2017 will bring challenges and opportunities for green buildings and sustainability. However, we at GBA like to look on the bright side, so here’s some positive perspectives from GBA staff about what we’re excited about in 2017 – along with what we’re proud of accomplishing in 2016.
In 2017, I look forward to finding ways to root myself in this new home: raising a garden with friends and neighbors in Squirrel Hill, bike-camping along the Great Allegheny Passage, spending more time in Frick Park, volunteering with local organizations to combat climate change, and getting to know more of our GBA members and supporters.
Biggest 2016 accomplishment: Welcoming our new baby, William Ever, to our family!
Looking forward to in 2017: Teaching my first ever university course, hopefully inspiring some young minds and sharing my passion for healthy and high performing spaces.
In 2017, I am looking forward to making new connections. Being new at GBA, there are so many opportunities to connect, learn, and be energized by the great work happening in Pittsburgh. These connections bring inspiration, ideas, and momentum to keep us moving forward.
Biggest 2016 accomplishments: Graduating the second cohort and recruiting a third in the School Sustainability Culture Program. Finishing the fourth Inspire Speakers Series season — and embarking on a fifth! Hosted the national Green Schools Conference in Pittsburgh. Launched an Innovative Learning Lab.
Looking forward to in 2017: We hope 2017 brings many great successes and programs for schools, communities, and the region.
As I approach my one year anniversary with GBA, I’m excited to begin our first youth programming project. Funded by The Sprout Fund, Green City Remix is a special partnership with the Heinz History Center exploring environmental history and activism. Beginning in January 2017, cohorts of high school learners from seven schools in the region (approximately sixty students total) will actively construct Pittsburgh’s environmental Smoke Control campaign through archival research, analyze it for social change strategies, and apply their knowledge to issues of importance to them. Participants will remix what they learned into an installation that will be on display at the Heinz History Center. This is the first student designed and installed exhibit at the Heinz History Center. I had the chance to meet with many of the participating students already. Their passion, interests, knowledge, and questions make for what I know will be a great project for all involved.
Biggest 2016 accomplishment: So many success stories have come out of the Pittsburgh 2030 District, it’s impossible to celebrate just one! In April, GBA published the Pittsburgh 2030 District Progress Report and announced the remarkable achievements of participating Property Partners. Just how remarkable? The goal for 2015 was a 10% reduction in energy use, water use, and transportation emissions. Property Partners achieved 12.5%, 10.3%, and 24.2% respectively! Another success? There are now 100 Property Partners representing 483 buildings that range from national corporations to small businesses! Keep in mind, these are not our success stories – they’re yours! Pittsburgh 2030 District Partners work together using a cohort model to teach, learn, and implement best practices allowing them to save resources, lower operating costs, and become as efficient as possible.
Looking forward to in 2017: Bringing more quality information to 2030 District Partners and GBA members! We’re planning another full year of Pittsburgh 2030 District Partner Meetings and making plans for other special education events. I’m also looking forward to attending the 2030 Districts Network Summit again. At the Summit staff from each of the 2030 Districts gather together to share best practices for supporting property owners and managers — allowing us to better support them as they learn from each other.
As I look forward to 2017, I am excited to see how the Pittsburgh community continues to come together – and the ways in which GBA and its stakeholders will be part of those conversations. It is thrilling to live in a city that is already vibrant and beautiful, but to also know that we have the potential to grow and change in healthy, equitable ways.
Biggest 2016 accomplishment: Continuing to grow and build GBA’s staff and Board team, including quite a few awesome new staff members , who helped make GBA a 2016 Best Place to Work! Also, big thanks to Vivian Loftness and Dr. Robert Sroufe for seven and six years of Board service, respectively!
Looking forward to in 2017: Formally welcoming two new GBA Board members (Demeshia Seals & Zach Huth — bios coming soon!, kicking off our 2018 – 2020 strategic planning process, and celebrating 10 years as a GBA staff member (in June)!
I’m really happy to have to have shared all the great work GBA and other organizations in our region have accomplished over the last year. And I really look forward to new finding new, fun, and engaging ways to promote sustainability beyond Western Pennsylvania!
Biggest 2016 accomplishment: Actively restarting GBA’s policy work – participating in advocacy from building codes to the High Performance Building fund.
Looking forward to in 2017: Meeting and working with people who are creating healthy and high performing buildings and striving to share the impact of that work.
I am looking forward to the work that GBA will do in our community, especially given the current political climate. There are a lot of people in Pittsburgh who are tremendously passionate about sustainability and, therefore, are able to continue their work despite numerous potential barriers. To me, the work that GBA does is belief put into action, and it is something that I am very excited to see unfold in these coming years.