Sustainability Performance Programs – The Need
Through its years of engagement with businesses, municipalities, and nonprofits, Sustainable Pittsburgh has maintained a strong pulse on the region’s sustainability challenges and opportunities.
From air and water quality to energy efficiency, recycling and waste management, to land use and transportation, workforce development, healthy people and economic prosperity, SP remains at the forefront of working with organizations to integrate more sustainable development for southwestern Pennsylvania.
It is through its engagement with these organizations on such sustainability issues that SP acknowledged and responded to their express interest in having a credible platform upon which to set and measure sustainability policies and practices and raise the bar for tracking performance.
To address this need for a credible sustainability performance platform, we developed performance programs tailored to southwestern PA’s unique sustainability needs and opportunities that targets different sectors.
They are based on market-selected practices and peer-reviewed by knowledge experts. SP’s sustainability performance programs include:
- Sustainable Pittsburgh Challenge (for businesses, nonprofits, colleges/universities, local governments, and K-12 schools –formerly known as the Green Workplace Challenge)
- Sustainable Small Business Designation (for small businesses)
- SWPA Sustainable Business Compact (for mid to large businesses)
- Sustainable Pennsylvania Community Certification (for municipalities and taken statewide in partnership with the PA Municipal League)
- Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurants (for restaurants operating in southwestern PA)
- I Am Sustainable Pittsburgh (for individuals interested in becoming more sustainable at home, at work, and in their communities)
These voluntary programs provide a pathway for organizations to advance their sustainability goals and objectives, resulting in positive impacts for the organization, the local community, and for the region.
Cost savings, healthier and engaged employees, and positive recognition are just a few of the benefits participants can derive. Achievement levels are structured based on performance. In most cases the programs offer assessments that begin with a base level of achievement then advance to higher levels, indicating that sustainability is adopted more extensively within the organization.