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Pittsburgh, Pa. – Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is pleased to announce that it has been awarded the Sustainability Excellence Award in the Programming category from the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) PIC Green Network. Established to educate, facilitate and encourage green practice, and to acknowledge and celebrate leaders in environmental sustainability, the 2014 awards was presented to winners as part of a special ceremony at the AAM Annual Meeting in Seattle on May 20.
  Starting with an ambitious campus expansion effort that has resulted in the first LEED® visitor center in a public garden; its landmark energy-efficient Tropical Forest Conservatory; and the first-ever LEED Platinum greenhouses, Phipps has most recently raised the bar with the Center for Sustainable Landscapes, a net-zero energy and net-zero water facility that has been designed to meet the progressive Living Building Challenge™. Already a recipient of LEED Platinum and Four Stars SITES™ certification for landscapes, the highest  certifications available from both the U.S. Green Building Council and Sustainable Sites Initiative™ respectively, it is also expected to be the first building anywhere to achieve all three of these rigorous standards. Coinciding with these innovations are an equally green set of operations — from Phipps’ Green Restaurant Certified® café, integrative pest management methods, and  organic plant and lawn care practices  — as well as a wealth of sustainability minded programs designed for the enrichment of both children and adults.
  “Museums are in a unique position to create change, a role that we take to heart at Phipps in everything we do — from our operations and guest services to the sustainable ways we build and manage our gardens,” says Richard V. Piacentini, executive director of Phipps. “With our mission to promote the well-being of people and the planet, Let’s Move Pittsburgh and Homegrown initiatives for families, and green, healthy living education programs, we are deeply committed to bettering our community and the world. We are very honored to be recognized for these efforts by AAM.”.
 Given for the first time this year, the Sustainable Excellence Award for Programming acknowledges programs that present new and innovative approaches to engaging the public on the critical importance of environmental sustainability and convey actionable green steps that everyone can take. The review panel consisted of the PIC Green Board, along with Sarah Popp, manager of environmental services at Detroit Zoological Society; Lin Nelson-Mayson, director of the Goldstein Museum of Design in St. Paul; and Roger Chang, principal and director of sustainability at Westlake Reed Leskosky in Washington, D.C.
About Phipps: Founded in 1893, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, Pa. is a green leader among public gardens with a mission to inspire and educate all with the beauty and importance of plants; to advance sustainability and promote human and environmental well-being through action and research; and to celebrate its historic glasshouse. Learn more: phipps.conservatory.org.

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