The Endowments’ Sustainability strategic funding area incorporates the activities of the foundation’s former Environment & Health and Community & Economic Development program departments. The Sustainability funding area seeks to address underlying threats to Pittsburgh’s quality of life while focusing on opportunities to support the region’s health, safety and prosperity, now and for the future.
The Sustainability area’s vision is to contribute to a Just Pittsburgh, where economic and community development and healthy environment systems protect and benefit all citizens, where race, experience, identity and zip code do not determine life outcomes, where air and water are safe and where large sections of poor and vulnerable populations are not left behind.
As part of our Sustainability strategy, the Endowments seeks to improve the economic position of marginalized populations and places by advancing a clean economy, protecting the environment and public health and pursuing equitable development.
The Endowments also is focused on reducing disparities in our broad community related to environmental health, increasing access to healthy foods and successfully reintegrating veterans and their families into our community, in recognition of the assets they represent for our region.
Improve people's economic position through higher wages, family-sustaining employment and entrepreneurship.
- Connect workers on the margins to family-sustaining employment.
- Expand minority entrepreneurs’ access to capital and business development assistance.
- Bolster opportunities for minority entrepreneurs to manage and increase their own income.
- Connect opportunities from the innovation economy to all residents.
Endowments point of contact: Rob Stephany, Director, Community & Economic Development
Advance a clean economy with renewables, green infrastructure and climate-friendly solutions.
- Implement renewable and alternative energy solutions.
- Apply green infrastructure best management practices to improve the water quality in Pittsburgh’s rivers and streams while providing secondary benefits to communities.
- Promote innovative strategies at the neighborhood, local and regional level to reduce climate pollution.
Endowments point of contact: Philip Johnson, Director, Environment & Health
Pursue socially just economic opportunity so that distressed neighborhoods thrive without displacing vulnerable residents.
- Target distressed neighborhoods that are adjacent to strong markets that can leverage public and private capital to improve housing markets without displacing vulnerable residents.
- Embrace first-in-class civic design.
- Connect Pittsburgh through “complete streets,” transit-oriented development and alternative transportation.
- Engage the arts and artists in socially just community revitalization, ennobling culture and neighborhood beautification.
Endowments point of contact: Rob Stephany, Director, Community & Economic Development
Restore and protect Pittsburgh’s environmental systems, and enhance its public health.
- Protect all populations from disproportionate harm caused by pollution and reduce environmental health burdens, especially among those experiencing environmental injustice.
- Encourage socially and environmentally responsible use of western Pennsylvania’s natural resources.
- Deepen community engagement and leadership networks through education, outreach and advocacy.
- Advance independent, comprehensive and fact-based scientific knowledge to foster healthy environments.
Endowments point of contact: Philip Johnson, Director, Environment & Health
Promote community health and vitality through sustainable food systems, especially in food deserts.
- Improve access to fresh, healthy, local foods in low-income neighborhoods.
- Promote urban agriculture as a means of increasing food security and educating participants about food systems.
Endowments point of contact: Andrew McElwaine, VP of Sustainability
Create communities where military veterans and their families are welcomed, valued and understood.
- Create easy-to-navigate pipelines to family-sustaining jobs, services, and opportunities for veterans and service members in the region.
- Equip post-9/11 veterans and service members with the skills and networks necessary to become regional leaders.
- Promote changes in workforce initiatives, social services, program funding and community conversations about veterans by supporting and advancing the narrative that veterans are assets for the region.
- Work proactively and preventatively in the support of veterans, service members and family members, and promote best practices to impact predominantly reactive public policy.
Endowments point of contact: Megan Andros, Program Officer, Community & Economic Development
Our veterans have long given their service to our nation during our most challenging times, and the leadership skills they bring to our region are needed now more than ever. PAServes Greater Pittsburgh – part of the AmericaServes nationwide network - has been recognized as best in the country for connecting veterans, service men and women, and their families with the essential services needed for successful transitions to civilian life. Deemed tops in several key metrics, PAServes, in partnership with Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families and Pittsburgh Mercy, works with more than 60 service organizations under a unique open-data agreement. Learn more here.Learn more
Capturing the Next Economy: Pittsburgh’s rise as a global innovation city
Pittsburgh’s innovation economy is strong and growing, but city leaders can do more with its existing assets to compete globally and capitalize on the region’s growing innovation clusters, according to a new report from the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Initiative on Innovation and Placemaking at the Brookings Institution.
The culmination of an 18-month study, “Capturing the Next Economy: Pittsburgh’s rise as a global innovation city” examines Pittsburgh’s unique opportunity to become a top global destination for technology-based economic activity and as a key part of Pittsburgh’s efforts to become a world-class innovation city.
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Al Gore, former vice president of the United States and climate change crusader, is bringing his Climate Reality Leadership Corps training program to Pittsburgh in October.READ MORE
Smell PGH—a mobile app built by Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab—has provided residents with a tool to sniff out the sources behind noxious, and possibly dangerous odors in their neighborhoods. And in Pittsburgh, a city... READ MORE
Stephanie Fello, a prepared-foods clerk at the South Side Giant Eagle, rose through the ranks of the union representing workers during her nearly six years with the O’Hara-based grocer.READ MORE
The city of Pittsburgh plans to spend more than $5 million in a bid to simplify and speed up its system for approving permits, an issue that has been the topic of growing complaints from... READ MORE
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's CREATE Lab are rolling out new features in Smell PGH, a smartphone app that helps Pittsburgh area residents collectively report foul odors and alert each other to suspicious smells that... READ MORE
Randy Bondi had never given solar energy much thought until he noticed a serendipitous advertisement. One day in the fall of 2015, he saw an item in Etna’s borough newsletter about a campaign launching to... READ MORE
The Heinz Endowments’ new campaign to promote the hiring of veterans is about more than putting people in jobs. It’s about getting employers to understand the sophisticated skills veterans bring to the table and matching... READ MORE
As a maintenance officer in Iraq during the Second Gulf War, Megan Andros commanded more than 100 troops in a heavy brigade combat team, and oversaw millions of dollars worth of weapons and other equipment.READ MORE
The Heinz Endowments has unveiled a national campaign to help veterans re-enter the civilian workforce.READ MORE
PITTSBURGH Pa., June 1, 2017 -- A major public campaign was today launched in the Pittsburgh region in efforts to help create a true understanding of the challenges faced by veterans seeking to re-integrate into... READ MORE
Etna has received two grants to revitalize its business district for commercial and residential use, according to borough Manager Mary Ellen Ramage.READ MORE
Fragmentation of ecologically important core forests within the northern Appalachians — driven by pipeline and access road construction — is the major threat posed by shale-gas development, according to researchers, who recommend a change in... READ MORE
Two nonprofits are launching a program to help Pittsburgh-area schools and child care centers get rid of lead and radon hazards.READ MORE
Women for a Healthy Environment (WHE) and the Green Building Alliance (GBA) announced at a joint press conference Thursday a new initiative, 1,000 Hours a Year, that will provide funding to local schools and early... READ MORE
Children spend an estimated 1,000 hours every year in schools, early-education centers and after-school programs. While parents can work to protect their children from environmental hazards like lead and radon at home, they have little... READ MORE
Superintendent Patrick Graczyk didn’t sleep for 48 hours after he had received his school district's lead testing results.READ MORE
Bob Gradeck can’t stand the term “data-driven.” It might seem odd that the project director of the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center would recoil at a data-centric phrase, but Gradeck sees data as tools and... READ MORE
In 2015, communities near Neville Island rejoiced when it was announced that the Shenango Coke Works, a plant blamed for pumping out noxious pollution, would shut down. In the months since it officially closed, organizations... READ MORE
Fragmentation of ecologically important core forests within the northern Appalachians -- driven by pipeline and access road construction -- is the major threat posed by shale-gas development, according to researchers, who recommend a change in... READ MORE
The blighted town of Braddock is poised for a jolt of caffeine from a brand-name coffeehouse that could open this fall if financing comes through.READ MORE
A group of incredibly impressive kids and their passionate, dedicated teacher at Brownsville Area High School in Fayette County, are getting national recognition for helping jumpstart redevelopment in their boarded up downtown.
According to a new report from the group PennEnvironment, only 17 percent of environmental or health violations by fracking companies in Pennsylvania resulted in fines. And when companies did get fined, the penalties were relatively... READ MORE
Second Avenue in Hazelwood is smelling much sweeter these days as French bakery La Gourmandine prepares to open its third Pittsburgh location on Monday. The artisan bakery is a key part of the area’s revitalization... READ MORE