How it Works

2018 Sustainable Pittsburgh Challenge

The Sustainable Pittsburgh Challenge (formerly the Green Workplace Challenge, or "the GWC") enables organizations to compete in a friendly, yearlong challenge program against peer organizations.  Businesses, non-profit organizations, municipalities and universities pursuing sustainability goals will find a customizable roadmap in the SP Challenge Master Playbook, which breaks sustainability into its smallest actionable parts, or "actions".  Sustainable Pittsburgh Challenge is about to launch its 5th year-long competition on January 1, 2018.  Sign up by January 31, 2018 to ensure your organization is represented!

Competition Start: January 1, 2018

Sign-up Deadline: January 31, 2018

Competition End: January 31, 2019

Check out the 2018 Sustainable Pittsburgh Challenge press release.

Take Action, Earn Points

Every action makes a difference.  That is why every action in the Sustainable Pittsburgh Challenge is rewarded with points.  Each participating organization can accumulate points by completing any of the 250+ actions in the Master Playbook.  Actions are divided into seven categories: Social Equity, Energy, Water, Materials Management, Transportation, Air Quality and Engagement.  Organizations can choose to focus on a single action category, or adopt a broader strategy incorporating actions from any or all of the seven categories.

Achieve Ribbons

Participating organizations can earn ribbons in any of the seven above-listed action categories.  White ribbons are awarded when organizations complete the first steps in each category.  Red ribbons are awarded for mid-level achievements, and blue ribbons are awarded for advanced achievements in each action category.  A special yellow ribbon in Energy is available to organizations that rent space, and take steps to begin measuring energy in tandem with their landlord.  Every ribbon earned is worth a bonus of 25 points, giving ribbon-earners a competitive "edge" in the competition, while providing recognition throughout the year-long program.  During the 2016 - 2017 Green Workplace Challenge (now known as the Sustainable Pittsburgh Challenge), participating organizations earned more than 60 ribbons, including 2 blue ribbons in Social Equity, one blue ribbon in Engagement, and one blue ribbon in Materials Management.

Confidentiality Assured

The SP Challenge steps beyond national trendsetters in enabling organizations to actively track and receive credit for their sustainability practices in a safe and secure environment. Because the SP Challenge sometimes involves the transfer of sensitive information, all company data remain confidential. Only competition points are made public, unless Sustainable Pittsburgh receives explicit permission to share a participant's sustainability story.  For more information, see the Confidentiality page.

About Sustainable Pittsburgh and Champions for Sustainability (C4S)

The Sustainable Pittsburgh Challenge (SP Challenge) is an initiative of Sustainable Pittsburgh’s Champions for Sustainability (C4S) Business Network.  Sustainable Pittsburgh is a nonprofit organization that affects decision-making in the Pittsburgh region to integrate economic prosperity, social equity, and environmental quality bringing sustainable solutions to communities and businesses. 

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