Published on Award Recipients

Last evening was our second annual SustainPHL! Congratulations to our amazing 2017 nominees AND award recipients. Thank you to all of the attendees, sponsors, partners, my committee and those who made the evening a success!

Read about ALL of the nominees in our previous posts. Here’s a list of last night’s award recipients.

SustainPHL 2017: Award Recipients

Here’s the list of award recipients from last evening:


Greenworks Philadelphia
Office of Sustainability

Greenworks Philadelphia SustainPHL 2017
Christine Knapp, Director, Philadelphia Office of Sustainability, accepts award.

Greenworks: A Vision for a Sustainable Philadelphia builds on local sustainability achievements over the last eight years and responds to feedback from residents and issue experts asking Philadelphia Office of Sustainability to deepen our commitment to equity and provide opportunities for individuals, communities, and institutions to get involved in achieving each of eight sustainability visions.

Activist of the Year

Russell Zerbo

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.

Neighborhood Champion

Naida Elena Burgos

Over the past five years, she has reached over 3,000 residents, supported 4 gardens and 20 tree plantings, educated over 100 children and 200 residents with community greening workshops and clean ups. From distributing climate change newsletters, education and more, she’s been a neighborhood advocate.

Sustainable Communities

Soil Generation

Soil Generation SustainPHL 2017
Soil Generation, acceptance speech

Since 2011, Soil Generation’s urban garden and farming constituency have supported three successful campaigns: the defeat of the previously- mentioned zoning amendment; passage of Philadelphia’s land bank bill; and, influencing the strategic planning process for the land bank, which prioritizes urban agriculture and open space projects.

Sustainability Mentor

Robert Fleming

Robert Fleming SustainPHl 2017
Robert Fleming accepts Sustainability Mentor Award

As founding Director and professor in the MS in Sustainable Design Program at Jefferson, Rob Fleming uses education to work with young people from all over the world and from all walks of life to help them become the change agents that the planet needs.

Social Impact Award

Grow Philly

Matt Subits co-founded Grow Philly in 2012 that created a unique Mind, Body and Soul approach using music, Futsa?l, and local farms to teach the community to become healthy and sustainable. Subits was instrumental in re-establishing the Novick Family Urban Farm in 2016 and in the first year alone, the Novick family farm produced over 10,000 pounds of produce that went back to the community, and also hosted 775 children on educational visits for healthy eating choices.

Impact Business Leader

Mariposa Food Co-op

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. 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.

Climate Hero

Joan Blaustein

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.

Business Innovation


Oxicool SustainPHL 2017
Ravikant Barot, Oxicool, accepts Business Innovation Award

OxiCool has created the world’s first environmentally friendly, energy-efficient air conditioning technology. It uses water molecules as its refrigerant, so there are no harsh chemicals or rare-Earth minerals in the system. The technology can be used in transportation, buildings, and products.

Green Legacy award

Winnie Harris

Winnie Harris SustainPHL Green Legacy Award 2017
Neche Harris, daughter of Winnie Harris, on her way to the stage to accept the award for Winnie Harris.

The Green Legacy award goes to a tireless advocate whose life was cut short. Her passion for sustainability helped plant hundreds of trees and improve green spaces in West Philadelphia. She also mentored young adults to help install her green passion into the next generation.

Winnie Harris was the long-time Programming Coordinator and acting Executive Director of UC Green and tragically passed away on February 3, 2017. Winnie will always be remembered as a meticulous organizer, classic Virgo, proud grandmother, one time for everything, and an original urban farmer.

We presented the Green Legacy award to her daughter, Neche Harris.

by Julie