— Gage Giunta
In a little less than a month into our first semester as MBA students, we had our first successful Net Impact event, a tour at Pittsburgh’s Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Oakland. The tour was led by Adam Haas, an interpretive specialist who works cross-departmentally with science education and research and the marketing department, to help facilitate meaningful experiences for visitors. The tour was made possible by a network connection with a Phipps employee; the power of networking!
It is the first and only building that meets four of the highest green certifications…At Phipps, The Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) is regarded as one of the most sustainable buildings in the world. It is the first and only building that meets four of the highest green certifications; Living Building Challenge, LEED Platinum, Four Stars Sustainable SITES Initiative, and the first WELL Building Platinum Project. Phipp’s generates all of their own energy and treat all storm and sanitary water that is captured on-site. Illustrating intense detail into every sustainable action, the tour was incredibly interesting and educational. Some of us even wished it was longer. We were hoping Mr. Haas would’ve touched on Phipps’ air quality compared to that of downtown Pittsburgh, which is a current issue facing the city.
Beyond the sustainability educational aspect of the tour, the conservatory and gardens are gorgeous and filled with plant-life. The cafe in the lobby, Cafe Phipps, gave the cohort a chance to bond outside of the classroom with some delicious and healthy food options. It even linked back to one of our previous projects, as we were able to see their sustainable packaging alternatives and how they link to their recycling and composting practices. We’ve expanded our networks with our valuable tour guide, and hope that we can coordinate future events with Phipps.