Office of Mayor William Peduto
City, Green Building Alliance's Pittsburgh 2030 District Flip the Switch on Earth Hour 2015

PITTSBURGH, PA (March 23, 2015)  – Lights out, Pittsburghers. On Saturday, March 28, more than 50 buildings and monuments in Downtown and Oakland will celebrate Earth Hour from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Led by Green Building Alliance’s Pittsburgh 2030 District partners, the City of Pittsburgh, and other key partners (listed below), dozens of buildings in Downtown and Oakland will turn off their non-essential lighting. The result will be a dramatic shift in the city’s skyline and an increased awareness of environmental issues.

What: While the City has participated in Earth Hour before, this year’s celebration also serves as the kick-off for “De-Light Pittsburgh” – a year-long initiative designed to inspire a city-wide focus on energy efficiency while encouraging energy consciousness and ecological conservation to citizens. To celebrate both initiatives, Pittsburghers are asked to turn off their non-essential lighting and keep an eye on the skyline during Earth Hour. A “watch party” will also be hosted by GBA’s Pittsburgh 2030 District and the City of Pittsburgh in partnership with the Carnegie Science Center.

When: Earth Hour is celebrated annually during late March (March 28 this year) because the Spring and Autumn equinoxes in both hemispheres overlap, allowing for near coincidental sunset times and therefore the greatest visual impact for a global event such as this. The lights-out event takes place from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Where: Earth Hour is celebrated around the world, in more than 7,000 cities. In Pittsburgh, building owners in Downtown and Oakland will be turning off their lights.

Why: Earth Hour aims to draw awareness to climate change and encourage an interconnected global community to share the opportunities and challenges of creating a sustainable world. Each participant has his or her own reason for joining Earth Hour. For example, Phyllis Barber, who manages environmental sustainability for Highmark, explains why Highmark is participating:

“At Highmark, we value environmental stewardship because a healthier environment helps create stronger communities of healthier people. Our participation in Earth Hour symbolizes our commitment to the environment and to the individuals and communities we serve.”

Who: This year’s Earth Hour celebration and De-Light Pittsburgh kick-off are led by Green Building Alliance’s Pittsburgh 2030 District partners and the City of Pittsburgh. Participants in Downtown and Oakland who have committed to this effort include DCNR (the fountain at Point State Park), the city of Pittsburgh, and Allegheny County buildings - as well as all three sports complexes, the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, and more than 80 other buildings in the surrounding areas including the Northside.

The following property owners are participating:

  • Alcoa

  • Allegheny County

  • Bellefield Presbyterian Church

  • BNY Mellon

  • Carlow University

  • Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh

  • City of Pittsburgh

  • Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR)

  • Highmark

  • Highwoods

  • Oxford Development

  • Pirates

  • PNC Bank

  • SEA

  • UPMC

  • Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh

Key Partners for Earth Hour 2015 include:

  • Pittsburgh 2030 District

  • City of Pittsburgh

  • The Office of Mayor William Peduto

  • Green Building Alliance

  • Carnegie Mellon University

  • Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

  • The Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh (AAAP)

  • Green Workplace Challenge

"We're delighted with the amount of participation in this year’s Earth Hour,” says Anna Siefken, director of GBA’s Pittsburgh 2030 District. “It’s a great way to demonstrate the importance of both individual and collective efforts in reducing environmental impact, and it will further position Pittsburgh as a leader as a sustainable, innovative city.”

How: If YOU want to get involved, turn off your lights! Members of the press are also invited to attend the Earth Hour “watch party” hosted at Carnegie Science Center. There, you can hear comments from County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and City Councilman Dan Gilman, enjoy food and drinks, and most importantly, see (and document) the dramatic effect of Earth Hour on the City of Pittsburgh.

Learn more about Pittsburgh’s involvement in Earth Hour at www.go-gba.org/event/earth-hour-2015. If you would like to attend the “watch party” on March 28, please email Leslie Montgomery (lesliem@gbapgh.org).

 

About the Pittsburgh 2030 District 

The Pittsburgh 2030 District, a Green Building Alliance strategic innovation – presented by The Efficiency Network and supported by the EcoCommercial Building Network powered by Bayer– is a collaborative, nationally recognized, but local community of high performance buildings in Pittsburgh's Downtown and Oakland neighborhoods that aims to dramatically reduce energy and water consumption, reduce transportation emissions, and improve indoor air quality while increasing business competitiveness and owners' returns on investment.  Launched in August 2012, the Pittsburgh 2030 District is convened and facilitated by Green Building Alliance. 

Learn more at www.2030district.org/pittsburgh.  

About Green Building Alliance

Green Building Alliance (GBA) is a nonprofit organization that inspires the creation of healthy, high performing places for everyone.  Founded in 1993 as one of the first U.S. Green Building Council affiliate organizations, and now a USGBC chapter, GBA is headquartered in Pittsburgh and serves the 26 counties of Western Pennsylvania.  GBA's main initiatives include the Pittsburgh 2030 District, the Green & Healthy Schools Academy, DASH, and the Knowledge Network.  Learn more at www.go-gba.org.

Contact: Leslie Montgomery, Green Building Alliance, 412-773-6006 or lesliem@gbapgh.org

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