Greenworks 2015 Progress Report — and Map! — Released

Today we’re pleased to announce the release of the Greenworks 2015 Progress Report — the final sustainability report released under Mayor Nutter’s administration. You can read the full update right here.

To accompany the release of the report, MOS has partnered with Azavea to develop, a new digital platform showcasing much of the sustainability work completed during the Greenworks implementation period (2009-15). Users can see Greenworks projects and initiatives in a citywide map-view, zoom to a particular neighborhood or address, and filter by areas of interest. The Map will be available to partners to use and will be updated regularly as new projects are implemented.

Greenworks is a collaborative effort among the Office of Sustainability, other City departments and agencies, the private and non-profit sectors, and Philadelphia’s residents. To continue this work, we need your ideas and support. Please continue to be in touch with us on Twitter @GreenworksPhila, on Facebook, and at Have a great summer!




Project Applications Open for 8th Annual Philly Spring Cleanup

The City of Philadelphia is pleased to announce the 8th Annual Philly Spring Cleanup to be held Saturday, April 11, 2015 (rain date, Saturday, April 18, 2015).

2015 Partner Application

Dedication like yours, along with the can-do attitude of thousands of volunteers all over the city, is exactly what we need to meet our goals. Got a project in mind for this year’s Philly Spring Cleanup? There are two ways to submit it for approval:

1. Online:

Click here to complete the application online*.
* If you have registered online in past years, you will need to generate a new password for 2015 by clicking “Need a New Password?” All of your profile information has been saved.

2. Mail

Download the application here (pdf)
Mail completed application to:
Donald Carlton
Deputy Streets Commissioner
City of Philadelphia – Streets Department
730 Municipal Services Building
1401 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Application Deadline: March 27, 2015

We will be posting all projects on the website as early as February to get volunteers signed up, so please submit your applications as soon as possible.

Supplies for Your Cleanup Project

The City will offer a limited number of supplies to assist with your Cleanup projects. These items include:

  • Trash bags
  • Rakes
  • Paint & Brushes
  • Gloves
  • Shovels
  • Brooms
  • Recycling Bins

In addition, we will help support your projects by directing volunteers to your sites, collecting trash and recyclables from your Cleanup and assisting you in planning your project. We are unable to provide special ordered supplies.

Keep Up The Sweep Up!

We’re out to put an end to litter and illegal dumping – not just on Cleanup day, but permanently. And the more partners like you that help us, the better. The UnLitter Us rally cry was heard loud and clear. It led to community education programs, stricter enforcement, and block-by-block cleaning events. Let’s join hands to make our neighborhoods and our City as beautiful as they can be.


The Philly Spring Cleanup 2015 is a great start, but we need to keep it going all year long. If you have any questions, or if you would like to learn how you could support litter prevention efforts beyond the Spring Cleanup, please contact

Using the Benchmarking Tool to Visualize Greenhouse Gas Emissions

In his State of the Union address last night, President Obama made a strong statement in support of addressing the reality of climate change head-on. Philadelphia has been tackling the crisis though a series of measures as part of Greenworks, including a focus on building energy use, which accounts for 60% of citywide greenhouse gas emissions.

One of the building-level metrics that we have not been able to capture until now is how much carbon is being emitted in Philadelphia’s largest buildings. Just launched last week, the Benchmarking Data Visualization tool not only provides assistance to building owners and operators to understand how their building’s energy use compares to its peers, but can also provide carbon emission comparisons.comparison

Using the mapping tool, the user can change the usage to show emissions among the benchmarked buildings.  The user can then filter the buildings according to building sector and choose a category to show buildings of a certain size, type or age.  A building owner, manager or tenant can search and compare their building emissions to up to three peer buildings.

You can also visualize greenhouse gas emissions from these buildings using the chart tool. Here, you can visualize building carbon emissions by sector, building age, building size and individual building emissions.

comparisonstats by building type

For more information about the Philadelphia’s energy benchmarking program and the Year Two Energy Benchmarking report, please visit or contact

Philadelphia Releases Energy Benchmarking Visualization Tool

For the past few months, MOS has been working with local geospatial analysis firm (and B-Corp!) Azavea to help visualize the results from the second year of Philadelphia’s energy benchmarking program for large commercial buildings. Today, we’re thrilled to announce the result: a new web-based tool to assist building owners and operators understand how their building stacks up to its peers around Philadelphia.

Azavea screenshotThe Benchmarking Data Visualization tool is available on Philadelphia’s energy benchmarking website ( or by clicking here. The tool has two primary components:

  • Mapping and Comparison: Building owners, managers, and tenants can find their building by searching for the property address or Office of Property Assessment ID number. After selecting a property, users can generate a report on the building’s benchmarking results or compare to up to three peer facilities around the city.
  • Charts and Graphs: In this section of the tool, users can see benchmarking data visualized by building type, individual performance, and (for facilities owned and operated by the City of Philadelphia) over time through a series of interactive graphing functions.

Azavea has designed the tool to be as user-friendly as possible. The goal of Philadelphia’s benchmarking and disclosure policy is to improve building performance by making energy data in the city’s largest buildings transparent and open to the public. Like other cities, MOS made this data public via spreadsheet last fall; this visualization tool represents the next step in opening this data up to the widest possible audience.

In addition to launching this tool, MOS is also releasing the full report from the second year of energy benchmarking in Philadelphia. This report follows the Executive Summary of results released last fall, and is available for download at

Looking Forward to 2015

As we look back on another year of implementation of Philadelphia’s Greenworks plan, we’re thrilled by the progress our city has made thus far and excited to get to work in 2015, the last year in the plan’s original timeline. If you want to read our past reports to see the progress to date, you can check out our recently updated Resources page, which includes the original 2009 plan and each of our annual progress reports. Look for the final report this summer, and have a happy and safe New Year!

Greenworks thumbs

Recycle Your Tree This Holiday Season

It’s always the season for recycling!

Have you ever thought about recycling your Christmas tree? Philadelphia offers a variety of tree recycling options after the holidays.  For over 25 years, the Streets Department’s Sanitation Division has provided citizens with an environmentally friendly alternative for used trees. Real Christmas trees are biodegradable, meaning they can easily be reused or recycled into useful products such as mulch, woodchips, and compost.

If you are considering recycling your tree after the holiday season, you must bring it to one of the designated sites listed below. Trees left on the curb for regular trash pickup will not be recycled. Before you drop off your tree at one of the designated tree-cycling locations, please remember to remove all decorations, tinsel, and lights, and ensure that trees are untied!

Thanks for your commitment to a more sustainable holiday in Philadelphia!

Locations, dates, and times for 2015 Christmas tree recycling:

  • Streets Department Sanitation Convenience Centers: Open 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday through Saturday.
    • 3033 S. 63rd Street
    • Domino Lane & Umbria Street
    • State Road & Ashburner Street
    • 2601 W. Glenwood Avenue
  • 23 Saturday Only drop-off sites throughout the city: Saturday, January 10th and Saturday, January 17th from 9:00am to 3:00pm. Click here to find the most convenient location.
  • Community-sponsored treecycling events:

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

  • 9:30am-12:30pm: Corner of Memphis St. & Susquehanna Ave. (NKCDC, EKNA, FNA, ORCA)
  • 10:00am-4:00pm: Columbus Square Park at 13th & Reed Streets (PSCA, LoMo)
  • 10:00am-4:00pm: Orianna Hill Dog Park @ 3rd & Poplar Streets (NLNA)
  • 10:00am-4:00pm: Clark Park @ 43rd & Chester Ave (UCGreen, UC District)
  • 10:00am-4:00pm: Markward Rec Center @ Taney & Pine Streets (FSRP)

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

  • 9:30am-12:30pm: Boy Scouts Headquarters Parking Lot @ 22nd & Spring Streets (LSNA)
  • 9:30am-12:30pm: Norwood Fontbonne School on Sunset Ave. (GRINCH)
  • 10:00am-4:00pm: Eastern State Penitentiary @ 22nd & Brown Streets (FESPP
  • 12:00pm-4:00pm: Ridge Ave. & Scotts Lane (EFCG)
  • 1:00pm-4:00pm: Gabbie’s Garden on Chew Ave. (EMAN)

Mayor Michael Nutter’s Letter of Support for the EPA Clean Power Plan

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule. The City of Philadelphia (City) fully supports the Clean Power Plan’s necessary efforts to curb carbon pollution nationwide, and we commend EPA for recognizing that both reducing demand and decreasing the carbon intensity of our electricity supply are necessary and productive steps to that end.

Since the release of our comprehensive sustainability plan in 2009, the City has been working hard to improve our air quality and reduce our energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Five years of tracking data on these goals has underscored to us that while local action is a critical piece of achieving large scale greenhouse gas reductions, it is insufficient without the type of national support provided by the Clean Power Plan.

We support the establishment of context-specific goals for each state and for allowing flexible options for states to meet their requirements.  The City believes that EPA’s proposed use of the “four building blocks” approach will achieve greater carbon emission reductions at a lower cost than simply reducing emissions from the affected Electric Generating Units (EGUs).  The City is particularly supportive of EPA allowing states to use decreased demand resulting from energy efficiency work to meet their requirements. We know that in Philadelphia more than 60% of carbon emissions from EGUs are generated to provide energy for buildings. The City’s building energy benchmarking program has helped identify the large magnitude of potential carbon emission reductions from energy efficiency improvements. We encourage EPA to include in its calculation of energy efficiency benefits not only additional zero-emission generation capacity, but also replacement of baseline fossil fuel generation.

In particular, the City endorses the proposed provisions for allowing multiple states to join together to reach their carbon reduction goals. States that are part of the same Regional Transmission Organization acting in unison can help allocate limited resources in ways that will produce greater, more cost efficient emission reductions. In order to support this type of collaboration, EPA should provide additional time for states to submit multi-state plans in consideration of their varied legislative and rule making schedules.

The City of Philadelphia is proud to support EPA’s Clean Power Plan.


Michael A. Nutter