2018 - 2019 Challenge Impacts
Every Action Makes a Difference
Across southwestern Pennsylvania, 103 organizations took the 2018 Sustainable Pittsburgh Challenge. Challengers completed 2,209 sustainablility actions, earning more than 32,000 points. Participants selected from more than 250 actions in seven sustainability focus areas: Energy, Water, Materials Management, Air Quality, Transportation, Social Equity and Engagement. Winners were announced at the Challenge Finale and Awards Celebration on March 21, 2019.
Collectively, the 2018 SP Challengers saved over 80 million kWh of energy. On average, homes in southwestern Pennsylvania consume 837 kWh per month. Participants' savings would power nearly 8,000 average regional homes, or nearly every occupied home in the Borough of Wilkinsburg. (The home pictured here is the John F. Singer House, located in Wilkinsburg, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 13, 1974.)
Participants saved an estimated $6.2 million from energy reduction. Factoring in the social costs avoided due to carbon emissions, this number increases to $6.8 million. The social cost of carbon is a conservative estimate of the costs associated with climate change caused by one ton of carbon in a given year. Social cost can include damage from storms, increased pressure on infrastructure, reduced agricultural productivity and impacts on human health.
Challengers reduced water consumption by more than 20 million gallons in 2018, enough to fill more than 30 Olympic-size swimming pools. If this amount of water were poured onto the playing surface of PNC Park, the tower of water would reach 28 feet, or nearly three stories.
Participants reduced total measured waste by 48.99 tons, or 97,980 pounds. The average American produces about 136 pounds of waste each month. These savings are equivalent to eliminating the waste of 719 average Americans for a month.
Commuter Emissions Avoided
Participating employers urged commuters to reduce their transportation impacts. In turn, commuters reduced their CO2 emissions by 4%, simply by choosing a more sustainable way to get to work. Examples of sustainable commute choices are walking, biking, taking public transportation and even working remotely.
*Assuming commuters maintain their new sustainable modes of transportation, this would equal 200 pounds of CO2 avoided per person every year.
View the 2018 Challenge Yearbook
See what else the 2018 Challenge participants achieved by viewing the program "yearbook", made with photos submitted by participants during the competition.
2018 Finale Presentation:
The 2018 Challenge results were celebrated at the Finale and Awards Celebration held March 21, 2019. The Finale Presentation is available for download at the link below.