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    Office of Sustainability Celebrates Greenworks & 10 Yrs!

    Last evening, the Office of Sustainability (OOS), Mayor Kenney and the sustainability community celebrated one year of sustainability at the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest.

    (Sidenote: If you’re going to throw a green party in winter, why not host it at the coolest waterfront location, complete with ice skating and drink tickets? OOS – so hot right now.)

    The Office of Sustainability had many reasons to celebrate, including its 10 year anniversary. (#Twinsies.) It was established in 2008 under Mayor Nutter and made permanent in 2014. It’s also been two years of the Greenworks program under Director Christine Knapp and Mayor Jim Kenney. Despite turmoil for the environment at the federal level, Philadelphia has continued to set goals and shape a more sustainable future.

    reviewing the Past Year of Greenworks

    Greenworks Celebration Mayor Jim Kenney & Christine Knapp

    Mayor Kenney kicked off the Greenworks celebration by sharing a few of the significant sustainability accomplishments over the past year:

    • Committing to uphold at the local level the very same commitment made by the U.S. in the Paris climate agreement, and signing on to the Chicago Climate Charter, Mayor’s For 100% Clean Energy pledge, and the Climate Mayor’s commitment.
    • Releasing the City’s first Municipal Energy Master Plan and a draft of Powering Our Future: A Clean Energy Vision for Philadelphia which lays out strategies for slashing carbon emissions.
    • Creating the Zero Waste and Litter Plan to help us achieve zero waste by 2035.
    • Joining the Philadelphia 2030 District campaign, a private-sector driven initiative to reduce building energy, water use and transportation emissions by 50% by 2030.
    • Continuing to lead the country with our innovative green stormwater infrastructure program.

    The Office of Sustainability is responding and adapting to what the public wants. They’ve held listening and community engagement sessions, released feedback surveys and made an effort to react accordingly. As Catalina Jaramillo of PlanPhilly reported, the Office of Sustainability issued a colorful magazine about community stories instead of cumbersome chart-heavy PDFs. Flipping through, the magazine feels like something you’d pick up at a coffee shop instead of a report released by a government agency. In addition to interviews and bios, there’s also coloring pages and quizzes! They really thought of it all.

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    Hearing from the Community

    In addition to remarks from Mayor Kenney and Knapp, the city also welcomed comments from two community members making a difference.

    Feed the Barrel Executive Director Hani White spoke about working collaboratively. Feed the Barrel keeps used cooking oil out of sewers and waterways and instead collects it to turn it into biofuels. As White said, “We hope our work proves that when we work collaboratively, we can help create healthier, stronger and more sustainable communities.”

    “Take a copy of Greenworks on the Ground, don’t complain unless you’re gonna be a part of the solution, and trust the process.” – Wilma Mack

    Wilma Greenworks Release

    Wilma Mack, Vice President of the 5500 Thompson Street Town Watch, focused on how we’re all a part of the climate change solution. As a sassy Mack mentioned, “My mama taught me not to complain if you’re not going to be part of the solution. My community group works together, with the help of City resources like CLIP and 311, to keep our area clean and safe.” The next time we need a pep talk, we’re speed-dialing Mack!

     

    Photos: Office of Sustainability, @GreenworksPhila, Twitter

    Julie Hancher

    About 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.

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