Clean Energy, Climate and the Built Environment
Click here to download the workshop program
Our homes and workplaces. Vehicles and the roads, bridges and tunnels they travel on. Water systems and electrical power grids. Stadiums, arenas and concert halls. They’re all part of the built environment.
And, they all use tremendous amounts of energy and materials to construct and maintain. Until now, the ways in which we design, construct, operate, and power our buildings, communities, and cities have relied heavily on fossil fuels and inefficient practices and processes that result in the carbon emissions that drive climate change. Decarbonizing the built environment by transitioning to clean energy is both an opportunity and priority because of the significant impacts not only on climate, but also on human health, social equity and economic vitality.
This daylong, interactive workshop takes place during the same week that global leaders from the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) and Mission Innovation (MI) will convene in Pittsburgh for the Global Clean Energy Action Forum hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Sessions will include:
For more information or to request an invitation, please visit www.gba.org.
Bringing Purpose to Pittsburgh
In Pittsburgh, Covestro LLC’s U.S. headquarters, the company’s signature social innovation initiative to drive community-wide sustainability is THINC30. THINC stands for Transforming, Harnessing, Innovating, Navigating and Collaborating for a Purpose-Driven, Sustainable Future by 2030. Launched in 2017, THINC30 are annual summits that bring the 17 global United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) to local Pittsburgh business, government, academic and nonprofit leaders – and engaged citizens – so they may use them to advance the region’s growth and prosperity in a responsible, sustainable way.
A Call to Action
As part of Covestro’s i3 (ignite, imagine, innovate) corporate social responsibility initiative, THINC30 aims to:
- Introduce the 17 U.N. SDGs to the wider Pittsburgh region, particularly business and industry, and showcase how they can be advanced by leveraging the growing need for purpose among individuals, organizations and businesses.
- Explore how business and industry are responding to employees’ desire for more purpose in their work and lives to improve their communities and society at large. Showcase the Pittsburgh region as a national purpose leader with leading edge ideas, solutions and strategies for companies and communities interested in formally embedding innovation, sustainable business development, corporate social responsibility and community building into their missions.
- Issue a call to action to business and industry to cultivate their purpose – and that of their employees’ or citizen philanthropists – to accelerate sustainable business development, public-private partnerships and social innovation around the 17 United National Sustainable Development Goals.
In addition to spotlighting regional best practice programs and featuring sustainability and CSR business executives, philanthropic leaders, and social entrepreneurs, the summit also convenes national and international thought leaders as keynote speakers, featured panelists and interviewees to provide aspiration, inspiration and motivation.
Pittsburgh is experiencing its third renaissance, having successfully transformed its old industrial economy into one that is diversified and sustainable. Yet, not everyone is benefiting from the transformation and there is still much work to be done to ensure the city continues forward on its sustainability path.
While global, the UN SDGs provide a guide for identifying and tracking local issues ranging from water and air quality to race and gender equity to poverty and economic opportunity.
With a focus on business and industry, THINC30 gathers a diverse cross-section of local leadership to stimulate conversation and new partnerships with organizations that have never had the opportunity to interact before. All of this with the goal of ensuring all Pittsburghers are included in the region’s continuing prosperity.
At THINC30 difficult conversations have transpired. Issues for action identified. Partnerships strengthened and new ones formed. Citizen philanthropy in support of the goals has increased. THINC30 continues to assist Pittsburgh in reaching its goal of becoming a truly sustainable and inclusive city for all its residents.
THINC30 Youthquake: Inspiring Next Gen Climate Changemakers
As world leaders gathered at the United Nations’ annual climate change conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, THINC30 Youthquake, a free, virtual climate summit for U.S. high school students, gave them a voice during the global discussions and challenged them to think about their own role as climate stewards of the future.
Covestro’s THINC30 Youthquake: Inspiring Next Gen Climate Changemakers featured keynotes, panels, fireside chats and spotlights with experts from a variety of fields who are all working to advance sustainability and climate solutions. It culminated in a social media enabled forum on COP26’s Youth and Education Day on Friday, November 5, providing students an opportunity and platform to share their opinions and ideas with world leaders and each other.
At Youthquake, attendees met young climate activists making a difference and entrepreneurs whose innovative businesses are tackling climate change every single day. They found out about climate change-related jobs, as well as how colleges and universities are building climate action and sustainability into their academic programs and on their campuses. Finally, they learned about the concept of the Circular Economy and one entrepreneur, in particular, who is a true pioneer of the field.
To view the virtual Youthquake sessions and corresponding agendas, please click on the links below:
Did you miss THINC30 Tank: Creating Circular Economy Communities?
Achieving our collective sustainability goals requires big thinking – and action.
Among the biggest: Moving away from the old, linear “Make-Take-Waste” economic model and to Circularity – or “Reuse, Recycle and Repair.”
But how exactly do we move from concept to reality? How do we design waste out of systems, keep products and materials in use, regenerate natural systems and improve the quality of human lives?
THINC30 Tank: Creating Circular Economy communities examined these questions and many more.
Below is the full agenda, featuring speaker biographies, as well as a link to a recording of the entire event so you don’t miss any of the discussion!
Creating Circular Cities
“Cities are one of our most critical intervention points for creating sustainable local economies, reducing impact on natural environments, and increasing the quality of human lives,” according to Metabolic. Andrew McCue, Cities Consultant for Metabolic will discuss his work with cities and regional governments, developers and other urban professionals committed to building sustainable futures.
What’s Happening in Pittsburgh
This session will focus on the City of Pittsburgh’s efforts to achieve its goal of becoming a CE Hub in the U.S. that is in line with its commitment to the UN SDGs and becoming a resilient community. Efforts throughout the greater Pittsburgh region also will be explored.
Higher Education’s Role
When it comes to circularity, colleges and universities play a pivotal role. This session will showcase a number of academic institutions driving circularity by embedding it into their teaching, as well as their research and development.
Circularity: Where’s It Headed?
In terms of climate change, eliminating food waste, capturing carbon and recycling/reusing building materials can have some of the biggest mitigation impacts. National experts in these areas will detail/outline their strategies.
Circularity: Industry’s Commitment
Fashion, food, plastics, manufacturing are among the industries that hold the most promise for circular transformation and leadership. This session will offer a “36,000 foot” view of how companies in these and other industries can advance their CE goals.
The UNSDGs in the New Now: Relevance and Recovery
Last year's virtual THINC30 Summit showcased how the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals were more relevant than ever. Each day offered a roadmap for creating the society we want and was devoted to one of the three pillars of sustainability – social, environmental, economic equity. Please watch, enjoy and be inspired.
Thursday, October 15, 2020
9:00 – 11:30 a.m. – “Social Resilience”
How do we achieve equity in public health, education and food justice?
Click here to view the agenda for Day 1 (PDF)
Watch a recording of the Social Resilience event!
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
9:00 – 11:30 a.m. – “Environmental Equity”
How can the City of Pittsburgh, its neighborhoods and business step up sustainable practices that drive environmental justice?
Click here to view the agenda for Day 2 (PDF)
Watch a recording of the Environmental Equity event!
Thursday, October 22, 2020
9:00 – 11:30 a.m. – “Economic Empowerment”
As we plan our economic recovery, how do we ensure everyone has a fair shot to participate and prosper?
Click here to view the agenda for Day 3 (PDF)
Watch a recording of the Economic Empowerment event!
- 9/15/20, Medium – THINC30 2020: The UN Sustainable Development Goals in the New Now: Relevance and Recovery
- 6/23/20, Medium – What Else Can We Do?
- 9/19/19, Tribune Review – “It’s not just us”: Local students call on politicians after environmental conference
- 9/17/19, Kidsburgh – Youthquake 2030 gathers Pittsburgh’s young movers and shakers to discuss sustainability
- 9/9/19, Medium – With Youthquake 2030, Pittsburgh teens will tackle sustainability
- 6/5/19, Medium – Lessons from Pittsburgh: On the Road to becoming an Inclusive, Sustainable City
- 12/27/18, Green Building Alliance – Covestro’s THINC30 Summit Matches Global Challenges with Local Creativity
- 10/16/18, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Summit to look at why Pittsburgh's 'not great for everyone'
- 12/31/17, WPXI-TV, “Our Region’s Business” – Recapping Covestro’s THINC30 Summit
- 12/10/17, KDKA-TV – KD/PG “Sunday Business Page” – Covestro's Bob Walker & Homewood Childrens Village's Josiah Gilliam on THINC30, a Sustainability Conference
- 11/27/17, NEXTPittsburgh – Carl Pope is changing the conversation on a very hot topic
- 11/15/17, Pittsburgh Business Times – Why a Pittsburgh chemical company is making a big pitch for sustainability
- 11/10/17, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Summit seeks local action on sustainability goals framed by U.N.
- 11/01/17, The New American Economy Radio – A Global Compact for a Better Future
- 10/10/17, Huffington Post – Going Local: Taking the Global UN Sustainable Development Goals to Pittsburgh with THINC30
UN Global Compact
Integrating the Sustainable Development Goals into Corporate Reporting: A Practical Guide
City of Pittsburgh OnePGH
100 Resilient Cities
Capturing the next economy: Pittsburgh’s rise as a global innovation City
DRAWDOWN: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed To Reverse Global Warming
Edited by Paul Hawken
The Purpose Economy
By Aaron Hurst
Pathways To Our Sustainable Future: A Global Perspective From Pittsburgh
By Patty Demarco