Sustainable Pittsburgh


What is Sustainable Pittsburgh

What's New

The 2014-2015 Pittsburgh Green Workplace Challenge is ON!
Logo for the 2013-2014 PGH Green Workplace Challenge

In this friendly, 12 month competition, employers in southwestern PA track performance, save money, and gain positive recognition for their achievements! Attn: businesses, nonprofits, local government, universities and K-12 schools--you can still sign up to be an "observer!"
Learn more

Check out the region's Energy Baseline report:

Link to Sustainability EXPOsed webpage

Be recognized as a leading municipality.
Get certified!

Demonstrate your business's commitment to sustainability. Sign on to the SWPA Sustainable Business Compact:

Small business? Check out our sustainable designation program!Logo for SP Sustainable Small Business Designation Program

Connect with us:
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A collaborative group of over 30 community planners, innovators, nonprofits, community leaders, cyclists, city officials, educators, investors, neighborhood developers, business leaders, and civic partnerships, exploring Bus Rapid Transit for Pittsburgh.

Sustainable Pittsburgh is pleased to be part of the Breathe Project.
logo for the Breathe campaign to improve air quality in southwestern PA

12th annual SW
Smart Growth Conference

conference banner
Business and Local Government in SWPA "

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Listen to the Walls Street Journal Radio "Green and Alternative Energy Series" - Sustainable Pittsburgh sponsored these short, 60 second radio spots, which explored energy issues including investments, light bulbs, and solar. Listen now.

Greening Southwest PA - A video blog concerning SWPA's municipalities and what they are doing to become more sustainable. Read more.

Missed the latest 3E Comic?
View it here.

GET INVOLVED:logo for Power of 32

Receive a Sustainability Assessment!
Led by a team of experts, our assessments help businesses and municipalities save money in operations, conserve resources, and enhance civic stewardship. More information click here.

Reduce your carbon footprint with NativeEnergy


About Us

Sustainable Pittsburgh affects decision-making in the Pittsburgh region to integrate economic prosperity, social equity, and environmental quality bringing sustainable solutions to communities and businesses.


Through the policy and practice of sustainable development, Southwestern Pennsylvania has a strong economy in which all people can live to their potential, are engaged, and prosper within the means of a clean and healthy environment.

Core Values 

Sustainable development for the region through policy and practice by government and business.

    • Sustainable Development - a better way (integrating 3Es)
    • Integrity in approach
    • Trusted advisor (non-partisan & fact-based)
    • Compassion for Southwestern PA - diverse people, resources, region
    • Systemic change at scale - for the region
      Collaborative in partnerships and public engagement

Our Mission Chart
click here to view our mission chart.

Overarching Strategies

Partnership & Collaborations.  Grow and work with a network of partners throughout the region to accelerate sustainability.

Sustainability Practice.  Assist communities and businesses to implement sustainable development practices with an eye toward demonstrating triple bottom-line benefits/wins and linking to SP's policy agenda.

Advocacy/Policy.  Engage partners in developing policy recommendations and build coalitions to organize for positive change (Smart Growth, Fix It First, Targeted Investments, Integrated Infrastructure, Equitable Development, Sustainable Communities).  Gain rapport with key decision-making bodies and partner at the decision-making table.

Communications/Education.  Innovate effective ways to reach civic leaders regarding sustainability best practice and policy opportunities and build capacity for applied sustainability among businesses and communities.

Commitment to Equity
"Sustainable development integrates Economy, Environment, and Equity. Acknowledging the persistence of institutional discrimination and resulting disparities gap in basic liberties within Southwestern Pennsylvania, Sustainable Pittsburgh recognizes Equity as an overarching imperative. Social equity for an increasingly diverse citizenry is central to our mission of broadening regional decision making for sustainable development.

Sustainable Pittsburgh history
Sustainable Pittsburgh was established in 1998 as part of the Pittsburgh Technology Council with financial backing from The Heinz Endowments.  SP was an outcome of the Pittsburgh visit of the President's Council on Sustainable Development (September 1998) whereby a committee of civic leaders organized several days of community visioning around introducing concepts of sustainability to the region.  SP was initially organized with an Advisory Board (first meeting February 7, 2000) to guide strategic focus on primary program areas of: Smart Growth, Diversity & Civic Engagement, Amenities & Lifestyle, Transportation for Livable Communities, and Sustainable Business and Community Solutions. 

SP became a project of the Tides Center in March of 2000.  At that time SP left the Pittsburgh Technology Council to set up office in the Regional Enterprise Tower.  With the move, a full complement staff of four was added and the SP Member Network was formally introduced.  From October 2002 to October 2006, SP engaged in formal partnership with the national Surface Transportation Policy Project to advance public transportation reform in the region by connecting land use and transportation planning.  In November of 2005, SP applied to the IRS for exemption to become its own 501(c)(3) nonprofit.  Exemption was awarded on November 1, 2006.  SP continues to be located in the Regional Enterprise Tower with a team of four and interns. 

Over the past decade, SP has been a key contributor to elevating understanding of how social, environmental, and economic issues cannot be viewed in silos but rather must be addressed in a systems vs. symptoms approach.  We have proven adept at building coalitions for change on issues that get at the heart of sustainability for the region including:

        - Smart Growth and integration of Transportation and Land Use; Fix It First
        - Outdoor Recreation and Natural Amenities
        - Regional Equitable Development; Diversity and Civic Engagement
        - Public Transportation and Transportation for Livable Communities
        - Sustainable Business Solutions
        - Sustainable Community Solutions
        - Civic Engagement and Education

SP's work in these areas focuses on issues that transcend boundaries and play on a watershed-like basis including commute-sheds, housing-sheds, economic-sheds, etc.  We educate and engage decision-makers and in turn elevate expectations for integration of the 3Es across the geography of government and institutions. 

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