Stakeholders and thought leaders from Pittsburgh’s emerging green economy gathered on Dec. 5 to help launch the University’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.
Organized as a brainstorming session, the meeting focused on those areas where assistance will be most needed, including educating consumers and businesses on the longer-term benefits of green purchases; driving up demand for energy efficiency and sustainable products; and the potential for recycling and reusing building materials regional demolition sites, among other topics.
The local experts in attendance are representatives of a wide variety of businesses and not-for-profits, including UPMC, 84 Lumber and the Green Building Alliance, as well as the PCKIZ 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 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.”
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