Sustainable Shop design

Sustainable Pittsburgh Shop Designation Program

Are you a small retail business owner who cares about sustainability? Studies show that more and more consumers prefer shopping with environmentally and socially-conscious businesses. Sustainable Pittsburgh Shop offers a FREE self-assessment that assists businesses in achieving their sustainability goals. We believe when you implement actions that are good for the environment and neighbors, it is good for your bottom line as well.

Getting involved is easy! Simply complete the online Sustainable Shop assessment and we will get back to you with your results and walk with you as you continue down the path to progress.

*Is your business service-based? Please stay tuned for Sustainable Pittsburgh’s new Workplace Designation coming later in 2021.

*Is your business a restaurant or food service establishment that has a commercial kitchen where you prepare and cook the food you serve? Please follow this link to apply for designation as a Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant:

What is involved with joining the program?

The Sustainable Pittsburgh Shop program is a FREE program offered by Sustainable Pittsburgh to help our region’s small retail businesses build vibrant communities and support environmentally responsible practices. Simply complete the online Sustainable Pittsburgh Shop Self-Assessment, and we will contact you with your results.

Prefer to do the assessment on paper? Complete the print version and send it to Sustainable Pittsburgh, 307 Fourth Avenue, Suite 700, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. If you would like us to walk you through the process, email to schedule a free in-person consultation.

This program is designed with small retail or “mom-and-pop” small businesses in mind. To derive the maximum benefit from the new Sustainable Pittsburgh Shop program, participating businesses should:

  • Have at least one established storefront location in southwestern Pennsylvania or be a purveyor of goods produced in southwestern Pennsylvania
  • Have no more than 50 locations nationwide
  • Have 0-50 employees at each participating location
  • Be an independently owned business
  • Derive at least 75% of revenues from offerings not including tobacco, gasoline, and/or pornographic material
  • Not sell automatic firearms

Why have a designation program?

Small retailers are crucial contributors to local economy by bringing growth and innovation to the community. Sustainable Pittsburgh believes in the importance of sustainable local businesses in creating thriving and vibrant communities.

Benefits of participating

By completing the Sustainable Pittsburgh Shop designation, a business:

  • Identifies cost saving opportunities
  • Gains free advertising
  • Attracts new customers
  • Builds a vibrant community
  • Improves environmental quality
  • Generates positive public recognition


Sustainability refers to a comprehensive set of activities to improve the long term viability of our community. It not only features environmental aspects, but includes many other facets of sustainability. These include community support, growth of quality jobs, ethical and transparent business practices, sustainable products and services, management of a sustainable supply network, stakeholder engagement, diversity practices, effective and appropriate engagement in public policy, and other areas.

Levels of Recognition

The Sustainable Pittsburgh Shop program provides recognition at four achievement levels, creating a pathway for organizations to grow, build, and demonstrate their commitments and sustainability practices.

Platinum: 180+ points
Gold: 131 – 179 points
Silver: 76 – 130 points
Bronze: 30 – 75 points

How were the designation criteria created and selected?

The Sustainable Pittsburgh Shop designation criteria were created through a national bench marking process of best practices in consultation with small retail businesses and community development experts from Southwestern Pennsylvania.

How is info about the Sustainable Pittsburgh Shop program shared?

The information from the sustainable assessment is completely confidential and only reviewed by Sustainable Pittsburgh to provide a level of certification. The public will only be able to see your level of designation received along with promotional recognition from Sustainable Pittsburgh, partners and the public.

Business owners are encouraged to put their achievements on display. We provide qualifying owners with a window cling and certificate to display prominently, outside and in.

What does it cost?

The Sustainable Pittsburgh Shop program is FREE.

How long does the designation last?

The designation as a Sustainable Pittsburgh Shop lasts for two years. After two years, the business must complete a renewal in order to continue its designation.