About the GSI Partners
The Sustainable Business Network’s (SBN) Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Partners is a signature initiative of SBN working to advance the local GSI industry, innovation, and the local economy as it relates to GSI.
Formed in 2012 in response to Philadelphia’s ambitious and innovative stormwater management plan, Green City, Clean Waters, SBN’s GSI Partners advocate for the greenest approaches to be facilitated and incentivized as much as possible, and for the public and private investment to remain as local as possible. Members include locally-owned engineering and landscape architecture firms; landscape design, build, and maintenance firms; and material suppliers whose services and products pertaining to GSI. Many of SBN’s GSI Partners are recognized as industry experts, locally, regionally, and nationally.
Our strategy for accomplishing this includes:
Our network brings together a wide range of GSI stakeholders working together to share knowledge, advance the industry, and advance innovation. The unique collaboration of private and public partners allows for progression towards our shared goal of maximizing the environmental, economic, and social impact of Green City, Clean Waters.
We advocate for better facilitation and incentivization of GSI. Our advocacy is focused on processes, policies, and codes that improve the permitting process, increase private sector demand, keep investment local, and encourage capital investment from other city agencies.
3. Professional Development
We support the advancement of the GSI industry by creating regular opportunities for sharing of best practices, and by advancing the skills of individual businesses and employees through continuing education opportunities. We offer grants to our member businesses to take courses and gain certifications that help them advance in the GSI industry. We also launched the region’s first GSI Operation and Maintenance course in 2015 and plan to offer it annually.
The Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia is a non-profit membership organization working to build a thriving, local, and sustainable economy in the Greater Philadelphia region. We are accomplishing this by growing and educating a broad base of local, independent businesses and educating policymakers and the public.
A network of hundreds of locally-owned businesses, SBN connects, promotes, and advances entrepreneurs who are measuring their success on the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit. Through their products, services, and/or internal practices, SBN’s members share a commitment to using the power of business to improve the planet and the quality of life within their communities.
SBN formed the GSI Partners in response to Philadelphia’s nationally-recognized stormwater management plan, Green City, Clean Waters, and the significant economic growth projected to result from the public and private investment the plan is catalyzing. SBN supports Green City, Clean Waters and its triple-bottom-line approach to compliance with the EPA’s Clean Water Act. Through the GSI Partners, SBN is working to maximize the local economic, environmental, and social impact of the plan.
Join SBN and the GSI Partners today to begin receiving the full benefits of the GSI Partner and SBN Membership!
- How are the GSI Partners connected to the SBN?
SBN launched the GSI Partners as a priority initiative in 2013 to support our Triple Bottom Line mission. GSI Partners are an industry-specific subset of the larger SBN member network, and receive member benefits from both networks. GSI Partners must meet all of the SBN member criteria (such as being locally-owned, etc.) in addition to having a portfolio related to green stormwater infrastructure.
The Triple Bottom Line is a way of thinking and doing that integrates economic performance with environmental and social impact. SBN promotes a local economy where businesses are profitable while serving their community and protecting our environment. For these reasons, SBN is in support of Philadelphia’s Green City, Clean Waters plan. PWD is investing money into improving our environment, which in turn, is engaging local businesses and improving the urban landscape.
- What is Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI)?
Sometimes referred to as low impact development (LID), GSI represents water-soil-plant systems that intercept stormwater, infiltrate a portion of it into the ground, evaporate a portion of it into the air, and in some cases release a portion of it slowly back into the sewer system. GSI is effectively putting nature back in the city to recreate the natural water cycle in the urban environment.
This decentralized vegetated approach promises significant environmental, social, and economic benefits, especially when compared to the traditional centralized approach.
- What is Green City, Clean Waters?
Green City, Clean Waters is Philadelphia’s long-term control plan to protect and enhance our urban watersheds, manage our urban stormwater, and meet EPA Clean Water Act regulations in a completely different way than has ever been done before by any U.S. city: with green stormwater infrastructure. The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) has set aside $2 billion to implement the plan over the next 25 years. Through regulations and stormwater billing, PWD is catalyzing the private sector to invest in green stormwater infrastructure as well.
Compared to a traditional “gray” approach, PWD’s city-wide investment in green infrastructure 1) costs less; 2) allows for incremental improvements to water quantity and quality over the course of the plan’s implementation; 3) is more adaptable and flexible to climate and other changes over time; 4) creates more jobs by engaging a wide range of local firms in the design, construction, maintenance, and material supply sectors, and more; 5) and provides a variety of environmental and social benefits including new and improved habitat, improved air quality, and new and improved public spaces.
- How do I join the GSI Partners?
For your business to be a GSI Partner, your business must:
- have an existing portfolio of green stormwater infrastructure products or services or have demonstrated the goal to grow your portfolio of products or services in this direction
- have otherwise demonstrated your commitment to green stormwater infrastructure
- become an SBN Member at Level 2 or above
To be eligible for SBN membership, your business must be
- privately held
- headquartered within the Greater Philadelphia region
- locally owned (more than fifty percent of the business owners live within 50 miles of the business)
- have the ability to make independent decisions on business practices, purchases, distribution, even business name and branding
- able to pay all of your business expenses (marketing, rent, etc.) without assistance from or payment to a corporate headquarters
For eligible businesses, GSI Partners membership is included with SBN Level 2 Membership and above, which starts at $350 annually per business.
Sign up to become a GSI Partner and SBN member here!* *Be sure to select “Level 2” or above and check the “I want to be a GSI Partner” box. Looking forward to having you part of our network!
- How do I become a sponsor?
GSI Partners sponsors are businesses whose products and services pertain to green stormwater infrastructure and/or have demonstrated their commitment to green infrastructure in other ways, but who don’t necessarily meet the Sustainable Business Network’s membership criteria of local ownership.
To become a GSI Partner Sponsor, contact Anna Shipp, Executive Director, at [email protected] or by calling: (215) 922-7400 ext. 107
Please contact us if you do not find your answer here. We’re happy to help!
Funders and Sponsors
The work of the GSI Partners is supported by generous grants from the Surdna Foundation and the William Penn Foundation. Our work aligns with their goals of watershed protection, strong local economies, thriving communities, and the many other triple bottom line benefits of green stormwater infrastructure.
We also value support from our annual sponsors.
If your company is interested in sponsorship of the GSI Partners, contact Anna Shipp at [email protected].