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Meet the SustainPHL Nominees: Climate Hero
Philly

Meet the SustainPHL Nominees: Climate Hero

The following nominees are combating climate change through communications and large-scale initiatives & programs. Their initiatives and programs can dramatically improve sustainability through infrastructure, policy, restoration, or research.

Join us on Thursday, August 8th at WHYY for the SustainPHL Awards as we celebrate the nominees and announce the recipients!

SustainPHL 2019 Climate Hero Nominees

  • Amy Kate Lobel
  • Climate Ready Philly
  • Sophie Sarkar
  • Joanne Douglas
Amy Kate Lobel

Amy Kate Lobel

“My work and my personal life are so interconnected, and I’m thankful that I can connect my passion to help better our region and planet through these channels. I’m especially encouraged by the network of leaders in our community pushing boundaries and innovating.”

Amy Kate Lobel manages community shared solar programs for Community Energy, Inc. (CEI), a leading 20-year old private renewable energy development firm based out of Radnor, where she works to expand access to clean, local, and affordable energy. CEI has developed over 1500 megawatts of wind and solar projects across the country, including a soon to be constructed 70-megawatt project for the City of Philadelphia.

Amy Kate also serves on the Board of Directors for the Sustainable Business Network (SBN), where she helps develop strategies to better serve businesses in the greater Philadelphia area and advocate for more and better sustainable business practices. SBN helps more than 300 Philadelphia area businesses advocate for a strong, local economy.

She and a few other women started a Facebook group a few years ago called “Women For A Sustainable Philadelphia” that grew out of their want for a space to share information and work together with individuals interested in sustainability in the region, both personally and professionally. Thanks to a push from attendees after a Green Philly “Women in Sustainability” panel, this eventually turned into networking events for sharing resources and learning from industry leaders.

Climate Ready Philly

Climate Ready Philly

“Our team continues to do this work because we have found that a lot of people want to learn more about climate change and what they can do about it.”

Climate Ready Philly, formerly Climate, Health, and Home, is a community education project founded in 2014 that teaches Philadelphians about climate change. Made up of a team of six people from Philadelphia-based organizations, every year they put together a dynamic workshop series on climate change, which includes information and activities about global climate change mechanisms and local impacts; emergency preparedness; outdoor and indoor air quality; energy efficiency and weatherization; flooding and mold in the home.

Since their founding, the organization has facilitated fifteen Climate Ready Philly workshops in six planning districts, and the workshops have been attended by more than 350 Philadelphians. These workshops include informational presentations, group discussion, and hands-on activities with a focus on providing basic, evidence-based information about global climate change and how Philadelphia will be impacted by rising temperatures, more precipitation, and stronger storms. In particular, Climate Ready Philly’s curriculum and activities focus on how climate change impacts the city’s homes, infrastructure, and health. 

The team makes an effort to hold their workshops in neighborhoods that are more susceptible to the impacts of climate change, such as areas that are prone to flooding or have a higher heat index. Their workshop content is also designed to address issues that vulnerable population groups will face, for example air pollution and asthma or rising costs of energy. More than 70% of Climate Ready Philly’s workshop participants are over the age of 70, so another important topic is the elderly and heat health.


Don’t miss SustainPHL!


Sophie Sarkar

Sophie Sarkar

“I am driven by my love for humanity and the natural world–which I am trying more and more to not see as separate–and my own fight against the ways that racial oppression has impacted me, my family, and my ancestors.”

A true champion of inclusive climate planning, Sophie Sarkar leads the Philadelphia Office of Sustainability’s work on building resilience to climate change at the neighborhood level and beyond with a highly innovative and collaborative approach. In collaboration with the Hunting Park community, Sophie created the first ever Neighborhood Heat Plan, which will not only address heat in Hunting Park, but will also be used to support other neighborhoods in doing the same. She explicitly works towards justice and shifting the power imbalances inherent in large-scale government policies and initiatives.

Sophie focuses on outreach for folks in neighborhoods who are experiencing disproportionate heat consequences of climate change in an engaging and equitable way. She also helped organize People of the Global Majority One (PGM ONE), which brings together people of color in the environmental sector to share stories and lessons, heal, connect, and empower each other.

An artist who incorporates themes of the environment, ancestry, and people power, Sophie is also a partner with the Avarna Group, with whom she facilitates trainings on equity, inclusion, and unconscious bias for environmental organizations.

Joanne Douglas

Joanne Douglas

“My hope is to build pathways for youth in Philadelphia to be more involved in the environmental movement, creating more diverse and inclusive solutions.”

Joanne Douglas is the Watershed Interpretation and Youth River Program Manager at Bartram’s Garden High School River Internship Program, a founding member of Encouraging Development of a Green Economy (EDGE), and a former environmental educator at Glen Foerd on the Delaware River. She is currently focusing on how climate change deniers could persecute and prohibit climate refugees, which would disproportionately affect people of color.

Bartram’s Garden is located in a predominantly African American community, and the immediate watershed area also has an underrepresented community of residents from Southeast Asia. By concentrating on relationship building and spending time on ways the surrounding cultures traditionally engage with water, Joanne and the River Program create programming that reflects the surrounding diversity. The youth program in particular trains students in cultural sensitivity and history around cultural roots connected to water to enhance the experience of visitors.

Joanne’s work as an environmental artist investigates the complicated connections and relationships between humans, water, industry and its influence on perceptions and definitions of space through the use of textiles, fibers, and creative writing.


Join us at SustainPHL on August 8th to find out who will become the 2019 Climate Hero award recipient!

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Madeleine Jones, who goes by her last name, is the Editorial Intern at Green Philly. She is new to Philadelphia and recently graduated from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, with a bachelor's in Environmental Studies and International Studies. Jones spends her free time with her nose buried in books, sampling Philly's vegan restaurants, fawning over her pet mouse, and filling out job applications. View all posts by Jones

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