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  • Meet the SustainPHL Nominees: Activist OTY Activist-OTY-nominees Full view

    Meet the SustainPHL Nominees: Activist OTY

    This nominee is promoting a sustainability cause and is an activist in his/her/their community by increasing visibility and awareness of sustainability initiatives to new & broader audiences.

    In August, Philadelphia’s SustainPHL Awards will highlight and celebrate these community changemakers. Join us to celebrate these visionaries and announce the recipient at the SustainPHL Awards on August 3rd at WHYY!


    • Fossil Free Penn
    • Anna Shipp
    • Russell Zerbo


    Taking a seat for climate justice

    “As the alma mater of the President Trump, we feel our university is in a unique position to take leadership in sustainable investing practices among elite academic institutions, and encourage Penn to take a strong stance in favor of environmental justice.”

    Fossil Free Penn organizes students at the University of Pennsylvania to campaign for divestment of Penn’s endowment from the top 200 fossil fuel companies and to reinvest a portion of that into clean energy technologies. By mobilizing the campus through sit-ins and outreach, the group has pushed the administration to consider the university’s impacts on climate change, climate denial, and environmental injustice.

    Formed in 2015, one of Fossil Free Penn’s first acts was to initiate an undergraduate referendum with almost 90% of students voting in favor of fossil fuel divestment. The group’s initial sit-in (the first at Penn in nearly 15 years) was organized after its proposal to the Board of Trustees was rejected. Following this action, the group began meeting monthly with administrators and even met with President Amy Guttman and Chairman David Cohen to discuss the university’s responsibility for climate leadership.

    And the movement is growing—Fossil Free Penn recently organized a successful 4-day long sit-in, with over 250 students participating, more than 70 of which voluntarily risked disciplinary action.


    Maximizing the triple bottom line through local industry and innovation

    “I believe that we can have strong economies, and take care of people and our planet all at the same time. And I think we have the imperative to do so.”

    Before her recent appointment as Executive Director of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia (SBN), Anna served as the long-time manager of SBN’s GSI Partners, a business-informed initiative working to maximize the triple bottom line impact of Philly’s innovative nature-based storm water management plan, Green City, Clean Waters. During her tenure with GSI Partners, Anna helped create a network of over 70 local businesses who employ an estimated 1600 people with a combined annual revenue of approximately $190 million. This local industry conservatively represents an annual economic impact of $60 million within Philadelphia, supporting 430 local jobs and generating nearly $1 million in local tax revenue. Anna and her colleagues at SBN envision a future where businesses are investors in the quality of life for all citizens. By educating policy makers and the public, SBN supports the business community in building profitable enterprises that serve community needs, while sharing

    Anna and her colleagues at SBN envision a future where businesses are investors in the quality of life for all citizens. By educating policymakers and the public, SBN supports the business community in building profitable enterprises that serve community needs, while sharing the wealth and protecting the environment.

    Anna holds a Masters of Environmental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, where her academic work focused on urban sustainability. She was a 2012 US Forest Service Sustainability Science Fellow, the 2013 recipient of the Dr. Frederick Scatena Award for Outstanding Research in Urban Forestry, and a 2015 Fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program. Anna has worked and volunteered for several non-profits in Philadelphia, each committed to making this city a better place – environmentally, economically, and socially. She enjoys all things outside, going for long bike rides, gardening, and cooking.


    Boldly advocating for all Philadelphians’ right to clean air

    “What’s most admirable about Russell is that he remains open to new approaches to advocacy, and is able to balance ideals with pragmatism to get the job done.”

    As Advocacy Coordinator at the Clean Air Council, Russell is a tireless champion for climate justice and clean air. From powerful op-eds to local news outlets to strongly worded emails to government agencies and elected officials, Russell fiercely advocates for Philly residents from all walks of life. Highlights of his work include reporting over 150 cases of illegal dumping to the city, organizing extreme heat workshops for seniors and his most recent project—starting an air monitoring pilot in Eastwick and Kensington to help residents report local pollution issues in their neighborhoods. Passionate about outreach, Russell can often be found talking about global warming or offering up his DIY recipes for to combat mold and moisture in the home.

    A graduate of The College of William and Mary with a degree in American Government and Politics, Russell also serves on the Philadelphia Health Department’s Climate Change and Health Advisory Group and works within the Philadelphia Health and Environment Ethnography Lab based out of Drexel University.

    Join us for SustainPHL on August 3rd to find out who will become the 2017 Activist of the Year recipient!

    Lori Braunstein

    About Lori Braunstein

    Lori Braunstein is the founder of Sustainable Cherry Hill and Director for Change Leadership at The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education. Always evolving, she enjoys figuring out how everyday people can be a force in creating a clean, green future. Reach Lori at braunsteinlori@gmail.com or @lori_braun on Twitter.

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