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Meet the SustainPHL TD Bank Sustainable Communities nominees for 2023
Philly

Meet the SustainPHL TD Bank Sustainable Communities nominees for 2023

This nominee prioritizes environmental responsibility, social equity, and economic prosperity but also influences and inspires broader groups of people to adopt these principles.

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. 

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) is on a mission to enhance health and well-being in the Philadelphia region through horticulture. Their impactful programs actively support sustainability and the preservation of local ecosystems. PHS annually plants thousands of trees, nurtures over 170 community gardens that yield and donate fresh produce, revitalizes 13,000 vacant land parcels, implements stormwater management solutions, and strategically plants to foster pollinators and natural habitats in 20 public gardens and landscapes across Philadelphia.

PHS is committed to infusing greenspaces and tree canopies into the urban landscape, inspiring residents and educating them on the significance of nurturing local ecosystems and biodiversity by planting native and pollinator-friendly species. Their core ethos, “Gardening for the Greater Good,” encourages all individuals to consider their gardens as integral parts of a larger ecosystem, plant with intention, share their harvest, and find joy in gardening.

By addressing urban sustainability challenges like heat, air pollution, biodiversity loss, and limited access to fresh food, PHS collaborates closely with communities to implement greening initiatives that promote the well-being of all residents. These mission-driven programs have engaged over 300,000 people in the Philadelphia region in 2022, and PHS is recognized as a thought leader in creating sustainable programs for communities, partnering in projects such as the Philly Tree Plan and collaborating with the University of Pennsylvania on research projects focused on public health and crime mitigation through environmental changes in urban neighborhoods. The organization’s funding partly stems from the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show, a renowned event showcasing horticultural excellence and sustainable gardening practices.

Sustainable Business Network (SBN)

The Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia (SBN) is a community of local independent businesses dedicated to demonstrating that businesses can be profitable while also serving community needs, sharing wealth, and protecting the environment. They envision a future where businesses actively invest in the quality of life for all citizens and challenge and support the business community to build profitable enterprises that prioritize community well-being, wealth sharing, and environmental protection. SBN seeks to be an effective resource for locally-owned businesses in the Greater Philadelphia region, fostering sustainability and social responsibility, and aims to be a national leader in promoting entrepreneurial and sustainable business practices. They align with the vision of a global system of interconnected local economies that support just, democratic societies and harmonize with local ecosystems.

SBN’s mission is to cultivate a just, green, and thriving economy in the Greater Philadelphia region through education and support for local, independent businesses, as well as advocacy for sustainable practices. Their values include sustainability and respect for the Earth, community self-reliance and cooperation, diversity, optimism, authenticity, accountability, and pioneering leadership. They believe businesses have a responsibility to positively impact people, the planet, and profit, emphasizing the importance of modeling positive change in their communities, caring for the environment, and treating all living beings with respect and consideration.

Back to Earth Compost Crew

Back to Earth Compost Crew is actively promoting composting as a sustainable practice to reduce landfill waste and support soil regeneration for gardening and planting. They offer a household compost collection service, encouraging residents to gather food scraps and compostable materials, which are then processed into nutrient-rich garden soil at compost processing centers. The organization has experienced a steady growth in subscribers, highlighting a growing interest in composting among the community.

Beyond curbside compost pickup, Back to Earth Compost Crew goes the extra mile to make composting accessible and affordable for all. They establish community collection sites, donate finished compost to school gardens and community organizations, conduct educational workshops to educate people about composting, and collect glass for reuse by Bottle Underground. Moreover, they have made impactful connections that have prevented nearly two tons of soft plastic from ending up in landfills. This comprehensive approach not only reduces waste but also contributes to greenhouse gas reduction and minimizes physical pollution.

Back to Earth Compost Crew’s efforts have made composting various items, even challenging ones like eggshells and mango seeds, easy and accessible, helping people convert more of their household waste into valuable compost.


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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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