Sustainability is a guiding principle within my administration. Our ability to build a more sustainable and resilient Pittsburgh requires that we are responsible stewards of our natural and fiscal assets. As a result, we are committed to the following objectives:
- Improving the internal operations of municipal government, to reduce the fiscal and environmental impact related to our local government's services
- Fostering innovative and collaborative solutions that overcome barriers to ecological responsible behavior
- Ensuring that the City that provides clean air, water and livable communities for our residents and businesses
- Being a leader locally, nationally and globally in the collective effort to reduce the impacts of climate change while growing our local economy
- Encouraging economic opportunities for all communities
Building a Pittsburgh that can endure the challenges that we face and improve the environment, in which we live, will require the ingenuity of our residents, businesses and public servants.
We can do great things by working together.
Mayor, City of Pittsburgh
We hear a lot about "going green" and "sustainability" in the media and in conversation almost everyday, but what does it really mean?
One of the first definitions of environmental sustainability was created by the United Nations Bruntland Commission in 1987, describing sustainable development as "development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
The sustainability movement is not just about environmental protection, but rather about finding a careful balance between the environment, economics, and social justice.
In the City of Pittsburgh, we believe that sustainability means operating in such a way that we lessen our impact on the environment, while finding ways to save money, improve the services we provide to citizens, and grow the economy. It also means living our lives in such a way that we do not diminish the ability of future generations to also produce and thrive.
In October 2008, The City's first-ever Office of Sustainability and Energy Efficiency was created to provide guidance on greening the City's operations and facilities.
The office is tasked with implementing the municipal recommendations of the Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan, adopted in August 2008, as well as collaborating with individuals from all departments to strengthen existing environmental initiatives and ensure that sustainability is integrated into all City operations. Learn more about the City's climate protection initiatives.
Since its creation, the office has led initiatives to reduce energy use in City-owned buildings, utilize solar energy in City operations and involve citizens through activities like recycling and tree planting. To learn about these projects and how you can get involved in making Pittsburgh a green city, explore the links on the right.
In February 2009, the City Sustainability Committee was convened as an internal steering body to guide the sustainability initiatives of the City. In November 2009, City Council adopted a code change to make this an official commission of the City.
The Sustainability Commission has eleven members- the Sustainability Coordinator, the Energy and Utilities Manager, the Recycling Supervisor, the Urban Forester, and a representative of the Mayor's Office, City Council, Public Works, City Planning, Public Safety, Personnel, and Finance.