2009 Philadelphia Sustainability Awards Winners

By Adam Eisman, GREENandSAVE.com
Posted on Sunday 8th March 2009
After months of speculation and anticipation, the 2009 Philadelphia Sustainability Awards were handed out this past Monday, March 2.  The ceremony was held at the Flower Show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, and all in attendance were surrounded by that which they work to save.  The beautiful works of nature on display at the Flower Show were a stark reminder to those who have worked so hard that their efforts are most definitely worth it. 
With great pleasure, I present the Philadelphia Sustainability Awards Winners, and the reasons their work is so valuable to our community.

Bob Pierson for Farm to City

Farm to City provides a range of services to Community Supported Agriculture Farmers, and charges a percentage of the share price based upon those requested by the various farmers. For example, Farm to City works with the farmer to define the CSA, including how many shares can be provided and for what cost, what crops will be included in the share, how long the season will be, payment systems, and other issues.

Farm to City then recruits CSA shareholders for the farms. Optional services including brochure production, bookkeeping, drop-off site management, communications with shareholders (including handbooks, and a monthly newsletter), and organizing special events. Bob also addresses shareholder complaints, and evaluates the season with surveys of the shareholders.

Energy Coordinating Agency

Liz Robinson started working at the People’s Emergency Center and realized more than 25 years ago that energy costs represented a significant expenditure for low-income households. Now energy costs represent significant costs for many more sectors of our society.

Funding for ECA’s low-income conservation and education programs has grown steadily, enabling ECA to weatherize more homes each year, saving 20% to 50%.
ECA’s staff is steadily growing to meet the rising demand for services. ECA now has 95 full time employees, including HERS raters, engineers, licensed mechanics and electricians, energy auditors, and installers. ECA is also helping to expand the presence of green collar jobs that are a rapidly growing sector in Philadelphia’s workforce to create a new clean energy economy.

Philadelphia Eagles ‘Go Green’

When it was launched in 2003, Go Green was a ground-breaking campaign, incorporating green initiatives, sustainable business practices and educational programs as our core operating principals. Our mission continues to be creating and sustaining championship performance on the field and in the community through practices that promote the quality of life, green the environment, and improve one's impact on the planet.

The Eagles are the first professional sports organization to implement an environmental strategy, instituting recycling programs, operating on 100% clean energy, the procurement of post-consumer recycled paper products, tree-planting programs, the use of organic and pesticide-free materials on our playing and practice fields, the replacement of plastic cups and utensils with corn-based products, and bio-diesel fuel recycled from the cooking fats used in the team’s kitchens.

In 2008, the Philadelphia Eagles purchased 14 million kilowatt hours of wind power. This major purchase will allow the team to run on 100% renewable energy at Lincoln Financial Field and the NovaCare Complex training facility all year long. Working with Native Energy and MCEnergy, the Philadelphia Eagles have become the first NFL team to operate exclusively on clean energy.

Schuylkill Banks Greenway – Locust St. to MLK Blvd.

Schuylkill Banks is the tidal segment of the Schuylkill River south of the Fairmount Dam in Philadelphia. This stretch of river was historically an outdoor retreat for urban dwellers, but the industrial revolution left it contaminated and disconnected from neighboring communities. Poor access to this river in the heart of Philadelphia was caused as much by pollution and stigma as by limited physical access points and the overgrown state of the Banks.

From the decline of the industrial revolution to the end of the 20th century, the east bank of the Schuylkill River south of Martin Luther King Boulevard (formerly West River Drive) was abandoned and disconnected from the urban fabric of Philadelphia. Few people visited the site, so it became a haven for illegal activity. As late as the 1990’s few Philadelphians believed that this stretch of river could be reclaimed for positive use. However, the City of Philadelphia, Fairmount Park Commission and Schuylkill River Development Corporation had the revolutionary idea to transform this forlorn bank into a riverfront destination in the heart of Philadelphia, one of the first industrial riverfront reclamation projects in the city.

Thin Flats

As the first LEED duplexes in the country, and most importantly being sold at a market rate price, Thin Flats proves that sustainable building does not have to be more expensive. This is a fundamental mission of Onion Flats.

Thin Flats is a unique experiment for Philadelphia, the region and the country. Scheduled to be the first LEED Platinum duplexes in the country, this project demonstrates that the highest level of sustainable building and living is not only possible, but accessible in a dense urban setting. It also shows how this is achieved by working with existing typologies of dwelling in the city: the Row house/duplex. As such, Thin Flats will be model of sustainable building for the country. This project will educate the general public, private developers and politicians through concrete and measurable ways that sustainable building must be common place, not a series of novelty exercises for those who can afford it. They believe that through Thin Flats it will become that much more apparent to wider audience that the question is not what is the cost of “living sustainably” but rather what is cost of living otherwise.

GREENandSAVE.com is a free resource for anyone that wants to save energy, money, and the environment. The articles, product reviews, online tools, and return on investment calculations are researched from a diverse range of public and private sector sources. Overall, the company is passionate about saving money as well as creating healthy homes, offices, and lifestyles.

For more information on the Philadelphia Sustainability Awards, check out their website at PhiladelphiaSustainabilityAwards.com.  And for great ways to make your home more sustainable, take a look at the Return on Investment Rankings for Home Remodeling at GREENandSAVE.

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