Sustainable Business Network


A significant portion of our work is advocating for policies that advance the green stormwater infrastructure industry. In conjunction with the GSI Partners Advocacy Committees, the Project Manager, the SBN Policy Manager, and various engaged members, we aim to be proactive and reactive to relevant agencies on topics that impact the GSI Partners and the growth of the green stormwater infrastructure industry.  

Advocacy goals include:

  • Maximizing the number of greened acres installed, especially those using vegetated and innovative approaches.
  • Maximizing the local economic impact of the public and private investments in GSI.
  • Ensuring the longevity of the City’s Green City, Clean Waters plan.


Our advocacy work has included:

  • The Impact of Green City, Clean Waters on Philadelphia (April 2019) Research conducted on behalf of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia finds that the investments in green stormwater infrastructure are producing tangible benefits across the city, particularly in low and moderate-income areas. This update to SBN’s 2016 report, The Economic Impact of Green City, Clean Waters: The First Five Years, shows that Green City, Clean Waters (GCCW) is producing $4 billion in total economic impact for Philadelphia, including an average of 1,160 jobs annually. In 2018, GCCW reduced crime by nearly nine percent (8.7%) and saved the city $50 million annually in avoided health-related costs attributed to access to open space. SBN introduced our findings to the City Council of Philadelphia. 

    Explore the Research

  • Local Economic Impact Report (February 2016) This highly anticipated report was commissioned by SBN’s GSI Partners in 2015 to measure the local economic impact of the first five years of Green City, Clean Waters (GCCW). SBN staff held a briefing with City Council to share the key findings and advocate for their ongoing support of GCCW.

    Read the Report
  • Participated in Mayoral Transition Team (February 2016) SBN was represented on the Mayor’s Transition Team as part of the Sustainability and Environment . The Kenney administration released their report detailing the recommendations they accepted as priorities, =which included our recommendation for the strong continuation of Green City, Clean Waters and its triple bottom line goals.

    Read the Report  

  • Breakfast with the Deputy Commissioner (December 2015) SBN brought together GSI Partner members and Dr. Chris Crockett, the Deputy Commissioner of Philadelphia Water, for a conversation around the first 5 years of Green City Clean Waters, what is next, and how the local business community can support the next phase of the plan’s implementation.
  • Comment Letter on July 2015 Stormwater Regulatory Update (February – September 2015) In advance of the Stormwater Regulatory Update, we, along with our friends at NRDC and PennFuture, sent a letter to PWD offering our support on certain aspects of the proposed changes, and offered comments and concerns about others. Read the summary of PWD’s response to us from September 2015  – via in person conversations and written replies.  We note what we heard the Department can currently do, what we heard is the intent of certain aspects of the Guidance Manual, and what we heard might be premature to do at this time.  As always, we appreciate PWD’s communication with us, and look forward to continuing the dialogue with them to support progress in these and other areas.

    Read the Letter

  • Green City, Clean Waters Section of SBN’s Good Economy Challenge (March 2015)SBN called on the new mayoral administration and City Council to advance Green City, Clean Waters through a number of policy recommendations.

    Read the GCCW section of the Good Economy Challenge
    Read the full SBN Good Economy Challenge  

  • Green Roof Tax Credit testimony (March 2015) Staff, along with several members, testified to City Council in support of the expansion of the Green Roof tax credit, and offered recommendations for continued improvements to the credit and the process.

    SBN Testimony to City Council on Green Roofs Tax Credit

  • Stormwater Plan Review Report: Compliments and Recommendations for Continued Improvements (November 2014) In anticipation of the July 2015 Regulatory Updates, and to support GSI Partners goals of seeing better facilitation of the approval of greener and more innovative stormwater management practices, our Administrative Advocacy Committee evaluated what is working well with PWD’s current Stormwater Plan Review process, unpacked where there might be opportunities for improvement, and provided Recommendations fell into five categories: Communication, Resources and Website, Process, Code and Policy, and Internal and External Coordination.

    Summary of Stormwater Plan Review Interview Recommendations
    Read the Full Report  

  • Local Community of Practice (February 2014) In March 2013, SBN’s GSI Partners convened a Local Community of Practice, an immersive leadership development initiative for a subset of members. The group was tasked with crafting recommendations on how to maximize the success of Green City Clean Waters, especially as it relates to small and local business.Recommendations fell into the following categories: Policy; Process; Innovation and Research & Development; Financing; Contracting and Procurement; and Resources.

    Read the Full Report