News & Media

Contact Information for Press Inquiries:

Stay current with all Challenge for Sustainability news by following us:

Participant Resources

Toolkit for Sustainability Marketing & Communications

This toolkit is for marketing and human resource professionals to incorporate sustainability themes into their existing communications. It is specific to participants in the Challenge for Sustainability, but there are also tips relevant for any company. Key sections include:

  • Story ideas
  • Challenge for Sustainability boilerplate language
  • Communications checklist
  • 2014 Calendar of Events

Electronic Decal

Challenge for Sustainability participants may use this decal on websites, newsletters, email and other communications. Window decals are also available for display in public areas.

2005 Branded Fax.eps

Boiler Plate

About the Challenge

The private sector has the ability to influence social change quickly and efficiently. The Challenge for Sustainability’s mission is to leverage that ability to make Boston a leader in sustainable business practices. The program challenges businesses, institutions and building owners to pursue a broad range of sustainability goals, including increasing energy efficiency, reducing resource consumption, decreasing solid waste, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Program Goals

  1. Offer participants integrated strategies to increase energy efficiency, reduce environmental impact and decrease operational costs.
  2. Achieve or exceed a cumulative average of 2.5% greenhouse gas reduction per year.
  3. Assist commercial real estate sector in meeting the “25% by 2020” goal of the Climate Action Plans of Massachusetts, and the cities of Boston and Cambridge.
  4. Enhance the visibility and recognition of Challenge participants as leaders in climate change and sustainability.
  5. Share successes and learn best practices.


Since the Challenge for Sustainability began in 2009, our participants have:

  • Reduced energy consumption by over 88 million kWh—for over $7 million in savings.
  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 18% since 2009.

About Challenge Awards

The annual Challenge Awards are held in March of each year. This is a time to engage with your peers over great food and wine! The “Stanley Cup of Sustainability” is awarded for the Highest Score, Most Improved, Greatest Energy Reduction, Largest Greenhouse Gas Reduction, and the coveted Peer Award. In addition, buildings and business receive certificates for achieving their goal and excellence in: energy, purchasing, water, people, waste and transportation.

Key Facts

Number of Properties & Workplaces – 87
Total Square Feet – 35 million

Participant List

Press Releases


April 9, 2015- Sixth Annual Challenge for Sustainability Awards honor city’s buildings and businesses achieving real and measurable GHG and sustainability goals

February 25, 2015- A Better City Releases Report and Toolkit on Enhancing Resilience in Boston; Launch Event to Follow


December 9, 2014 – Boston’s Commercial Real Estate Sector Leading the Charge in Achieving Region’s Climate Change Goals

March 20, 2014 – 2014 Awards Press Release – FINAL


May 29, 2013 – National Summit of Green Business Engagement Programs

March 11, 2013 – 2013 Challenge Awards


March 12, 2012 –A Better City recognizes 37 Greater Boston businesses for embracing sustainability


December – 2011 Launch

December – Main Streets

January – Challenge Awards

Press History


Boston Business Journal Award Announcement, April 10, 2015

Boston Globe Challenge Awards Event Announcement, April 9, 2015


Boston Business Journal Ad, March 2014


Boston Summit Unites Green Business Engagement Programs, Triple Pundit, 27 June 2013

Boston group shifts from ‘Big Dig’ to lowering commercial carbon emissions, ClimateWire, 18 June

Green Business Engagement – A Maturing Network, Energy Stewards Blog, 4 June

Green Business Engagement Programs Join Forces, Environmental Leader, 3 June

BBJ Best Green Practices – Innovation:  MCCA, Boston Business Journal, 12 April

BBJ Best Green Practices – Design:  Boston Properties, Boston Business Journal, 12 April

BBJ Best Green Practices – Innovation:  P&G Gillette, Boston Business Journal, 12 April

Boston versus New York: Which City is Greener? Inspired Economist, 18 March

A Better City and Boston Main Streets Present Challenge for Sustainability Awards,, 15 March

Boston businesses reduce electricity by 7%, Sustainable Brands, 14 March

BBJ names best green practices award winners, Boston Business Journal, 12 March

Boston businesses cut GHG Emissions by 4%, Environmental Leader, 12 March

How One Small Business Overcame Big Obstacles to Greater Sustainability, Triple Pundit, February

USGBC Boston Chapter Member Profile: Megan Ramey, USGBC Blog, January


A Full Glass: Insights on Energy Use Data for Commercial Real Estate, ABC Blog, December

A Better City Scorecard Guides Boston Businesses Toward Greater Sustainability,, December

See and Be Seen,, November

Neworking, Fun, and Healthy Competition Spur Boston Businesses on Sustainability, Barr Foundation Blog

Stay Safe on the Road: See and Be Seen, ABC Blog, November

A Better City Promotes Sustainability Throughout Boston,, November

Buildings Don’t Use Energy, People Do, ABC Blog, September

Green-o-vating Boston, Adventures in Climate Change Blog, August

Fighting the Same Fight: EDF Climate Corps Crosses Paths with C40, BBC, Others, EDF Blog, July

Partnering for a Better City: Au Bon Pain Fellow Invited to Boston Sustainability Conference, EDF Blog, July

Power to the People, ABC Blog, March

Social Center Staff Accept challenge of ABC to create a greener building, East Boston Times, page 16, March

Business association seeks East Boston participants for sustainability challenge,, February

SMAMS businesses lead the way in ABC’s Challenge for Sustainability, St. Mark’s Area Main Street, February

Masona Grill and West on Centre Join 60+ Businesses in 3rd Annual City-Wide Environmental Initiative, West Roxbury Main Streets, February