Water Saver

Conservation Consultants, Inc: Recuced Water by 31% over 2017 baseline

Top Waste Saver

Conservation Consultants, Inc: Reduced waste overall by 34%, and achieved a consistent 74% diversion rate

Top Transportation Impact Reducer

Pashek+MTR: Reduced average weekly commuter emissions by 74%

Legacy Energy Saver

Borough of Etna: Reduced energy by 27% over 2015 baseline

Legacy Water Saver

Tetra Tech: Reduce water by 50% over 2016 baseline

People's Choice Award

Borough of Etna: 46% of the vote

Ribbons Earned

Congratulations to all of the organizations that took action and earned ribbons during the 2018 Sustainable Pittsburgh Challenge! Ribbons are awarded for completing "core" actions in each sustainability focus area, and are worth 25 bonus points in the competition. Click the organization's name to see their ribbons:

Pashek + MTR

Pashek + MTR

Allegheny County

Allegheny County

Conservation Consultants Inc.

Conservation Consultants Inc.

Etna Borough

Etna Borough

ALCOSAN

ALCOSAN

City of Pittsburgh

City of Pittsburgh

FedEx

FedEx

University of Pittsburgh

University of Pittsburgh

Allegheny Conference

Allegheny Conference

EvolveEA

EvolveEA

DesignGroup

DesignGroup

Tetra Tech, Inc.

Tetra Tech, Inc.

Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

Highmark

Highmark

Sci-Tek Consultants

Sci-Tek Consultants

3R Building Sustainability

3R Building Sustainability

Fisher ARCHitecture

Fisher ARCHitecture

Moon Township

Moon Township

Net Health

Net Health

PITT OHIO

PITT OHIO

SAP Ariba

SAP Ariba

Sustainable Pittsburgh

Sustainable Pittsburgh

Upper St. Clair

Upper St. Clair

2018 SP Challenge Yearbook

See some of the collective achievements of the 2018 Challengers in the program "yearbook". The SP Challenge yearbook is composed of photos submitted by participants as part of their action submissions. Photos are published with written permission of patticipants, in accordance with our confidentiality policy.

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