Sustainable Pittsburgh is pleased to announce the Top Scorers of the inaugural Social Equity Sprint, a competition for businesses, organizations, and municipalities to jumpstart progress on social equity. Workplaces and communities are socially equitable when all members have the opportunity to engage, prosper, and reach their full potential.
During the Social Equity Sprint, organizations across southwestern Pennsylvania competed against peers and took point-earning actions in areas covering operations, hiring and promotions, accessibility, procurement, and more. The competition ran from November 2022 through February 2023. Twenty-four participating organizations took more than 1,400 actions toward advancing social equity in their workplaces and communities.
“Building equitable communities and organizations is foundational to creating a sustainable region for all,” said Joylette Portlock, Ph.D., Executive Director of Sustainable Pittsburgh. “The Top Scorers of the Social Equity Sprint are advancing progress and setting the bar for their peers in southwestern PA by embedding social equity as a core value into their operations, practices, missions and business models.”
Following are the Top Scorers, as well as the runners up, from each category:
- Top Scorer: Trademark Threads: 71.3% of points earned
- Runner Up: 3R Sustainability 66.7% of points earned
Trademark Threads is a small business based in New Kensington that exclusively serves the business to business market with e-commerce uniform programs of custom branded apparel, safety and advertising products produced in-house and shipped nationally.
3R Sustainability works at the intersection of ESG, climate, building performance, and reporting, helping clients realize the value of sustainability across their organization and assets by identifying goals, defining prioritized action plans, reporting progress with accurate data, and if desired, pursuing certification to sustainability assessments and building standards.
- Top Scorer: Bike Share Pittsburgh: 99.5% of points earned
- Runner Up: Topaz Thimble: 87.2% of points earned
Bike Share Pittsburgh owns and operates POGOH (formerly Healthy Ride), Pittsburgh’s bikeshare system. Bikeshare Pittsburgh is a 501c3 nonprofit driven by a social mission to provide Pittsburgh with a joyful, sustainable, and affordable mobility service for all residents and visitors. Customers choose a pricing plan, then proceed to rent, ride, and return bicycles from official POGOH stations throughout the city.
Topaz Thimble is an alterations business based in Dormont that specializes in wedding alterations and other services.
- Top Scorer: City of Scranton, 66.1% of points earned
- Runner Up: Millersburg Borough, 24.8% points earned
The Sprint was open to municipalities across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, similar to the Sustainable Pennsylvania certification program that Sustainable Pittsburgh jointly manages with Pennsylvania Municipal League. Based in northeastern Pennsylvania, the City of Scranton boasts a population of 75,874 as of 2021. Millersburg is based in central Pennsylvania’s Dauphin County, with a population of over 2,500.
- Top Scorer: Allegheny General Hospital Cafeteria, 32.3% points earned
- Runner Up: Nancy’s Revival Diner, 21.3% points earned
Allegheny Health Network’s Allegheny General Hospital Cafeteria is situated within Allegheny General Hospital on the second floor of Snyder Pavilion on Pittsburgh’s North Side. The cafe offers a fresh salad bar, deli sandwiches, grill specials, homemade soups and a variety of featured entrees and sides made fresh daily.
Located in Wilkinsburg, Nancy’s Revival is an informal booth-&-counter joint offering homestyle American lunch & breakfast options.
Businesses in the top twenty five percent for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have bottom lines that outperform their peers. Overall, organizations with demonstrated diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies foster innovation, gain an edge for top talent, and see a correlation to stronger financial benefits. Municipalities that prioritize social equity not only enjoy these operational benefits, but also build value for their residential and business communities via policies and plans that support accessible main streets; ensure affordable housing for all; celebrate cultural diversity through tourism, public art, and community events; and many others.
In addition to Sprints, other Sustainable Pittsburgh recognition programs include:
- Sustainable Pittsburgh Workplace – the newest program, open to workplaces of multiple sectors/sizes, including virtual businesses and organizations
- Sustainable Pittsburgh Shop – open to retail/“mom and pop” establishments
- Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant – for brick & mortar establishments with a kitchen
- Sustainable Pennsylvania – for municipalities throughout the Commonwealth; managed in partnership with Pennsylvania Municipal League
Over 25 organizations are engaged in the new Sustainable Pittsburgh Workplace program, and four have earned designation to date. More than 250 shops and restaurants have earned sustainable designation in southwestern Pennsylvania, and across the Commonwealth, over 120 municipalities have earned certification, including 69 in southwestern Pennsylvania. Certified sustainable municipalities are home to more than 3.4 million residents across the state.
Sustainable Pittsburgh believes that businesses, nonprofits, institutions, and local governments have the power to make this region a better place for all. Based on market-selected practices and peer-reviewed by knowledge experts, these voluntary recognition programs present a framework that can be used to drive measurable impact at organizations and in communities. Offering these tools, making connections, and elevating the good work of these organizations are integral to Sustainable Pittsburgh’s mission to empower decision-making that builds a fundamentally equitable, resilient, healthy, and prosperous region.
Organizations can create an account to begin the process of earning designation at any time, and they can progress over time to higher levels of designation. Sustainable Pittsburgh will host a Sprint focused on carbon reduction actions this fall. Learn more about these recognition programs at SustainablePittsburgh.org.