Sustainable Business Network

SBN Research & Publications

The Impact of Green City, Clean Waters on Philadelphia (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.



Spurring Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Stormwater Markets (2016)

Exceeding Intent: A Precedent Library of Exemplary Green Stormwater Infrastructure Projects (2016)

The Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia’s (SBN) GSI Partners and the Delaware Valley Green Building Council (DVGBC), with a team of leading industry professionals, have developed a precedent library of exemplary GSI designs, systems, and approaches to inform the approval of more green and innovative stormwater management projects in Philadelphia. With greater understanding of how GSI performs, performance metrics and calculation methods can be updated, designs can continue to improve, and there can be more comfort and confidence from the development community that GSI is an effective and affordable way to meet city regulations.

The precedent library is a collection of highly effective GSI projects from urban areas across the country that have been selected for their ability to demonstrate the dynamic performance capacity of different types and classes of GSI practices, and their application at a range of project types and scales. Case studies discuss the degree to which these projects are exceeding their intents – environmentally, economically, and/or socially. This collection of case studies is complimented by peer-reviewed research that further defends the degree to which GSI performs.

This library will be used to support the successful implementation of Green City, Clean Waters and to increase the industry’s collective knowledge on the performance of GSI.

View the report as a flipbook.

Download the report as a PDF.

The Economic Impact of Green City, Clean Waters: The First Five Years (2016)

This highly anticipated report, commissioned by SBN’s GSI Partners, measures the local economic impact of the first five years of Green City, Clean Waters (GCCW).  Findings show that GSI Partners experienced double-digit annual revenue growth from 2013 to 2014, and conservatively represent an annual economic impact of almost $60 million within the City of Philadelphia alone, supporting 430 local jobs and generating nearly $1 million in local tax revenues.  Conservative projections estimate that, over the life of GCCW, public and private investments in GSI are expected to produce a $3.1 billion impact in the Philadelphia economy, supporting roughly 1,000 jobs per year and generating $2 million per year in local tax revenues.

SBN staff held a briefing with City Council to share the key findings and advocate for their ongoing support of GCCW.  SBN will continue to use the report as a tool to advocate for strong city-wide commitment to GCCW as well as to point to the degree to which a strong environmental policy can catalyze strong local economic growth.  

Read the report.

Comment Letter on July 2015 Stormwater Regulatory Update (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 (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 or read the full SBN Good Economy Challenge

Green Roof Tax Credit testimony (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.

Read the testimony.

Stormwater Plan Review Report: Compliments and Recommendations for Continued Improvements (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. 

Read the summary  or read the full report.  

Local Community of Practice (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 report.

Capturing the Storm: Profits, Jobs, and Training in Philadelphia’s Stormwater Industry (2010)

SBN commissioned this report to analyze the need for an industry partnership to support and expand the GSI industry. The findings of this report led SBN to create the GSI Partners.

Read the report.

Gray to Green: Jumpstarting Private Investment in Green Stormwater Infrastructure (2010)

SBN published this report as part of its Green Economy Task Force. The paper projected challenges to private sector investments in GSI, and offered recommendations for addressing and overcoming these barriers that would work to ensure Green City, Clean Waters was a successful catalyst for smart, sustainable economic development and local economic growth.

Read the report.