The Pittsburgh 2030 District hit another major milestone on October 21, adding YWCA Greater Pittsburgh as its 100th Property Partner! Besides committing its headquarters located on Wood Street in Downtown Pittsburgh, the YWCA also plans to implement lessons learned through participation at locations in Homewood-Brushton and Allison Park.
Located in Pittsburgh since 1867, YWCA Greater Pittsburgh’s mission “is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.”
The organization’s work began when a group of women met to sew for the suffering families of Union soldiers. Simple as it seems, it was a real pioneering venture. Women’s clubs were unknown, social agencies were non-existent, and women had little part in church life. The YW’s growth was sparked by this unmet need for women’s leadership and, since then, has worked to empower women and girls, promote fairness and equity, and challenge social injustice.
Today, YWCA serves more than 50,000 women, children, and families every year. The organization provides the education and tools necessary to challenge racism, erodes health inequities by connecting families to affordable health care, and helps navigate marginalized women toward improved breast health. It offers comprehensive services to struggling women and families – including affordable child care and supportive housing. It also also nurtures girls’ educational ambitions, encouraging interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and provides quality early care and education for children from low-income families, which gives them the best chance for lifelong success.
As a Pittsburgh 2030 District Property Partner, YWCA Greater Pittsburgh is targeting energy, water, and transportation emission reduction goals of 50% (against baselines) by the year 2030. They have agreed to share their related data with the District on an annual basis, which will be aggregated with that of other Partners for publication in GBA’s 2016 Progress Report.
Through its participation, YWCA will receive a host of benefits, including exclusive invitations to monthly Partner Meetings where best practices and lessons learned are shared by fellow building owners and property managers who are achieving success in pursuit of 2030 Challenge goals. They’ll receive updates on important happenings in the city and region, including relevant legislation, funding opportunities, and upcoming events. Additionally, they’ll be able to obtain assistance in benchmarking their buildings so as to comply with the new Building Benchmarking legislation.
No stranger to building performance, YWCA Greater Pittsburgh is already doing amazing things at its Homewood-Brushton Center, where a Homewood-Brushton Sustainability Plan includes upgrades to improve energy efficiency and conservation. Next spring, to improve the facility’s impact on the local watershed, they’ll break ground on a green infrastructure project that includes two new rain gardens to capture and filter storm water runoff (while adding aesthetic interest and ecological function to the community landscape).
Started in 2012, the Pittsburgh 2030 District now includes 482 properties via 100 Property Partners representing 76.3 million square feet, making it the largest of the 15 Districts in North America. In fact, 26% of the square footage and 25% of the Property Partners committed in the entire 2030 Districts Network is right here in Pittsburgh!
As of the 2015 Progress Report, the District has achieved an overall 12.5% energy reduction from the national energy baseline and a 10.3% water reduction. Both energy and water reductions exceeded the 2015 incremental 10% reduction targets. These two items alone are saving Property Partners a considerable amount of money, allowing building owners and facility managers to focus on other efforts and expenses while enjoying a more operationally efficient building. All such professionals who are interested in Pittsburgh 2030 District participation should contact GBA for more information.
Prefer to hear from 2030 District Partners directly? Check out the below video to hear about the bottom-line benefits to their organizations and the ways they’re seeking to make the region more sustainable and economically competitive. The Pittsburgh 2030 District encourages collaboration, creates learning opportunities, and helps businesses connect with resources. As Georgia Petropoulos, executive director of the Oakland Business Improvement District, says, “It’s good for your business, as well as good for the environment.”