At Flower Show, green winners

The Sustainability Awards ceremony has now started down at the Flower Show, so we can let the cat out of the bag - Here are the 2009 winners!

The press release starts below and finishes after the jump, but please take note of some special E2P friends who deserve a hearty congrats. First is my man Bob Pierson of Farm to City, an organization that connects local organic produce with city residents in a variety of ways. Second, let's have a big hand for the Energy Coordinating Agency, whose indefatiguable staff supplies our biweekly advice column Stay Warm, Stay Green. And among the others I'll just note this one last time that in terms of eco-friendly business practices, the Eagles put their money where your mouth is by expanding their veg options this year (and it got them thisclose to the Super Bowl!).

This kind of recognition is great for keeping the buzz going, but it's people like you doing little things all day long that are truly going to make the biggest impact. So give yourself a hand, too!

WINNERS OF 2009 PHILADELPHIA SUSTAINABILITY AWARDS

PHILADELPHIA, PA—(March 2, 2009) — From seventy nominations submitted for the Pennsylvania Environmental Council’s (PEC) third annual Philadelphia Sustainability Awards, five winners were announced  today at a ceremony at the 2009 Philadelphia Flower Show, produced by The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

A dozen “sustainability innovators” were selected as finalists for the five awards that highlight Philadelphia’s progress towards becoming the greenest city in America.  The finalists include sports franchises, universities and businesses that have developed their own green initiatives.  Other finalists are planning coalitions and nonprofits that have helped residents of Philadelphia reduce their home energy costs, enjoy revitalized waterfronts, and buy fresh produce from local farms.

A distinguished panel of judges including nonprofit, government and business leaders from across the region selected five winners.  A full listing of the finalists is also available at www.philadelphiasustainabilityawards.org.  The 2009 winners include:

•Bob Pierson for Farm to City:  Pierson, through his dedication to organizing, administering and promoting farmers markets, has made this a successful program in Philadelphia.  Recently, Farm to City was cited as the major factor in Philadelphia making the top 10 green cities list for the integration of local food resources available to city residents.

•Energy Coordinating Agency:  The Energy Coordinating Agency, a provider of home energy heating/weatherization assistance, has significantly expanded in recent years to provide energy conservation services. ECA now provides Energy Star certification of homes and is a provider for the region for the United States Green Building Council’s LEED for Homes Program. Two new energy training programs that ECA is currently developing feature a one-day Energy Star workshop for architects/ building contractors, and a week-long training workshop for Certified Home Energy Field Inspectors.

•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. The Philadelphia Eagles were the first professional sports team to adopt responsibility for the environment and its role in the community. Today, the Eagles are an industry and community leader on implementing green initiatives.

•Schuylkill Banks Greenway - Locust St. to MLK Blvd.:  Schuylkill Banks is a 1.2 mile recreational trail and greenway along the tidal Schuylkill River. This formerly abandoned and overgrown stretch of riverfront has been transformed into a landscaped amenity where 16,000 people a week enjoy the outdoors in the heart of the city and thousands more take advantage of free and low cost programming. Schuylkill Banks is an alternative transportation corridor, urban wildlife habitat, pollution management plan, and community asset that unites diverse Philadelphians.

•Onion Flats (Thin Flats):  Thin Flats is a nine-unit residential development in the Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philadelphia that is scheduled to become the first LEED Platinum set of duplexes in the country, the highest level of sustainability possible through the USGBC’s LEED program. The concept behind Thin Flats proposes that green living is not an alternative lifestyle or a novelty product, but rather is grounded in common sense and is common place. 

“This year’s finalists demonstrate the breadth of initiative to make Philadelphia the greenest city in America,” said Patrick Starr, Vice President of the Southeast Region of PEC.  “The awards highlight corporate and institutional commitment, community vision, innovative design, regional networks, and practical implementation and service toward sustainability.”

The 70 nominees and 12 finalists illustrate a “green groundswell” in the Philadelphia region. Environmentalists and other sustainability experts say the urban environmental movement has spread from margins to mainstream to a policy option welcomed in City boardrooms and City Council.
As Mayor Nutter this year told members in a US congressional hearing, “Making Philadelphia the ‘greenest city in America’ has become a hallmark challenge of my administration.”

“The residents, businesses and government agencies of the region face an important challenge,” said J. Blaine Bonham, Jr., Executive Vice President of The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, which operates the Philadelphia Green urban revitalization program. “We must all work hard to make this region more environmentally friendly and sustainable.  Everyone can get involved to reshape Philadelphia’s economy and improve our quality of life through sustainability.  These finalists inspire us to follow their lead.”

The Philadelphia Sustainability Awards is a program of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, in collaboration with the City of Philadelphia, Delaware Valley Green Building Council, PennFuture, The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, The Reinvestment Fund, and Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission.   The Awards are a component of the Council’s Philadelphia Sustainability Initiative to promote sustainable practices and policies among residents, businesses, non-profit organizations, and governments throughout the region.

The Pennsylvania Environmental Council protects and restores the natural and built environments through innovation, collaboration, education and advocacy. PEC believes in the value of partnerships with the private sector, government, communities and individuals to improve the quality of life for all Pennsylvanians.  Founded in 1970, its advocacy work includes commenting on proposed legislation and regulations, testifying before the General Assembly committees and publishing analyses of environmental issues.

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