Grant Ervin’s love of his hometown has led him to push the City of Pittsburgh’s sustainability efforts to the next level as the City’s Chief Resilience Officer.
As the Chief Resilience Officer, Mr. Ervin oversees the integration of sustainability and resilience into city services, programs, and policy. He has helped lead the development of a variety of programs including Pittsburgh’s inclusion in the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Initiative; the creation of the Uptown Eco-Innovation District, District Energy Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, and Neighborhood Community Information System and the Pennsylvania Community Transportation Initiative.
One program that shows Mr. Ervin’s collaboration is his office’s District Energy Pittsburgh. It is a collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Lab, University of Pittsburgh, and several local utilities that demonstrate that technologies like combined heat and power add a layer of security and resilience to critical infrastructure like hospitals. Local energy generation and delivery is more efficient and has less impact on the environment.
Mr. Ervin also uses his position in the City government to provide sustainability services for local businesses. His department provides infrastructure and code information as well as information on policies and local government services. The Office of Innovation and Performance is also creating a city-wide building energy transparency policy that can provide supportive data for building energy consumption—helping businesses optimize utility resources and providing a data-driven resource for policymakers.
The future of Pittsburgh is always on his mind as someone working to make Pittsburgh more resilient. He believes that climate change, globalization, and urbanization will have a profound impact on the region. Mr. Ervin says that in order for Pittsburgh to lead on these trends it must “acknowledge that leading companies and regions are confronting these issues” which “presents a unique opportunity to encourage innovation and leverage the resources and capacity of the Pittsburgh region.”