Pittsburgh: A Leader In Sustainable Cities

Pittsburgh 2030 District partners have cut $19 million in energy costs by implementing innovations in lighting, heating, cooling, and ventilation.

Pittsburgh leads North America with the most buildings committed to the 2030 District Network, an internationally recognized initiative that challenges its property partners to reduce 50 percent of their energy consumption, water use, and CO2 emissions from transportation by the year 2030. The Pittsburgh 2030 District’s peer to peer collaboration equips property owners with the tools to track their environmental impact.

The EPA recently recognized Pittsburgh’s Duquesne University—a 2030 District Property Partner—as the Individual Conference Champion of the 2016-17 College & University Green Power Challenge for using more green power than any other school in the Atlantic 10 Conference. (Photo: Pittsburgh Green Story)

Pittsburgh 2030 District property partners cut $19 million in energy costs by implementing innovations in lighting, heating, cooling, and ventilation, totaling $53 million in savings since initial reporting, according to a newly released progress report. Indeed, the cohort increased total energy avoided by 13 percent from last year alone, saving 982 million kBtu — or the equivalent CO2 emissions of driving a car 271 million miles.

With 491 participating properties—an increase of more than 500 percent since founding—Pittsburgh leads all 17 established 2030 Districts in North America in committed square footage, including Seattle, San Francisco, and Toronto. The Pittsburgh 2030 District, a strategic venture of Green Building Alliance, includes hospitals, universities, office towers, professional sports facilities, and museums.

The 2030 District initiative prompted Pittsburgh to become one of 23 cities mandating utilities disclosure from nonresidential properties. This 2016 benchmarking legislation creates transparency in the real estate market, compelling buildings to provide high levels of efficiency and performance. With participating partners voluntarily tracking energy use, 26 percent of buildings required to disclose are prepared to report their consumption to the City of Pittsburgh.

“Partners in the Pittsburgh 2030 District are doing more than just improving their buildings. They are generating real estate value, increasing resiliency, and developing a more equitable and sustainable city,” says Mayor William Peduto. “The momentum they are building pushes us to imagine a better city for all, and we look to the 2030 Challenge as a benchmark for our accomplishments.”

As a stakeholder-driven cooperative, the Pittsburgh 2030 District advances local and national standards for sustainability.

“Property owners and managers have joined together with community leaders, tenants, and service providers to amplify demand for efficient and responsible buildings,” said Angelica Ciranni, Pittsburgh 2030 District director. “This cross-sector partnership drives innovation in building operations, continuing to shift the real estate market towards higher levels of performance.”

Pittsburgh 2030 District 2016 Accomplishments


  • 10.7% reduction, exceeding 2015 incremental goal of 10% below baseline
  • 868 million kBtu avoided
  • Equivalent to the annual energy use of 6,353 homes, 14,673 passenger vehicles, 162,087 barrels of oil, or 1,358 flights between Pittsburgh and Los Angeles


  • 10.3% reduction, exceeding 2015 incremental goal of 10% below baseline
  • Equivalent to the annual water use of 624 homes


  • 24.2% reduction, exceeding 2020 incremental goal of 20% below baseline

Additional information on Pittsburgh’s sustainability efforts can be found at www.PittsburghGreenStory.com.