Emerging Green Innovation Press Releases

Southwestern Pennsylvania Business Leaders Launch “CEOs for Sustainability” to Advance Economic & Social Prosperity for Region

(PITTSBURGH – June 20, 2017) Recognizing the strong link between business sustainability performance, financial performance, and regional quality of life, corporate CEOs from throughout the Pittsburgh region have established the CEOs for Sustainability executive council, which was officially launched today. As an initial demonstration of their commitment, 100 percent of participating companies have completed the Southwestern Pennsylvania Sustainable Business Compact On Ramp, a business sustainability performance self-assessment used to track and report progress over time.

Co-chaired by founding participants WindStax Energy CEO Ron Gdovic and Covestro LLC President Jerry MacCleary, CEOs for Sustainability provides a forum for CEOs of the region’s leading companies to share best practices in sustainable business and collaborate in growing the ranks of businesses around the region that pursue sustainability.

“The market is shifting to favor companies that are high performers in the areas of environmental, social, and governance responsibility,” said Gdovic. “Businesses focusing on these core areas gain competitive advantages in terms of winning contracts, customers, employees, and reputational benefits. The benefits for long-term financial performance are proven, from better stock valuation and access to capital to market access and revenue growth.”

Recognizing these bottom-line advantages, 82 percent of S&P 500 companies issued corporate sustainability reports in 2016. “Our region’s got a great story to tell,” said MacCleary. “Nearly 75 years ago, we led the world in developing strategies to create a more sustainable economy and quality of life. We’ve made great progress, but the work is never done. Today’s CEOs for Sustainability understand that for Pittsburgh’s economy to thrive into the future, its business community must continue to take the lead in advancing even more sustainable business policies and practices for the benefit of individual companies, as well as the region as a whole.”

In partnership with the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and its affiliates, CEOs for Sustainability hosted an executive briefing, “Bottom-Line Benefits of Corporate Sustainability,” on June 20. The event, sponsored by BNY Mellon and UPMC, featured case studies presented by C-suite speakers from two companies with local roots and growing in the region. Eat’n Park Hospitality Group CEO Jeff Broadhurst described how sustainable practices have enabled Eat’n Park to thrive at a time when many family establishments have had to shutter restaurants, while PITT OHIO President Chuck Hammel discussed how sustainability has allowed his company to foster innovations outside of what transportation and logistics service providers traditionally have done. The case studies may be downloaded at CEOsforSustainability.org.

To further engage the region’s business leaders, CEOs for Sustainability will present a CEOs Speaker Series starting this fall. Sponsored by Covestro and IKEA, these accelerated trainings will feature executive-level presenters sharing the triple-bottom-line business case for companies large and small, sustainability as a market advantage, and lessons for getting started with business sustainability. CEOs for Sustainability participants represent a broad range of sectors and business types, from small startups to global corporations:

  • Jeff Broadhurst, Eat’n Park Hospitality Group
  • Lalit Chordia, Thar Energy
  • Ned Eldridge, eLoop LLC
  • Ron Gdovic, WindStax Energy
  • Steve Guy, Oxford Development Company
  • Chuck Hammel, PITT OHIO
  • Colin Huwyler, Optimus Technologies
  • Jerry MacCleary, Covestro
  • Robert Nutting, Pittsburgh Pirates, Seven Springs
  • Antonis Papadourakis, LANXESS
  • Ciannie Rodriguez, IKEA
  • Murray Rust, Montgomery & Rust Inc.
  • Jack Scalo, Burns & Scalo
  • AJ Schwartz, Environmental Planning & Design
  • Venkee Sharma, Aquatech International
  • Ernie Sota, Sota Construction Services Inc.
  • Raymond Yeager, DMI Companies

The group is facilitated by Bill O’Rourke, the former Vice President of Sustainability, Environment, Health and Safety at Alcoa and a former Sustainable Pittsburgh Board Chair. RAND’s Susan Everingham is the research liaison. CEOs for Sustainability is supported by Sustainable Pittsburgh in concert with its Champions for Sustainability business network. More about CEOs for Sustainability, along with tools, case studies and other resources for sustainable business strategy and practices, can be found at CEOsforSustainability.org.

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The CEOs for Sustainability Vision
CEOs for Sustainability is exemplary executive leadership and collaboration to drive positive change in the region. By demonstrating responsibility and creativity in the use of precious resources (human, natural, energy, capital and materials), we ensure enduring economic and social prosperity for our businesses and for our regional community. More information at CEOsforSustainability.org.

About Sustainable Pittsburgh
Sustainable Pittsburgh affects decision-making in the Pittsburgh region to integrate economic prosperity, social equity, and environmental quality as the enduring accountability, bringing sustainable solutions for communities and businesses. More information at sustainablepittsburgh.org.

CONTACT: Ginette Walker Vinski | Communications Director at Sustainable Pittsburgh
412-258-6646 gvinski@sustainablepittsburgh.org