Sustainability Best Practices at the EcoDistricts Summit


August Wilson Center (Conference Venue): The August Wilson Center for African American Culture engages regional and national audiences in its mission of preserving, presenting, interpreting, celebrating and shaping the art, culture and history of African Americans utilizing the rich history, legacy and culture of African Americans from Western Pennsylvania as a foundation.

Phipps Conservatory (Block Party Venue): The Special Events Hall was built to LEED standards and features bamboo flooring, energy-efficient lighting systems, eco-friendly shading, a green roof, high efficiency restroom fixtures, and benches made with organic fabric and recycled foam. Phipps Conservatory has an extensive recycling program and composts all pre- and post-event food waste.



Heavily Vegan/Vegetarian Menus: Pittsburgh Fresh is a local, woman and minority owned company committed to cooking with fresh, healthy ingredients in meals that are not only nutritious, but also delicious and satisfying. Their commitment to sustainability includes:

  • Menus are created to emphasis vegan and vegetarian lifestyles, ensuring that every meal has at least one plant-based main course (no meat or dairy)
  • Substituting common meat-heavy staples like beef, poultry and seafood dishes with vegetarian versions such as Impossible meat, dairy free pudding/yogurt or tofu sandwiches
  • offering plant-based dairy alternatives at coffee stations


Phipps Catering (Caterer for Block Party): Phipps Catering creates menus that feature the finest sustainable, local products, including organic fruits, vegetables and herbs, artisanal cheeses, cage-free eggs, and shade-grown coffee. Menus are created to emphasis vegan and vegetarian lifestyles. Phipps Catering uses recycled and compostable materials, offers alternatives to bottled beverages, and uses china and washable flatware to reduce waste at every event.


Event App to Reduce Printing Programs: An EcoDistricts Summit event app will be utilized to help to sharply reduce printed materials.

NuWare Compostable Containers: BPI Certified 100% compostable, Locally Grown, Harvested and Manufactured in Ohio, Made with Miscanthus grass.

China and Washable Flatware: To reduce landfill waste wherever possible.

Alternatives to Bottled Water: The Summit is committed to reducing disposable plastic bottles.

ZeroWaste (Recycling and Composting Services for Conference): Each Zero Waste event includes a three bin system comprised of “Landfill,” “Recycling,” and “Compost.” Our event is equipped with educational signage and on site recycling/composting management to help our attendees sort their waste.

Omni William Penn Hotel: Omni Hotels is leading by example, showing local communities what corporate social responsibility should look like. The hotel is a “styrofoam-free” environment, provides recycling bins for daily newspapers and other paper goods, utilizes more energy efficient laundry processes, has energy efficient systems in buildings, and offers leftovers and excess food items to local food banks and shelters.

Printing: Signage is printed on recyclable enviroboard and is made to be reused whenever possible.