Sustainability work can be as diverse as Philly's residents: SustainPHL 2018 - Generocity Philly

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Aug. 17, 2018 12:34 pm

Sustainability work can be as diverse as Philly’s residents: SustainPHL 2018

The third annual awards show from Green Philly celebrated community development pros, local nonprofits and other people and orgs making Philadelphia greener.

SustainPHL's 2018 winners with founder Julie Hancher (center).

(Photo by Scotch Studio/Ashley Shuey)

Future event organizers, take note: Your nominees, speakers and attendees must represent the breadth of the community you’re honoring. Otherwise, you risk becoming obsolete.

Last night, local changemakers delivered in celebrating the variety of people and organizations working to make the city greener at the third annual SustainPHL. The awards show from consulting company and blog Green Philly highlighted community impact leaders, social enterprises, civic orgs and nonprofits for their impactful sustainability efforts.

“We are excited to recognize a diversity of Philadelphia’s sustainability leaders who are making changes everyday,” founder Julie Hancher wrote in an email. “Our third awards continued to highlight those tackling climate change, innovative solutions and disruptors that would otherwise go unnoticed. It’s important to talk about Philadelphia’s accomplishments so we can continue to evolve and work towards climate solutions.”

Presenter and LIA Diagnostics founder Bethany Edwards spoke about the discrepancy of venture capital available for “frivolous tech” such as virtual reality versus social enterprises working to solve big issues. (Hey, locally focused impact investing!)

Naida Elena Burgos, a presenter, 2017 awardee and community engagement coordinator at Temple’s Center for Bioethics, Urban Health and Policy, said so-called vulnerable communities should actually be considered resilient because they must constantly strive to maintain the resources they do have: “Communities have been sustaining themselves all along.”

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Susquehanna Clean Up/Pick Up head Judith Robinson of North Philadelphia implored funders to remember the grassroots orgs making a difference in their communities.

Former Office of Sustainability Deputy Director Sarah Wu reminded that the best thing citizens can do to fight climate change is to vote — with their time, money and power, along with literal ballots.

Esperanza Education and Community Development Manager Gabriella Gabriel Paez called for increased accessibility in green services, including bilingual information, to ensure that all Philadelphians are educated about sustainability. After all, she said, the one thing that brings us all together is “we all breath the same air” and live on the same earth.

And upon accepting the #FuturePHL award, Philadelphia Program Manager Patrick Morgan of the Knight Foundation emphasized that the work in improving our city — and planet — is collective.

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Here are all of your 2018 award recipients:

  • Impact Business Leader — Circle Compost
  • Social Impact — Ken Weinstein
  • Business Innovation — Hungry Harvest
  • Neighborhood Champion — Judith Robinson
  • Sustainability Mentor — Diana O’Fee-Powers
  • Sustainable Communities — Bartram’s Garden
  • Climate Hero — Sarah Wu
  • Activist of the Year — Gabriela Gabriel Paez
  • #FuturePHL — Patrick Morgan

See all 2018 nominees here, and see 2017’s winners here and 2016’s winners here.

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