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  • Meet The SustainPHL Nominees: Climate Hero Award climate-hero-2017 Full view

    Meet The SustainPHL Nominees: Climate Hero Award

    These nominees are combating climate change through communications and large-scale initiatives & programs. These initiatives and programs can dramatically improve sustainability (infrastructure, policy, restoration, research).

    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!

    SustainPHL Climate Hero 2017 Nominees

    • The Philadelphia Energy Authority
    • Jessica Franzini
    • Joan Blaustein

    The Philadelphia Energy AuthorityPhiladelphia Energy Authority

    “We believe in clean, affordable energy for all!”

    The Philadelphia Energy Authority is an independent municipal authority focused on energy affordability and sustainability for Philadelphia’s government and its citizens.

    In partnership with City Council President Darrell Clarke, the Philadelphia Energy Authority launched the Philadelphia Energy Campaign, a $1 billion, 10-year initiative to invest in energy efficiency and clean energy projects in four sectors – City buildings, schools, low and moderate-income housing and small businesses.

    Their goals are to create 10,000 jobs, touch 25,000 households and reach 2,500 small businesses. Over the last year, they’ve developed 16 programs or projects in process. The projects include: a multi-million dollar energy performance contract at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a small business program that has already audited 55 corner stores and neighborhood restaurants across Philly, solar training program at the School District of Philadelphia, a three-school efficiency pilot with the School District taking place this Fall, a multifamily affordable housing efficiency and solar program with over 200 units in the pilot, a Solarize Philly initiative with over 525 households signed up. (Wow!)

    All of their efforts focus on ways to support underserved communities, leveraging a growing clean energy economy, neighborhood stabilization and critical neighborhood infrastructure, improving the health, comfort, and affordability of housing across Philadelphia.

    Jessica FranziniJessica Franzini

    I am driven by the desire to make tough inner-city neighborhoods clean, green, and beautiful WITH the people – transforming a city without displacing the people who live there.”

    Jessica Franzini focused her efforts on community-based urban tree planting in the City of Camden for over 8 years as Senior Program Director with the NJ Tree Foundation. She has worked with thousands of residents to help make their vision of a greener, more revitalized community possible.

    In her role, she had a range of community outreach to tree selection to organizing volunteer tree planting events. She helped plant over 3,000 trees in barren neighborhoods suffering from poor air quality, fruit trees in community gardens that people relied on for food, and tall shade trees in under-served parks in need of shade. As Jessica says, “I am constantly inspired by the people I meet in Camden, who have lived through some of the most traumatic and challenging circumstances, and who fight every day to make their communities better.”

    Jessica helped create Camden’s green infrastructure program known as the Camden SMART Initiative in 2011 and was involved in the first-ever regional one-million tree effort, Plant One Million (P1M). 

    Jessica is now the Associate Director of Community Initiatives for a community development non-profit, Camden Lutheran Housing which focuses on helping stabilize and beautify streets, vacant lots, and even vacant houses through community-based greening and artwork.

    Joan BlausteinJoan Blaustein

    “Clean air and clean water are key to human well being. I have spent my career working on ways to improve the environmental well being of the communities where I lived.”

    As Director of the Urban Forestry and Ecosystem Management Division of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, Joan Blaustein worked to protect and manage Philadelphia’s natural resources for the benefit of the citizens of the city and the region. Previous to moving to Philadelphia in 2006, she managed environmental projects for the City of Pittsburgh and for other non-profit organizations.

    The Urban Forestry and Ecosystem Management team is responsible for the health of the natural lands in the park system and the street tree canopy, which help build the city’s resiliency from the effects of climate change. The team is focused on using the most current thinking and engaging citizens in the process so that they understand and value these resources.

    In the management of 5600 acres of natural parkland, they have restored miles of stream corridors, created hundreds of acres of new meadows and wetlands, and planted thousands of native plants. They have also planted and given away thousands of street and yard trees through TreePhilly, improving the city’s tree canopy.


    Join us for SustainPHL on August 3rd to find out who will become the 2017 Climate Hero Award recipient!

    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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