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Meet the SustainPHL Nominees: Climate Hero
Philly

Meet the SustainPHL Nominees: Climate Hero

What makes a SustainPHL Climate Hero?

These nominees advocate to bring climate change as a central part of our conversation or take action to fight climate change.

We’re honoring sustainability changemakers from across the city on August 18th at WHYY. Make sure to get in on the action and get your ticket today.

As we count down the days until SustainPHL, let’s get to know the Climate Heroes a little better!

Climate Hero Nominees 2016

  • #ClimateDisrupted
  • Swarthmore College
  • Green City, Clean Waters | Philadelphia Water Department

#ClimateDistrupted

“They curate and produce art that approaches climate change from a local lens, and they focus on solutions. Art has tremendous potential to engage people in climate change and #ClimateDisrupted is proving that. Philadelphia is lucky to have such pioneers in this realm.”

Climate Disrupted

#ClimateDisrupted is a project spearheaded by The Schuylkill Center, and local artists Joey Hartmann-Dow and Leslie Birch. The project brings together art, music, poetry, and storytelling to show how Philadelphians are affected by climate change in our city’s language, ART.

The first #ClimateDisrupted art festival was held in Fishtown on April 30, where artists and artists’ works fostered conversations about climate change between dozens of community members. The project is moving to the Schuylkill Center this fall, and the organizers are in the process of taking this novel project to other communities.

Swarthmore College

“There is no one “person in charge”, but the school and those in charge of campus sustainability are helping to serve as an example of what can be done, even in a smaller institution with limited resources.”

What are students doing to encourage local schools to divest from fossil fuels? Find out in today's post from guest blogger, a student from @swarthmorecollege. philly Philadelphia college sustainability green swarthmore @350philly @cleanaircouncil

Swarthmore College serves as a leader for other local higher education institutions, especially with their recent decision to tax themselves for carbon emissions. This is a huge step forward that many area schools, as well as schools around the country, can learn from.

Swarthmore has made a few other sustainable accomplishments:

  • Committing to carbon neutrality by 2035 as an institution
  • Being among the top small liberal arts colleges nationally regarding energy efficiency (measured by EUI)
  • Working with Serenity House in North Philadelphia to help them install solar panels, complete energy efficiency upgrades in local homes, and train apprentices in solar installation
  • Establishing one of the first ‘carbon prices’ among colleges and universities and acting as a leader in promoting carbon pricing among higher education institutions
  • Installing geothermal ground source heat pumps as part of our new constructions projects
  • Establishing an Environmental Sustainability Framework that outlines ambitious goals and guidelines for construction, energy, carbon, and stormwater management
  • Purchasing RECs to help offset electricity purchases
  • Launching a President’s Sustainability Research Fellowship Program that involves 12 students working in a full-year program to help solve campus environmental and climate challenges

Green City, Clean Waters

“With the help of residents, City departments, private developers, elected officials and environmental advocates, Philadelphia Water has led the way in transitioning Green City, Clean Waters from its pilot phase to a real-life program that is making our rivers cleaner right now while improving our neighborhoods, block by block.”

rain garden Philadelphia green city clean waters

In the first five years of Green City, Clean Waters, Philadelphia added thousands of green stormwater tools to our neighborhoods through development, redevelopment and investments at hundreds of private and public sites, keeping hundreds of millions of gallons of polluted water out of our rivers annually. This 25-year City of Philadelphia program is the first green-centric plan in the U.S. to gain acceptance from the Environmental Protection Agency and Pa. Dept. of Environmental Protection, the regulators responsible for protecting local drinking water sources.

Since 2011, they have been working to create a complex, efficient machine that relies on modeling, planning, design, engineering, outreach, monitoring and maintenance to create a network of green infrastructure tools that’s unlike anything done before in the U.S.

The EPA and Philadelphia agreed to specific goals to be achieved by 2036. Within the first five years, Philadelphia had to show that we could build 744 “Greened Acres”, a term used to describe the volume of stormwater managed with green tools. They beat it – by June 2016, they’ve gone past 744 Greened Acres, a feat that means Philadelphia is now keeping more than 600 million gallons of polluted water out of our rivers each year.

We’ve covered the Green City, Clean Waters program extensively on GPB – just take a look at the past articles to learn more.

Attend SustainPHL on August 18th!

We congratulate the Climate Hero Award nominees and look forward to celebrating them at the SustainPHL awards on August 18th! Get your tickets online here.

Become a Supporter!

If you love what we do you can support our mission with a one-time or monthly contribution.
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Julie Hancher
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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