Frequently Asked Questions: Sustainable Pittsburgh Shop


What is involved with joining the program?

The Sustainable Pittsburgh Shop program is a FREE program offered by Sustainable Pittsburgh to help our region’s small retail businesses build vibrant communities and support environmentally responsible practices. Simply complete the online Sustainable Pittsburgh Shop Self-Assessment, and we will contact you with your results.

Prefer to do the assessment on paper? Complete the print version and send it to Sustainable Pittsburgh, 307 Fourth Avenue, Suite 700, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. If you would like us to walk you through the process, email to schedule a free in-person consultation.

This program is designed with small retail or “mom-and-pop” small businesses in mind. To derive the maximum benefit from the new Sustainable Pittsburgh Shop program, participating businesses should:

  • Have at least one established storefront location in southwestern Pennsylvania or be a purveyor of goods produced in southwestern Pennsylvania
  • Have no more than 50 locations nationwide
  • Have 0-50 employees at each participating location
  • Be an independently owned business
  • Derive at least 75% of revenues from offerings not including tobacco, gasoline, and/or pornographic material
  • Not sell automatic firearms

Why have a designation program?

Small retailers are crucial contributors to local economy by bringing growth and innovation to the community. Sustainable Pittsburgh believes in the importance of sustainable local businesses in creating thriving and vibrant communities.

What are the benefits of participating?

By completing the Sustainable Pittsburgh Shop designation, a business:

  • Identifies cost saving opportunities
  • Gains free advertising
  • Attracts new customers
  • Builds a vibrant community
  • Improves environmental quality
  • Generates positive public recognition

What are the achievement levels?

The Sustainable Pittsburgh Shop program provides recognition at four achievement levels, creating a pathway for organizations to grow, build, and demonstrate their commitments and sustainability practices.

How were the designation criteria created and selected?

The Sustainable Pittsburgh Shop designation criteria were created through a national bench marking process of best practices in consultation with small retail businesses and community development experts from Southwestern Pennsylvania.

How is info about the Sustainable Pittsburgh Shop program shared?

The information from the sustainable assessment is completely confidential and only reviewed by Sustainable Pittsburgh to provide a level of certification. The public will only be able to see your level of designation received along with promotional recognition from Sustainable Pittsburgh, partners and the public.

Business owners are encouraged to put their achievements on display. We provide qualifying owners with a window cling and certificate to display prominently, outside and in.

What does it cost?

The Sustainable Pittsburgh Shop program is FREE.

How long does the designation last?

The designation as a Sustainable Pittsburgh Shop lasts for two years. After two years, the business must complete a renewal in order to continue its designation.

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