Over the last decade, Millvale Borough has earned increasing recognition for its progress in sustainable development. Zaheen Hussain, the Millvale Sustainability Coordinator (and Sustainable Pittsburgh Board Treasurer), shared with Sustainable Pittsburgh his insights on how and what it means to be a sustainable community.
– Millvale is the first Borough in Pennsylvania to achieve Platinum status in the Sustainable PA Community Certification (created by Sustainable Pittsburgh and now statewide in partnership with the PA Municipal League). What would you say to a municipality that is on the fence about working toward becoming certified?
Achieving Platinum status is an honor because it’s a recognition of over a decade’s worth of momentum-building and hard work by the community, from a state-wide collection of partners. The key however isn’t so much the color of our certification or the state-wide recognition. It’s more about following a set of guidelines that have helped our community improve our practices such that we are more resilient and better prepared to participate in a 21st century economy.
– Please give an example of a sustainability practice that Millvale has implemented that may be relevant to many other organizations or businesses relative to resource conservation, employee care, or operational efficiencies and savings.
Millvale has been in a cycle of community education, planning, and implementation for nearly a decade, utilizing the EcoDistrict Planning Process. This has helped us develop an iterative, community approved workplan outlining our sustainable development goals for the next 15 years. Critical also to Millvale’s success in its pursuit of sustainability has been the strengthening of cross-organizational partnerships to facilitate collaboration and a coordinated division of responsibilities towards shared big-picture goals.