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Local Green Leaders Convene to Launch Duquesne Center

Stakeholders and thought leaders from Pittsburgh’s emerging green economy recently gathered at Duquesne University to help launch Duquesne’s new Center for Green Industries and Sustainable Business Growth.

The center, created in September through a U.S. Economic Development Administration grant, will promote job growth in energy and product innovation as well as provide assistance to large and small businesses that aim to implement sustainable practices in their operations. Duquesne’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Institute for Energy and the Environment, the MBA Sustainability program and the Center for Environmental Research and Education comprise the principal programs on campus that are helping to organize and launch the new center.

The meeting focused on areas where assistance will be most needed, including:

  • educating consumers and businesses on the longer-term benefits of green purchases
  • driving demand for energy efficiency and sustainable products
  • the potential for recycling and reusing building materials from regional demolition sites.

Those attending represented a wide variety of businesses and not-for-profits, including UPMC, 84 Lumber and the Green Building Alliance, as well as the Pittsburgh Central Keystone Innovation Zone and organizations chartered to bootstrap businesses in struggling communities. The insights they provided on sustainable business will help ensure that the University’s talent and resources, through the Center for Green Industries and Sustainable Business Growth, will be used effectively in ways that will pay dividends to the local economy and quality of life.

The next steps for the center will be to explore specific partnership possibilities, said Dr. Mary McKinney, director of the SBDC.

“As we work with firms on their growth issues, we plan to link them with all relevant regional resources as well as those in Duquesne University,” McKinney said. “These partnerships will enable us to deliver cutting-edge training and consulting that fit the needs of the businesses we serve.”

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic research universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. The University is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review for its rich academic programs in nine schools of study for nearly 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and by the Washington Monthly for service and contributing to students' social mobility. Duquesne is a member of the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for its contributions to Pittsburgh and communities around the globe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges acknowledge Duquesne's commitment to sustainability.