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Meet the SustainPHL Impact Business Leader nominees for 2023

Meet the SustainPHL Impact Business Leader nominees for 2023

These businesses are making an impact in our community, by employing community members as well as positively affecting our environment. Impact businesses are proof that for-profit enterprises can be stewards of social and environmental change, creating that triple-bottom line.

Philadelphia’s SustainPHL Awards highlights and celebrates these community changemakers. Join us to honor them and announce the recipient at the SustainPHL Awards on October 19th at the Academy of Natural Sciences. 

Riverwards Produce

Riverwards Produce is a community-focused grocery store that embodies sustainability, supports local businesses and farmers, and actively contributes to the well-being of its employees and the broader Philadelphia community.

They employ a significant number of community members, advocating for shopping locally and supporting local purveyors and farmers, all while encouraging healthy eating.

The business prioritizes sustainability not only in its food offerings but also in its overall operations. Riverwards Produce has made efforts to restore, preserve, and repurpose old buildings for its business, contributing to the preservation of local heritage and reducing the environmental impact of new construction.

Owner Vincent Finazzo is committed to advocating for his employees, setting a precedent by offering a $16 minimum wage and providing medical benefits to all staff members. He has also been involved in advocating for small businesses and sustainability, including efforts to address credit card fees.

Ray’s Reusables

Ray’s Reusables stands out as a sustainable and community-focused business, promoting environmentally friendly practices and reducing waste in North Philadelphia.They offer environmentally friendly products in refillable or sustainable packaging, providing an eco-conscious alternative to traditional retail. They also accept glass and other household objects for recycling, promoting responsible waste management.

One of the remarkable aspects of Ray’s Reusables is their commitment to sustainability and equity in all business decisions. They actively work to reduce single-use plastics by encouraging customers to bring their containers for refills. They operate from a mobile van, reaching different neighborhoods through farmers’ markets, making sustainable shopping accessible to the community.

Ray’s Reusables goes beyond just selling products; they host events and programs that highlight other sustainable businesses, artists, and practices in the city, fostering a sense of community and environmental awareness. Additionally, Ray has started producing her own sustainable products locally, further contributing to the sustainability of her business.

Ebony Suns

Ebony Suns Enterprises has a strong reputation for delivering exceptional results in environmental justice, political, and business communities at both the local and national levels. The organization has successfully executed business consulting contracts for various prominent clients, including PNC Bank, SEPTA, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia Mural Arts, Urban League of Philadelphia, OIC of America, and the Philadelphia School District.

Over the past 15 years, Ebony Suns Enterprises has made a significant impact by providing training programs, technical assistance, and project management services to more than 1,000 youth, adults, and families in various neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia. The organization is a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, as well as a vendor with the Philadelphia School District. Additionally, it has been recognized with the Black Male Engagement (BMe) Award from the Knight Foundation for its work in engaging Black and Brown males from under-resourced communities in social entrepreneurship, community organizing, and leadership.

Ebony Suns Enterprises, LLC is well-prepared to continue its mission in coaching youth and adult entrepreneurs, recruiting, training, and supporting workforce training programs, advising on public policy, performing public education/advocacy, providing green lobbying services, and offering consulting, program development, and administration services in collaboration with high schools, universities, non-profit organizations, and government agencies.

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Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher
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