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    Meet the SustainPHL Nominees: Impact Business Leader

    An effective leader is a person, or persons of an organization, who create an inspiring vision of the future, and motivate and inspire others to engage with that vision.

    We are lucky to have so many of these mission-driven organizations in Philadelphia, led by some of the most aspiring and inspiring trailblazers guiding the way. As we get closer to the SustainPHL Awards in August, we want to acknowledge and celebrate the nominees in the Impact Business Leader category for their innovation and entrepreneurial spirit.

    Cheers to the 2016 nominees!

    Impact Business Leader

    • Solar States
    • Wash Cycle Laundry
    • United By Blue

    Solar States

    Solar States install rooftop solar panels

    Micah Gold-Markel founded Solar States in 2008 with a vision to educate and impact the next generation through the power of solar energy. As a certified Benefit Corporation (B-Corp), Solar States is both a full-scale solar installation company and an educator, serving Philadelphia’s youth through hands-on internships and full-time jobs learning about solar and sustainability. Their educational programming has impacted well over one thousand students.

    Solar States has also stood out for their “Solarize” programs which aim to lower the cost to go solar for specific neighborhoods through group purchasing power. They have completed over 200 residential and commercial projects, including the famed Trolley Car Diner and home of sustainability maven Judy Wicks.

    Wash Cycle Laundry

    Wash Cycle Laundry

    Wash Cycle Laundry’s founder Gabriel Mandujano made doing laundry hip, green, and collaborative. What started as a one-site experiment in West Philly has blossomed into a well-funded multi-state venture. Built on a passion for connecting mission-critical needs with job creation, economic development, and sustainability, Wash Cycle Laundry has hauled over 4 million pounds of laundry across Philadelphia and Washington DC since 2010 and saved over 1 million gallons of water through efficiency measures.

    Gabe was moved to hire employees that were returning to their communities after periods of incarceration, addiction rehabilitation, domestic abuse shelters and homelessness and today over half of his current staff of 60 come from such a background. Wash Cycle Laundry also exemplifies their triple-bottom-line through utilizing existing infrastructure, including working with local laundromats which keeps dollars in our communities, creating a cyclical and localized economy.

    United By Blue

    united by blue

    United By Blue makes every purchase count. Through encouraging smart, responsible shopping, United By Blue commits to removing one pound of trash from oceans and waterways through company organized cleanups throughout the year.   So far, they’ve collected over 300,000 pounds of trash in over 25 states. The company’s flagship store in Old City, Philadelphia also doubles as a meeting place and coffee shop that supports local businesses through hosting events and showcases (like Green Philly Blog’s seed bomb workshop earlier this year!).

    As a fellow certified B-Corp, United By Blue believes that for-profit businesses have just as much responsibility in the future of our environment as anyone else, and they are working hard to make that the norm. Join them in their #bluemovement.

    Celebrate At SustainPHL

    We look forward to celebrating these outstanding nominees for the Impact Business Leader Award this August at SustainPHL. Get your tickets online today.


    Photos: Nominee Facebook pages

    Amy Kate Failing

    About Amy Kate Failing

    Amy Kate is the Sales and Marketing Operations Manager at Community Energy, a national leader in renewable energy development. There she manages Community Energy’s community solar programs, working to expand access to clean, local, affordable energy across the country. Amy Kate serves on the Board of Directors for the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia (SBN) and strives to serve her community through meaningful work.

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