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Meet the SustainPHL Nominees: TD Bank Sustainable Communities 2022
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Meet the SustainPHL Nominees: TD Bank Sustainable Communities 2022

This nominee is working to provide communities with equitable access to clean air & water, clean & open spaces, and energy-efficient resources, as well as protecting local wildlife & habitats.

In October, Philadelphia’s SustainPHL Awards will highlight and celebrate these community changemakers. Join us to honor them and announce the recipient at the SustainPHL Awards on October 20 at the Academy of Natural Sciences. 

Circular Philadelphia

Circular Philadelphia’s mission is to drive growth of a thriving circular economy in the greater Philadelphia region through advocacy, education, infrastructure development, and collaboration. They promote smart policy, innovation, and action to transform Philadelphia’s linear economy to an efficient and resilient circular economy of the future. Circular Philadelphia consists of materials management and circular economy professionals who bring together individuals, businesses, manufacturers, institutions, local government, and policymakers to lead the shift to a circular economy in the region.

In just over a year of existence, Circular Philadelphia has engaged 37 organizational members and 78 individual members to drive a circular economy in Philadelphia. Some of their major wins include working to change regulations to allow reusable containers in Philadelphia restaurants for to-go food, education and outreach on streamlined permits and incentives for deconstruction, mapping circular textile supply chains and activating vacant land for circular economy business use.

PAR Recycle Works 

Since 2016, the nonprofit People Advancing Reintegration (PAR)-Recycle Works provides valuable job training and practical skills to formerly incarcerated people. As a nonprofit electronics recycler, PAR-Recycle Works provides transitional employment to people returning from prison. By providing employees with skills and opportunities, PAR-Recycle Works helps to build safer communities and contribute to stronger families while saving taxpayer money.  

In the United States, individuals exiting prison frequently encounter insurmountable difficulties while rebuilding their lives, including restrictions in the job market or in obtaining safe and affordable housing. Nationwide, according to the US Department of Justice, 68% of individuals who are freed from prison will eventually be put behind bars again.  For PAR Recycle Works employees, the recidivism rate is 5%.

According to PAR General Manager Maurice Q. Jones:  “PAR employees receive education in digital and financial literacy, conflict management, and mental health strategies during their time here.  We also hope to build a sense of personal accountability and dedication among our staff.  These important and transferable skills help PAR employees secure steady jobs after their time with us.”

Sanctuary Farm

With the help of neighbors, volunteers, and other nonprofit partnerships, Sanctuary Farm “broke ground” on an empty lot in North Philadelphia in May 2017.? Since then, Sanctuary Farm has planted, grown, and harvested over 17,300 pounds of fresh produce. The produce has been distributed to over 700 families in the community, free of charge. Sanctuary Farm believes strongly in the transformative power of nature to provide opportunities for neighbors to work together to create a space of beauty, safety, and healing for those in need.

Sanctuary Farm is empowering citizens in the Sharswood/Brewerytown neighborhood to establish food sovereignty by cultivating safe spaces for multigenerational community gatherings that use environmentally sound practices for crop propagation and harvest, and by teaching residents (especially young residents) about the importance of sustainable practices and environmental stewardship so that these lessons can provide a ripple effect in the community.


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Stephanie Ostroff loves exploring green spaces in and around Philly. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maryland and has been published in National Geographic, Generocity, and Fathom. When she’s not writing, she works as a speech/language therapist at AIM Academy. In her free time, Stephanie enjoys getting lost in the Wissahickon, practicing yoga, and planning travel adventures. View all posts by Stephanie Ostroff

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