PIDC Clients You Need to Know: Sustainable Businesses

by PIDC
April 20, 2022

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Did you know that Philadelphia celebrated the first annual Earth Week in April 1970 on Belmont Plateau in Fairmount Park? Fifty-two years later, Earth Week – a week of events and initiatives that bring awareness to environmental issues to spur action – is still in full swing in Philadelphia. The week culminates on Earth Day, which is celebrated annually on April 22.  

According to the campaign website, this year’s theme for Earth Day is “Invest in Our Planet.” PIDC has been doing just that by investing in local businesses and organizations that are working to protect the environment in many ways. Some of our PIDC clients and partners  incorporate sustainable practices which contribute to building a healthy city and economy. Find out how. 

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Birchtree Catering

“Birchtree Catering’s mission is to be a sustainable company that supports the local economy. We do this by sourcing locally and sustainably whenever possible, and choosing small, local vendors over larger, less diverse companies whenever we can. Food is our largest purchase, of course, but we also extend this to all of our needs, including catering wares, office supplies, uniforms, etc. We’re strong supporters of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia, and we use that to make connections to the other small businesses in our area that share our values. Last but not least, we work with a commercial compost company to compost our food waste and disposable wares at events and in our kitchen, diverting these items away from the landfills, which are already overflowing with unnecessary waste. We just completed the City of Philadelphia’s first Food Waste Business Challenge, and we learned even more best practices for handling our waste. We plan to continue on this path and create more ways to reduce our footprint on the planet.”

-Allegra Derengowski, Owner, CEO

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Mariposa Food Co-op

“Mariposa Food Co-op is a full service, cooperatively-owned grocery store located in West Philadelphia. For over 50 years, our storefront has provided the community with access to affordable, nutritious, and sustainably-produced foods and products, including fresh produce, breads, meat, seafood, special diet products, and body care. Sourcing products locally is one of our priorities so that we can support the local economy and so that our supply chain consumes as little fossil fuel as possible. In our store, we source 100% renewable electricity through the Energy Co-op, compost over 100 gallons of food waste per week, and recycle 300 gallons of paper, plastic, glass and metals per week. Our refrigerators use high efficiency fans and night curtains for open cases and our refrigeration company performs quarterly maintenance to reduce the risk of refrigerant loss and maintain optimum efficiency. In the spirit of Cooperative Principle #6, ‘Cooperation among cooperatives,’ we have donated older shelves and fixtures to new co-ops such as [PIDC client] South Philly Food Co-op.”

-Elise Greenberg, Interim Marketing & Communications Coordinator

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Revolution Recovery

“Revolution Recovery’s mission is to keep construction and demolition debris out of landfills. We look to infuse sustainability into all aspects of our business, from our hiring practices to our outlet partnerships. Our people and our relationships are our greatest assets. It is our culture to prioritize the longevity of these assets over the temptation of an extra buck. With the help of PIDC, Revolution Recovery purchased a neighboring superfund in Northeast Philadelphia. It was an initiative with sustainability at its core that inspired us to invest in putting a brownfield back into productive use. It speaks to the sentiment of our mission of recycling, in general, that something used can be uplifted and given value in a new form. We realize that people and planet can always play a role in decision making, and we look to consider them equally with profit when operating our business.”

-Bernie Laber, LEED GA, Executive Project Manager

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The PIDC clients listed above are also a part of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia (SBN) – a PIDC partner on a mission to build a just, green, and thriving economy in the Greater Philadelphia region. The SBN accomplishes its mission by educating and growing a broad base of local, independent businesses and educating policymakers and the public. 
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A Message From SBN of Greater Philadelphia’s Executive Director, Devi Ramkissoon

While the COVID pandemic continues to wreak havoc on our global economy and the well-being of communities everywhere, it also presents us with a rare opportunity to revitalize our social and economic structures’ sustainably. Sustainable growth means that we are protecting the environment while ensuring that people of all backgrounds have equal access to family-supporting employment and basic needs such as access to healthy food, healthcare, and education. Business models that encompass people, planet, and profit present one solution to meet all of these requirements. As we look to economic recovery, sustainability considerations are no longer “nice to have,” but are essential for equitable growth.

The Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia (SBN) offers businesses in the region education and assistance on ways to incorporate sustainable practices regardless of what sector they work in. Through our tailored trainings, networking events, and advocacy, we work hand-in-hand with businesses to identify methods for them to grow sustainably. As Tess Hart, owner of [PIDC client] Triple Bottom Brewing, notes, “SBN provided a safe and active forum for me to find information and support that kept me moving forward in the early days of the pandemic. That was a time of such fear and uncertainty, and it was so valuable to know that SBN was our advocate, cutting through all the noise and making sure we were tapping into the resources that could keep our businesses afloat.” As we have for the last 20+ years, SBN will continue to be there to help businesses thrive while preserving the environment and supporting our communities.


Invest in your business’s growth as well as its social, economic, and environmental impact!

Join the SBN 
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Fund your business with the help of PIDC!
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