It's true that being an ecologically-minded company is self-rewarding. But companies in the Pittsburgh area can reap social recognition as well. Since 2011, the group known as Sustainable Pittsburgh has been in charge of a program they've labeled the Pittsburgh Green Workplace Challenge. The Challenge provides third-party verification of eco-conscious activities. Every sustainable action wins a certain amount of points. Each company is classified according to size and a winner is declared in each classification.
The accolades aren't limited to for-profit groups. Community organizations such as nonprofits and colleges/universities are now included in the competition. Seeing a unique opportunity, the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh decided to take part in the Challenge. And they've done quite well. The Carnegie took 2nd place amongst other nonprofits of its size.
The Carnegie Museums scrutinized each aspect of operations for opportunities. Perhaps seemingly trivial, paper waste was reduced by nearly half by switch all photocopying to two-sided. Much of the reduction the Museums' consumption can be chalked up to the installation of residential LED Lights. It wasn't always this way; the use of LEDs was the topic of fierce debate in the broader art community for many years. Displaying artworks requires a high quality light source and for years LED lighting was not seen as up to par. But today, the technology is advancing at a wicked pace and is reaching the levels of quality required by curators. In addition, studies have come out showing that there are no known negative effects from commercial LED lighting fixtures.
Pittsburgh is gaining respect as a leading city for green tech. Efforts such as the Pittsburgh Green Workplace Challenge are spearheading this upward ecological trend. Above all this hangs the fact that numerous green businesses have existed in Pittsburgh for half a decade or more. Take for example, Laface and Mcgovern Associates, a Pittsburgh LED light manufacturer, who has been responsible for numerous light installations around the downtown area.
Sure, being green is our civic duty, but if you can win award as well, wouldn't you want to do that? These programs encourage beautiful cities inside and out. And Pittsburgh is looking beautiful all around.