Penn. Campus


Bright Green Ideas Honored

October 16, 2017
2017 green purchasing award group photo

The University of Pennsylvania’s Green Purchasing Awards presented by Penn’s Purchasing Services and the Penn Sustainability Office were announced at the annual Purchasing Services Supplier Show on September 19. The awards honor leading actions of an individual or team that significantly advance the development of sustainable purchasing practices at Penn. Two Green Purchasing Awards were presented this year.

“With Penn’s dedication to environmental sustainability, it’s important for Purchasing Services to not only promote green purchasing but to recognize those individual champions in our Schools and Centers,” said Mark Mills, executive director of Penn Purchasing Services. “Each year when we review nominations, we find it gratifying to learn about the smart, responsible purchasing activities that are taking place among Penn’s purchasing community— many of which can be implemented across the University.”

The first award was presented to Kelly Busch, special events manager in Wharton Operations. She was recognized for her “Bright Green Idea” for Waste Minimization and Usage Reduction. Ms. Busch developed an Event Zero Waste Policy for large Wharton events. Through her efforts and by working with many catering suppliers, all waste generated at the select events is now either recycled or composted. This “Bright Green Idea” reached fruition at the 2017 Wharton Commencement events. Wharton hosted 21 Commencement-related events that were held throughout the Wharton complex. Ms. Busch coordinated with the housekeeping staff to collect all waste generated by these events and send compost waste to the existing collection toters at Huntsman Hall and Steinberg Hall–Dietrich Hall. May 2017 metrics indicate a 1,000 pound, or 60%, increase in compost collected from Huntsman Hall and a 700 pound, or 40%, increase at Steinberg-Dietrich over monthly averages—waste that would typically end up in the landfill at events of this scale.

The second 2017 Green Purchasing Award recipient was Jeanne Marks, associate director of bioengineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Ms. Marks was recognized for her efforts associated with purchasing green office supplies in FY17. Based on information tabulated by Telrose/Office Depot, Ms. Marks’ green spend compared to overall spend for office supplies places her at the top of the University’s list for ‘darker’ green spend, the office supply company’s highest green purchasing category. Dark Green goods are 90-100% postconsumer recycled.

These initiatives align with Penn’s Climate Action Plan 2.0, the University’s comprehensive strategic roadmap for environmental sustainability that sets forth standards and goals for campus performance as part of Penn’s collective commitment to reduce carbon emissions, engage the community and expand sustainability-related teaching and research. For more information about the Green Purchasing Award recipients and their accomplishments, visit

Article courtesy of Almanac, Sept 26, 2017, Vol 64 No 6

[Photo L to R: Colleen Reardon, Director – Strategic Sourcing & Sustainability, Penn Purchasing Services, Jeanne Marks, Kelly Busch, Dan Garofalo, Director – Sustainability, FRES, and Mark Mills, Executive Director, Purchasing, Penn Purchasing Services.]

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