The Philadelphia area’s top green businesses don’t just focus on eco-friendly practices, they embrace across-the-board sustainable practices, including operations, hiring and training and involvement in the community.

Power Home Remodeling Group

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Power Home Remodeling Group has three Philadelphia locations. Identified as an ideal employer by the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia, Power Home Remodeling embraces a culture of environmental responsibility. In addition to recycling construction materials including glass, aluminum, steel, packaging materials, wood, cardboard and more, the company also incorporates “green collar jobs,” hiring remodeling consultants and installers to supply, educate and inform customers on the various ways they can create and maintain energy-efficient and environmentally friendly homes.

The company, which reports that 98 percent of its management started with it in entry-level positions, is a strong advocate of education and training. Demonstrating this commitment to corporate social responsibility and community development, Power Home Remodeling Group took part in a Social Impact Campaign that ran from July of 2011 to January of 2012, with company employees volunteering their time for job-training services to benefit Philadelphia residents living in impoverished areas. The training program helped prepare these individuals – who lived in a challenging job market – for careers in both traditional and emerging green industries.


SA VA operates a design studio and garment center as well as its flagship store in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square neighborhood. Designing and producing affordable, chic clothing and accessories, with sights set on being the nation’s most socially sustainable apparel company, SA VA leadership is committed to locally designed and created products, or those that are acquired through fair-trade practices as recycled, salvaged organic or natural pieces.

Leadership is committed to carrying these sustainable practices into the company workforce, opting to create jobs locally rather than contracting with laborers overseas, as many apparel companies do. The outcome is a new kind of apparel company that takes into consideration not only its carbon footprint, but also by whom and how its products are crafted.

Engaging customers at all levels, even visitors to the SA VA website can be connected to volunteer opportunities to help women and children in the Philadelphia area.

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The Philadelphia Zoo

The Philadelphia Zoo embraces conservation and environmental education as well as sustainability, both corporate and environmental. With over 150 years invested in the Philadelphia community, the nation’s first zoo is committed to connecting people with wildlife while leading similar organizations and the community in green, sustainably operating practices. With well over a million visitors each year, the Philadelphia Zoo is ideally positioned for – and committed to – educating the community and modeling sustainable practices in the areas of energy, water, waste, transportation and green practices.

The zoo employs over 400 people in full- and part-time jobs and provides volunteer and internship positions to more than 600 individuals. Zoo employees, regardless of their position or duties, enjoy the same institutional mission, purpose and shared beliefs, as well as the zoo’s vision for sustainability, innovation and accessible programs and services.

The Philadelphia Zoo is committed to partnering with the community to promote, educate and model greener living practices through interactive exhibits, educational programs and services, both on site and in the community, and even online

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Christy Ayala covers sports, recreation, the outdoors, and leisure activities in the Philadelphia area. She earned a masters degree in recreation administration from George Williams College and managed programs in the Midwest, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania. Her work can be found on