Top Sustainable Companies
As part of the original 13 colonies, Pennsylvania is a historically important part of the United States. It is also known for its diverse ecosystem which includes farmland, lush forests, major waterways and the Appalachian Mountains that run right through the middle of the state. Furthermore, Pennsylvania has done amazing work on various environmental fronts. After viewing our selection of the Top Sustainable Companies in Pennsylvania, you’ll soon realize that their sustainable network is just as diverse as their ecosystem!
There are many more sustainable companies that we may have missed, so if you believe you should be in the Top Sustainable Companies in Pennsylvania, feel free to contact us and we will evaluate your sustainable initiative. We did not receive any funding or incentives to feature these companies. Our goal is to create awareness on sustainable development and encourage others to participate. Companies listed in this article are also welcome to add our eco-badge to their website, located at the bottom of this article.
Top Sustainable Companies in Pennsylvania
Thread takes trash from the streets of the developing world and converts it into dignified jobs and fabric. The fabric is then sold to companies trying to improve their social and environmental impact.
Thread re-imagined trash as a renewable resource and established more elegant manufacturing infrastructure. With the help of their partners, more than 70 million plastic bottles were removed from the streets of Haiti and provided income opportunities for 1,620 people.
Traceability is a top priority and can be verified through their program Ground to Good TM. Their transparent and sustainable, “Powered by Thread” fabrics make apparel more responsible.
And their sustainability spirit applies to their work office as well, as 75% of their printed materials use recycled paper, FSC certified paper or soy based inks. They buy recycled or sustainable input office supplies, reclaimed or reused office furniture, and reusable or compostable catering supplies.
Suggested documentary on the fabric industry: The True Cost
Since 2008, Solar States has specialized in solar engineering, installation and education for a diverse set of clients. With the completion of over 200 projects for residential and commercial clients, it’s a given why we chose to include them in our Top Sustainable Companies in Pennsylvania.
Beyond solar installations, they specialize in educational platforms. These sync with school’s curriculum to create a brighter future for tomorrow through hands on solar classes.
Solar States also connects Philadelphia students with the green-collar economy through training and jobs. As owners of a Philadelphia-based business, they’re committed to investing in the region’s future and local economy. They are also committing to reduce their carbon footprint and their office is powered by solar energy.
Evolve environment:architecture (evolveEA) is a nimble multidisciplinary practice. Their team consists of designers, architects, environmental scientists and sustainable business experts.
EvolveEA’s mission is to advance sustainable systems and solutions with design and thought leadership. The firm maintains an award-winning green workplace and keeps an open mind to always improve.
By publishing its Greenhouse Gas Report, they help other organizations achieve carbon-neutrality. Likewise, they take part in local programs such as the Green Schools Academy and Pittsburgh Bike Friendly Employers.
Practical Energy Solutions
As its name indicates, Practical Energy Solutions seeks to find energy saving results, no matter what systems you have in place.
Their expertise helps solve energy management issues. Including fixing equipment, replacing heating, ventilation or air-conditioning (HVAC) or lighting systems.
This independent energy consulting group will assist anyone who’s interested in energy efficiency. From renewable energy, green building certification, or campus energy planning, they take the lead. As one of the Top Sustainable Companies in Pennsylvania, they combine creativity and technical expertise to transform buildings into comfortable, efficient, healthy spaces to live and work.
See some of their case studies here.
Hugh Lofting Timber Framing
For 35 years, Hugh Lofting Timber Framing, Inc. has been crafting timber frame homes and structures. Incorporating advanced technology with old world craftsmanship, Hugh Lofting Timber Framing, Inc. is dedicated to hand-crafting energy-efficient homes and structures that are elegant and distinctive.
Today the firm has embraced the use of FSC certified timbers and glued-laminated beams, reclaimed and salvaged woods, structural insulated panels and has LEED-AP credentials on staff. This way, their employees will take the time with clients to go over the industry and sustainable forestry practices.
Check out some of their Eco-Projects:
Mugshots Coffee House
Mugshots is a café with an extensive fair-trade drink menu and a local food menu. They offer soups, salads, sandwiches, yogurt, and granola made with free-range & organic ingredients, sourced from local farmers that practice sustainable agriculture. Working with Equal Exchange, Mugshots offers only fair-trade, organic coffee.
By doing so, they not only support the local economy but also reduce fuel use associated with shipping. They seek to raise awareness about fair trade, the local food movement and conservation.
Winner of the SBN’s Triple Bottom Line award, they made our list of the Top Sustainable Companies in Pennsylvania as they set an example in practicing a triple bottom line philosophy for other local businesses. Another one of their fantastic programs is their Farm to Office Catering services.
Mugshots leads the revolution in sustainable events through socially and environmentally responsible food and coffee service. Like the menu in their coffeehouse, their Catering Menu features locally farmed foods. Of course, it also includes compostable & recyclable disposables.
United By Blue
United By Blue was founded in 2010, driven by the idea of associating the sale of each product with a concrete environmental action. They have a full line of responsible, durable goods – apparel, bags, and accessories for people who care about the outdoors. All of their products are made with sustainable materials (organic cotton, recycled polyester, and bison fiber).
This outdoor apparel brand pledges to remove a pound of trash from the earth’s oceans and waterways for every product sold.
So far, they have hosted 127 company-organized cleanups and removed over 242,929 pounds of trash from rivers, streams, creeks, and beaches across 21 US states!
Pittsburgh startup WindStax Wind Power Systems designs and manufactures large vertical wind turbines. These operate in urban environments and other places where traditional wind turbines typically aren’t installed. WindStax has pioneered linkages to microgrids that combine wind, solar, and traditional energy generation.
Their ZeroFirst™ technology system allows customers to transition to alternative energy sources. We consider them to be one of the Top Sustainable Companies in Pennsylvania as they provide smooth supply and demand energy cycles.
Impressively, their turbines are non-directional and need little wind to start operating. They can work in wind speeds as low as five miles per hour, and are portable, making them perfect for city use. In addition, they are also avian-friendly and silent.
What is a microgrid and why is it sustainable?
A microgrid is a small network of electricity users with a local source of supply that is usually attached to a centralized national grid. What distinguishes them is that they are able to function independently. This key feature gives the capability for any community to “island” itself off from larger power grid during times of a blackout.
Moreover, it also helps integrate distributed renewable energy such as solar or wind, into utility-scale.
Today’s energy markets are undergoing a transformation. Before, we used a top-down monopoly system dominated by large-scale fossil and nuclear power plants. These would send power to passive consumers. Now, microgrids are creating dynamic, bi-directional networks dependent upon distributed resources.
Suggested reading on microgrids and its sustainable benefits: Renewable Energy & Microgrids – Building a Sustainable Future
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, Pa. is a green leader among public gardens. They work to inspire and educate all with the beauty and importance of plants; to advance sustainability; and promote human and environmental well-being through action and research.
Not to mention that they built a LEED-certified visitor centre and production greenhouses. And in 2006, their tropical forest conservatory was seen as the most energy efficient structure of its kind anywhere in the world.
One of their most recent achievements is their SEED Classroom. Recipient of the Living Building Challenge™ Petal Certification from the International Living Future Institute, the SEED Classroom demonstrates the public garden’s commitment to showcasing one of the greenest built spaces in the world.
The SEED Classroom was designed and built by local business EcoCraft Homes. Remarkably, the classroom generates its own energy and treats and reuses water on site.
The Living Building Challenge is the most rigorous standards-based green building certification a project can earn. It builds on what LEED building certification has created to take green building standards to new levels.
A building with this certification must function as one with their surrounding environments. It must also achieve net-zero energy and net-zero water usage.
The SEED Classroom employs:
- 6 kW photovoltaic solar panels on the roof of the building;
- a 325-gallon cistern to capture and reuse all rainwater that falls on the roof;
- a constructed wetland to clean sanitary water;
- abundant natural daylight;
- energy recovery ventilators which create greatest indoor air quality and are the most efficient mechanical systems available;
- Structural Insulated Panels, which provide R-49 ceiling and R-40 wall insulation.
Aquatech is a global leader in water purification technology for industrial and infrastructure markets. They focus on desalination, water recycle and reuse, and zero liquid discharge (ZLD).
Headquartered in Canonsburg, this is one of our Top Sustainable Company in Pennsylvania has offices across North America, with a significant worldwide presence through subsidiaries in Europe, the Middle East, India, and China.
Through its worldwide network, Aquatech has executed more than 1,000 water management projects in over 60 countries. They provide new and enhanced technologies and processes that solve unique project challenges while meeting specific industry requirements.
Aquatech continues to help industrial and infrastructure markets, solving the water needs and challenges of today. These include:
- Water Source/Supply
- Recycle & Reuse Resource Recovery
- Reducing Energy Consumption
- Increase System Life Cycle Difficult-To-Treat Wastewater
- Compliance With Environmental Regulations
Established in 2016, Circle Compost is a new player preventing organic waste from going to landfills. This includes food waste, leaves, and other organic discards.
They will pick up your food waste by bicycle trailer more than 90% of the time to avoid burning fossil fuels! Their efforts work to complete the “circle of life” for organic materials. Turning waste into compost used by PA urban farm partners to grow food.
In America today, approximately 30 – 40% of landfills are full of food waste that could nourish compost instead. Landfilled food waste releases methane. This is a greenhouse gas (GHG) that is up to eighty times more harmful to our environment than carbon dioxide.
What’s amazing is that the finished organic compost is donated to urban farmers in Philadelphia. So when you sign up for their services, you are helping Philly’s urban farmers grow healthier crops.
If you are a Philadelphia resident interested in composting, you will likely generate 30 – 40% less trash by using their services.
Learn more about the benefits of composting: Benefits of Composting and Sustainable Waste Management
Waste Oil Recyclers
Waste Oil Recyclers is another one of the Top Sustainable Companies in Pennsylvania with a global perspective. Turning fryer grease into biofuels, this team provides free, ongoing waste vegetable oil pickups across Greater Philadelphia, Baltimore, Lancaster, North Jersey and down the coast of NJ. PA residents can call when a pick-up is needed.
Waste Oil Recyclers pick-up and recycle waste oil from customers whose operations range from large institutions to smaller family-owned businesses. Up to date, they have recycled over 10,000,000 gallons of used cooking oil from restaurants and businesses!
Revolution Recovery is a full-service hauling and recycling company for construction, industrial, bulk and specialty materials. We consider them to be one of the Top Sustainable Companies in Pennsylvania as their recycling facility handles various materials. Including wood, metals, cardboard, plastics, drywall, masonry materials, and much more.
Revolution Recovery has shared its expertise and been featured as speakers for:
- MIT Ecologies of Construction Seminar
- Green Advantage
- The University of Pennsylvania
- Sustainable Business Advisor Program
- PA Department of Environmental Protections Citizens Advisory Council
- Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s Advisory Board
- The Institute of International Leadership
Since 1992, GreenLine Paper has been dedicated to the sales of quality, sustainable products. Owned and operated by environmentalists, GreenLine Paper solely distributes recycled and green products for the office, restaurant, hotel and home.
For instance, they exclusively sell recycled and tree-free papers, as well as products that are not bleached with chlorine. Their team reuses shipping cartons and are not packed with polystyrene foam/”peanuts” or plastics. Instead, their cartons are packed with recyclable paper or biodegradable “peanuts”. For their own promotional material, they use post-consumer recycled or tree-free fibre.
Windsor Barrel Works
Windsor Barrel Works is a woman-owned, certified small business in Bucks County. They manufacture recycling and waste bins for all indoor and outdoor spaces. The bins themselves are made from recycled, post-consumer: HDPE, PET, aluminum and steel. They are functional, stylish, and practical for commercial and residential applications.
We hope you enjoyed L’Autre Couleur’s Top Sustainable Companies in Pennsylvania!
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This was the 9th post in the Top Sustainable Companies series; one for every State in the United States. By the end of 2017, you can expect a Top Sustainable Companies article for every State in the United States! To stay updated on the up and coming initiatives, subscribe to our monthly newsletter and follow us on Facebook. Also please comment if we have left out any important sustainable companies in Pennsylvania that you believe should be part of our list of top sustainable companies, or if you have any thoughts/comments on the article.
Check out some of the sustainable companies happening in your neighbouring country.
- Top Sustainable Companies in New York
- Top Sustainable Companies in Massachusetts
- Top Sustainable Companies in New Jersey
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