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  • Meet the SustainPHL Nominees: IMPACT BUSINESS LEADER impact-biz-leader Full view

    Meet the SustainPHL Nominees: IMPACT BUSINESS LEADER

    These businesses are making an impact in our community, by employing community members as well as positively affecting our environment. Impact businesses are proof that for-profit enterprises can be stewards of social and environmental change, creating that triple-bottom line.

    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!


    • The GREEN Program
    • Sustrana
    • Mariposa Food Co-op


    Redefining how college students connect with sustainability careers

    The GREEN Program (TGP) was founded five years ago by a 19-year-old college student, Melissa Lee, who saw a lack of connectedness between higher education and the real world. Passionate about hands-on education and global experiences, Lee and her team quickly came to realize that this feeling of stagnation stemmed from the monotony of in-classroom education and traditional textbook learning.

    TGP designs and operates short-term, accredited, experiential education programs for the world’s most pressing issues. The GREEN Program’s inter-disciplinary approach has attracted students from 470 universities and 70 countries globally to further their studies in sustainable development. Alumni of the program have the opportunity to connect with local businesses and like minded people through professional networking events hosted by TGP. Since its founding, The GREEN Program has impacted over 2,000 students globally, welcoming them into their extensive alumni network.

    While TGP currently operates across three continents, its core team is based in Philadelphia, working with local institutions like U Penn, Drexel, Temple and Swarthmore College. Its workforce development platform partners with corporate hiring partners seeking sustainably-minded talent by recruiting top talent from its alumni network. For every person that is hired, one disadvantaged student is provided a scholarship to participate on a GREEN Program course abroad. TGP also offers scholarships financial assistance to students in need. The organization also hopes to play a role in combating Philly’s “brain drain” by valuing local talent in their internal recruitment and hiring process.

    TGP’s innovative approach seems to resonate with its alumni as nearly 100% saying that the program has helped them to refine their professional, personal and academic purpose and 80% reporting that employers have asked about their GREEN experience during job interviews. TGP currently has courses in Iceland (Renewable Energy), Peru (Water Resource Management) and Hawai’i (Sustainable Community Food Systems and Energy).


    A software solution to corporate sustainability challenges 

    Sustrana is a software company that provides companies with a faster, more affordable way to benefit from sustainability efforts. Their easy-to-use tools help sustainability teams prioritize work based on value, convince decision-makers to provide necessary resources, and actively manage the work of dispersed teams to get exceptional results. The Devon, PA women-owned B Corp was co-founded by Nancy Cleveland, CEO, and Jennifer Anderson, COO, to accelerate progress and time to value for companies working on sustainability issues. Passionate about democratizing sustainability by making it accessible to businesses outside the Fortune 500, Sustrana’s affordable platform streamlines and optimizes sustainability efforts so that companies get the most value out of the effort they put in. The company has an ambitious goal of enabling 1000 companies to build sustainability programs by 2020.

    Sustrana is committed to having a positive impact on the community. They hire women returning to work and participate in the B Inclusive Challenge by B Lab. The company provides volunteerism benefits for full-time employees and also have reduced pricing for non-profit/educational institutions. 


    A consumer-owned values driven food cooperative

    A cooperatively-owned retail grocery store located in West Philadelphia, Mariposa Food Co-op’s mission and values are directly rooted in the needs of the community. For over 45 years, its storefront has provided the community with access to affordable, healthy, and sustainably-produced foods and products, including fresh produce, bread, meat, seafood, special diet products, and body care. Mariposa’s everyday low price program, Co-op Basics, ensures quality while keeping prices low on organic grocery staples, including milk, bulk items, frozen fruits and vegetables, and more. While Mariposa Food Co-op is open to the public, ownership is a voluntary means of engaging with the Co-op and community. To become an owner, a shopper invests equity in having a voice in business decisions. To ensure ownership is accessible to everyone in our community, the Mariposa Owner Fund subsidizes equity for low-income shoppers.

    When it comes to social and environmental justice, Mariposa Co-op walks the walk. They source 100% local and renewable electricity through the Energy Co-op, compost 100 gallons of food waste and recycle 300 gallons of paper, plastic, glass, and metals per week. Through their donations program, Mariposa has donated $17,000 to over 180 local and national organizations. They employee 45 Philadelphians, most of which reside in the West Philadelphia community. The vast majority of employees earn at least Philadelphia’s living wage of $11.70 (as defined by MIT’s living wage scale). Additionally, Mariposa invests in the health and general well-being of its employees by offering all employees who are scheduled for at least 25 hours per week free medical insurance, extremely affordable dental insurance, short term disability insurance, vision insurance, and paid time off and more.


    Join us for SustainPHL on August 3rd to find out who will become the 2017 Impact Business Leader 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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