Growing Philadelphia's green infrastructure industry

Authors: Daniel Sanchez, Policy Associate - Capital Access Program

On Friday, February 25, Green for All, in partnership with Business United for Conservation Industry Partnership and the University of Phoenix, hosted the event, “Business Academy: Green Infrastructure in the Philadelphia Region.” The Academy focused on opportunities in the region’s stormwater infrastructure, specifically, the use of green infrastructure solutions to help transform the region’s industry.

Nearly 100 contractors, designers, architects, engineers, and construction firms discussed the state of the industry, upcoming projects, return on investment, local supply chains, financing, and training needs. Panelists and speakers included the Philadelphia Water Department, AKRF, Pennsylvania Environmental Council, Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, and other regional stakeholders. Participants learned about over $100 million in upcoming projects, while Philadelphia Water Department Commissioner Howard Neukrug came to emphasize the importance of each business’ work in creating jobs and meeting the City’s environmental goals.

The event built on the ongoing efforts of Business United for Conservation’s Industry partnership for pollution mitigation providers. “We need to have this type of coalition as an ongoing effort,” said Mark Tucker, principal of Tucker Development Plus.

“This meeting was very informative about where the industry was heading…. I look forward to learning on how we can implement this technology to create jobs in the Philadelphia metropolitan area,” said Hassan Malik-Boykins, Executive Director of Marketing & Business Strategies at Centurion Construction Corporation.

Green for All believes that Philadelphia’s innovative green infrastructure plans are a ‘win-win’ proposition: not only do they achieve water quality goals in a cost-effective, community-supporting manner, but they also have the opportunity to create good, family-sustaining jobs in the Philadelphia region.

Green stormwater management and infrastructure present regions with an opportunity to create more environmentally sound solutions to combined sewer overflow (the mixture of sanitary and storm sewers) that will save money and create jobs. According to Business United for Conservation's 2010 report Capturing the Storm, Philadelphia has proposed to invest $1.6B over the next 20 years to address green stormwater infrastructure solutions. There are nearly 2,500 firms in the green stormwater infrastructure supply chain in the Philadelphia region, representing more then $7.4 billion in sales.

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