December 10, 2004

Eric Cheung, Steven Levy, Joe Grincewicz, John Hadalski, James Varghese, Morris Fine, Jack LeBeau

Eric Cheung

Eric began by refreshing everyone's memory as to what the Corporate Sponsorship program was established to do: raise private sector funding to help pay for diesel retrofit projects. The money can go directly to specifically identified fleets (e.g., Adopt-A-School Bus) or it can go to a general pot of money that PDD then distributes to a worthy fleet to do diesel retrofits somewhere in the region. The purpose of this meeting was to try and develop a plan of action to move the Corporate Sponsorship program forward.

The group began by reviewing a list of potential action items brainstormed by Eric and Morris, including networking, inserting PDD information in emissions inventory update mailings, targeting a list of companies, focusing on environmental violators, giving presentations at relevant meetings of business people and sending out a general mailing to Philadelphia area companies.

The group preferred the idea of creating a targeted list of companies. Steve noted that there are many large corporations headquartered here and they may already be giving money to charities and environmental projects. John says all PDD stakeholders contract with businesses in the Philadelphia area. By doing business with them, PDD's stakeholders have some leverage to persuade them to sponsor diesel retrofit projects.

Ultimately participants decided that PDD should put together a list of the Top 50 companies in Philadelphia. John explained how Dalton's Directory can provide contact information for each of these companies. Other sources of information include Dun and Bradstreet and the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. Any outreach done with these corporations should be directed to the CEOs. Once this information is complete it can be circulated among PDD stakeholders to see if the group already has preexisting contacts with any of them

A letter of introduction will then be sent to the CEO of each of these companies. The letter will prominently feature the City of Philadelphia as an entity very interested in seeing businesses participate in Corporate Sponsorship. Steve suggested that they will be more willing to comply if they see some clear benefits, including press conferences and other opportunities for positive publicity. He proposed establishing categories of funding (similar to the Recognition Program) that explains what companies get for a donating a set level of money. Morris noted that work on this had already been started by Bill Coughlin. Eric will track that information down. Eric will work on completing a new PDD brochure that is geared towards potential Corporate Sponsors. Steve has some useful graphics to include in this brochure.

After the letters are sent, PDD will then request that those stakeholders with good contacts to some of the companies make follow-up calls. PDD already has a Corporate Sponsorship presentation ready in case an in-person visit is requested by a company. John noted that off the top of his head, the City has a strong working relationship with Sunoco, Citizen's Bank, Comcast, ARA, Coca Cola, Home Depot, PECO and Verizon. If there are other companies not in the Top 50 that PDD stakeholders have tie with, PDD will add them to the list of companies to contact.

Morris noted that April worked closely with the Chamber of Commerce earlier this year and went to at least two events. She may have gotten some good contacts with larger members as a result. Eric will get in touch with PDD's Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce contact to find out where things were left.

Joe wondered if PDD could be part a United Way campaign. Eric said he did not believe so, because PDD is not an independent nonprofit organization.

Morris suggested that the Clean Air Council may have its own list of companies who are friendly to environmental causes and that they could be added to the group of businesses that will be sent Corporate Sponsorship letters. In addition, he asked Eric to request similar information from other environmental groups the Council works with. Eric will also ask AMS, DEP and EPA for their list of the areas top polluters. If these are not already covered as being among the Top 50 businesses in the area, their corporate sponsorship letters could play up the benefit of doing something beneficial for the environment in light of their pollution problems. John added hazardous waste permit holders as another list of businesses to look to.

Morris mentioned that while enforcement settlements still remain a possible funding source at the local and state levels, the EPA can no longer use such monies for school bus retrofits since it is already giving governmental grants for those kinds of projects.

As for other Corporate Sponsorship action steps, Morris asked Eric to bring PDD brochures to the next meeting and to remind stakeholders to pass them along when a networking opportunity arises.

Morris commented that ever year AMS requests facilities that emit pollution to submit an inventory of its emissions. Morris will be mailing this request to companies soon. PDD will be including an insert about its program and corporate sponsorship opportunities in the mailing. Eric will draft the insert soon so that it can be included in the mailing to about 140 companies. PDD may then choose to send a follow-up letter addressed to the company's CEO. Eric will investigate whether DEP does something similar.

Concerning presentations to business groups, John observed that the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce used to have an environmental work group. This might be a good opportunity to give presentations. Also PDD should consider PA DEP's pollution prevention roundtable. PenJerDel, PEC and PRC are other possibilities.