Total Program Impact

The Sustainable Pittsburgh Challenge is a friendly, yearlong competition where every action makes a difference. Since 2011, 338 employers from across southwestern Pennsylvania have participated.

They completed 8,411 verified actions, and here are some
highlights of what those actions have achieved:

Dollars Saved

Participants saved an estimated $18,533,260 from energy reductions alone.

The carbon emissions avoided (an estimated 118,000 Metric Tons) adds another $1.4 million to the savings, bringing the total to $19.9 million. The estimated cost of carbon is a conservative calculation of the costs associated with climate change caused by one ton of carbon in a given year. Costs can include damage from storms, increased pressure on infrastructure, reduced agricultural productivity and impacts on human health.

Energy Saved

Collectively, the participants in the first 5 competitions saved 209,415,372 kWh of energy.

This is enough to power 20,850 average regional homes, or every household in Monroeville and Murrysville combined (plus 100 more).

Air Pollutants Avoided

Energy savings amount to more than just money. Over 5 competitions, participants reduced air pollution emissions by:

  • 260 million + lbs. of CO2
  • 197,000 lbs.+ of NOx
  • 251,000 lbs.+ of SO2
  • 3,000 lbs. + of N20
  • 22,000 lbs. + of CH4
Water Saved

Challengers reduced water consumption by 178,483,630 gallons.

That’s enough to fill more than 270 Olympic-sized swimming pools. The average American consumes 29,783 gallons of water per year. Challengers’ savings were enough to supply the annual water use of 5,993 people, or the entire population of the City of Duquesne, with water to spare.

Transportation Emissions Reduced

Over the course of 5 Challenges, employers encouraged employees to take more sustainable commutes to work.

If these new modes of transportation were maintained, commuters would avoid 10,026 lbs. of CO2 every week. That’s enough to eliminate the emissions of an individual flying from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles 8 times.

Waste Avoided

Participants in the first 5 Challenges reduced their waste by a combined 485 US Tons.

On average, each American generates 1,635.2 lbs of municipal solid waste each year. These savings are equivalent to eliminating 593 Americans’ annual waste, or of eliminating 7.5 Americans’ trash over their entire lifetime.