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Winners announced in Green Workplace Challenge

| Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015, 8:51 p.m.

A friendly environmental competition among 50 Western Pennsylvania companies, nonprofits and other organizations resulted in $1.5 million in energy savings and 436 fewer tons of waste heading to landfills over the past year, organizers said.

The Green Workplace Challenge, which wrapped up its third installment with an awards ceremony at the Andy Warhol Museum Wednesday evening, encouraged participants to reduce energy and water use, cut pollution and get more employees involved in environmentally friendly work. Participants earned points in the yearlong competition by taking certain steps, such as putting in bike racks, conducting energy audits or installing more efficient office equipment.

“If you do one thing and repeat it many, many times, it starts to have an impact,” said Matthew Mehalik, program director for Downtown nonprofit Sustainable Pittsburgh, which has organized the event since 2011.

Sustainability efforts such as those highlighted in the challenge help attract younger, more engaged people to the region, said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, whose office was honored as the top waste reducer. The Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh took top honors for reducing energy and water use.

Overall award winners in different size categories included:

• Business: Pashek Associates (micro), evolveEA (small), The Mall at Robinson (medium), and Highmark (large)

• Nonprofit: Group Against Smog and Pollution (micro), GTECH (small), and Carnegie Museums (medium)

• University: University of Pittsburgh

• Government: Monaca (small) and Allegheny County (large)

David Conti is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5802 or dconti@tribweb.com.

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