15: Julie Hancher

Show Notes

  • Julie is the co-founder of Green Philly
    • Julie founded Green Philly with a friend/coworker in 2008 after learning her then employer was dumping the office recycling bins into the trash
    • She was outraged and this passion led to Green Philly, which started as a blog with 3 - 5 posts per week
    • Green Philly's root mission is "to help people live a more sustainable lifestyle"
      • Sustainability tips
      • Easy ways to save money
      • And much, much more
        • Their founding coincided with then Mayor Nutter's 2008 declaration that he wanted Philly to become the greenest city in America (we aren't there yet)
        • There is progress though, in the form of Philadelphia's Zero Waste initiative, part of the 2035 plan
  • A few years ago Julie realized that she had to take her efforts offline
    • She had experience as an email marketer and was learning SEO, so she was very focused on their online presence
    • However, she started meeting people through the Sustainable Business Network (SBN) and other organizations and realized there were so many people and organizations doing great work but were failing to connect
    • She wanted to highlight people and other entities who were participating in the sustainability field; from cleaning up their block to reducing emissions, etc
    • For example, Brad Maule, a local author and artist went to Wissahickon every day for a year collecting garbage and turned it into a piece of art to demonstrate what people had left behind
  • Their first live event was Sustain PHL
    • This is now the city's annual sustainability awards
    • 2018 will mark its third year
    • They highlight various changemakers, one of their nominees was Micah Gold-Markel, the guest from episode 4!
  • Nic Esposito is the current leader of Philadelphia's zero waste initiative
  • Julie has lived in Pennsylvania her entire life
    • When in school, she wanted to be a lawyer
    • She studied Political Science at Penn State
    • But, when studying abroad in London her junior year, her interest in law faded
    • Her first job out of college (with the employer that led her to found Green Philly) was email marketing and conference planning, essentially, making webinars and marketing them, etc
    • She has been in Philadelphia since 2007
    • The sustainability movement and community in Philadelphia is what has kept her here
  • Julie believes sustainability is affordable if done correctly
    • For example, bringing mason jars to Whole Foods to have them weigh your nuts or other dry good instead of purchasing them in a disposable container
    • This saves the consumer money and is good for the planet
    • One of the biggest aspects of sustainability is simply reducing consumption and reusing things
  • A few sustainability tips from Julie:
    • Individuals:
      • Thinking before you buy
      • Finding ways to reuse
      • Bring your own coffee cup (some places offer a discount)
      • Reusable grocery bags
    • Businesses:
      • Use LED lights
      • Printing as little as possible
      • Turning the lights off
  • There is concept called the Triple Bottom Line
    • This is: People, Planet, Profit
    • In business, the bottom line is what the company is left with after all expenses are accounted for - literally the bottom line on the finance report
    • The Triple Bottom Line concept expands the bottom line from strictly monetary to also considering how your actions will affect people and the planet
    • A related concept is focusing on the stakeholders, not just the shareholders
      • A shareholder is someone who has a financial stake in the company, they own part of the business
      • A stakeholder is anyone who has a stake in the business
      • This includes other community members in which the business operates and anyone who is affected by the business's actions
  • Julie mentioned B-Corp, a familiar name to regular listeners
    • B-Corp is an organization that performs audits to determine if a company hits certain standards for community impact, sustainability, and employee wellness/treatment
    • Many companies are adopting the principles of B-Labs / B-Corp without going through the formal assessment because there is an associated cost
  • I also mentioned Best for PHL, the organization which was the subject of episode 9 with Bill Huggins
    • Julie and Green Philly took the Best for PHL Challenge last year
    • Julie loves the simple things you can do to improve your impact, even simple things like switching banks
      • Julie was a PNC customer but realized that switching to a local credit union would be better for the local economy
      • (I might have to switch my bank account now)
    • She also added a line to her mission statement to better reflect Green Philly's goals
    • She added a philanthropic component to Green Philly
  • Julie didn't think it was right to identify one shortcoming or place blame on one entity
    • It's something we all need to work on together

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