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Smart, Sustainable Business Choices Workshop Set In Pittsburgh October 23

Corporate, engineering, and community leaders are invited to Pittsburgh at the offices of the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania on October 23 for the “Smart, Sustainable Choices for Operations, Transportation, and Facilities” workshop.

The workshop is geared toward corporate and community leaders who increasingly grasp the benefits of implementing smart growth and sustainability strategies as part of a firm's operational practice and who want to get some helpful guidance on smart solutions for locating and operating facilities and connecting their workforce to their facilities through smart transportation. 

The program runs from 8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and is hosted by the ESWP and Sustainable Pittsburgh’s Champions for Sustainability Business Network

During the program, organizers will announce the latest company to achieve recognition through the SWPA Sustainable Business Compact.

Several experts will be on hand, including Allen Biehler, Executive Director, University Transportation Center at Carnegie Mellon University and former Pennsylvania Secretary of Transportation.

Attendees will learn how to address vital operations-related questions such as:

-- How easy/costly is it for employees to get to and from work?

-- What on-site features affect equipment operation, stormwater mitigation, and facility capital investments?

-- How much do I spend on energy and waste?

-- How engaged is my workforce?

Businesses continually have opportunities to improve upon their operations by embracing proven, smart, and sustainable principles.  Such “Smart Growth” strategies can be integrated into the way facilities are operated, how they are designed, and where they are situated.

Biehler, who recently returned from a transportation summit in Tokyo, Japan, will discuss Smart Transportation Initiatives as part of his presentation.

“Transportation technology is evolving rapidly,” he said.  “Are we thinking about what it will mean and how to capture its benefits for a more sustainable future?”

Continuing on the transportation theme, Lynn Colosi, Principal, Delta Development will share examples of local smart transportation initiatives, and Donald Nusser, P.E., Vice President, Hatch Mott MacDonald, will segue into Smart Growth infrastructure and development.

 “Sustainability is not an added cost to projects and organizations; instead, it is an approach to unleash innovation, growth, and efficiencies,” Nusser said.

Several panelists from local corporations will share their firsthand experiences with putting Smart Growth into practice.

Phyllis Barber, sustainability director for Highmark Health Services and a panelist said, “We are witnessing an exciting transformation in Pittsburgh. Through Smart Growth, our community can promote a kind of synergy that enriches transportation and employment options, as well as our cultural and natural landscape. Smart Growth is vital to the health and sustainability of our local economy.”

Following is the full list of panelists:

-- Phyllis Barber, Sustainability Director, Highmark Health Services;

-- Michael Bernard, Project Director, Oxford Development Company;

-- John Greenwald, President, Mechanical Operations and Consulting, Inc.; and

-- Tonya Markiewicz, Virtual Design and Construction Engineer, Massaro Corporation

“Smart Growth is an essential part of sustainable corporate practices,” said Matt Mehalik, Program Manager, Sustainable Pittsburgh. “Where companies choose to locate; what sort of footprint they choose to make on the landscape; and the infrastructure and transportation they require have large impacts on the efficiency and effectiveness of private and public investments.” 

Mehalik continued, “Smart companies see that they get a bigger bang for the buck by locating in urban corridors, in efficient facilities, connected to public and multi-modal transit.  The community benefits with these overall lower infrastructure costs.”

Smart Growth is one of 12 dimensions of sustainability covered in the SWPA Sustainable Business Compact, a commitment and performance platform that provides a credible and rigorous pathway for businesses to advance and publicly demonstrate their corporate sustainability achievements. 

This workshop is the third of four designed to highlight elements of the Compact and the leaders in the region that have signed on.  To date, four companies have earned recognition through the Compact: Thar Energy, Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, PITT OHIO, and Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies’ Pittsburgh office.

To register and for more information, visit the Smart, Sustainable Choices Workshop webpage.  For questions, contact Matthew Mehalik, Sustainable Pittsburgh Program Manager, at 412-258-6644 or send email to:


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