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“Green Living” Offers Incentives from Corporate Partners

December 2, 2014
participants of the Green Living Certification program

Now in its second year, the Green Living Certification program offers enhanced rewards for students making conscious decisions to reduce their environmental footprint at Penn. Partnerships with four local restaurants in University City offer a selection of discounts and incentives to certified students.

Bailey Rowland, Emily Wei, and Austin Bream, student interns in Penn’s Sustainability Office, organize the Green Living Certification program. Sweetgreen, Picnic, Shake Shack, and Metropolitan Bakery all offer discounts or coupons to certified students. In gratitude for their partnership, the Sustainability Team wants to share in this newsletter some information about each company’s sustainable practices.

At sweetgreen, we are focused on sourcing local ingredients from farmers we know. We believe in eating with the seasons, when food is in its peak point of nutrition and flavor. All of our packaging is 100% plant-based and compostable. This includes bowls, cutlery and beverage cups. We use reclaimed and FSC certified materials in our construction, and we use energy efficient LED lighting. Our furniture is made from reclaimed wood. One of our company's core values is "think sustainably." We believe that you should make decisions that last longer than you will. (3925 Walnut Street)

All Shake Shacks are constructed with recycled and sustainable materials, and feature energy-efficient kitchen equipment and lighting. Chairs and booths are made from lumber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, and tabletops are constructed from reclaimed bowling alley lanes by Brooklyn-based CounterEvolution.  In addition, the majority of our gear in the Shake Shack Shop is made from organic cotton and/or post-consumer recycled polyester. According to Ryan Hux, General Manager for the University City Shake Shack, “The phrase ‘Stand for Something Good’ is something that we take very seriously. We are incredibly proud to be a part of a campus that has Green Living to encourage students to commit to a green life style. We are happy to reward these students for their like-minded pursuit of a better community.”  (3200 Chestnut Street)

Engaging in sustainable practices has always been a given at Picnic.  Co-owner Anne-Marie Lasher says that her training as a chef was strongly influenced by her years at the White Dog Café, a business that championed the idea early on. Picnic’s environmental sustainability practices include an active recycling program, buying from local farms and farm coops directly, buying organic and/or sustainably produced produce and dairy products, using recycled paper materials, limiting the use of single serve/portion controlled products.  Picnic is proud to be a Green Acorn certified business, and pleased to be part of a program to reward students who strive to find a “green” balance in their lives, as they do. (3131 Walnut Street)

Metropolitan Bakery & Cafe, a Green Acorn certified business, was created to provide Philadelphia with fresh and sustainable products from local producers. Metropolitan is very active in initiatives that directly affect the communities it serves, including endeavors to promote other local businesses, fight homelessness and support healthy food programs for city residents. Their menu features freshly created breakfast and lunch items and delicious coffee. (4013 Walnut Street)

To further promote Green Living, the program managers have partnered with a Wharton MGMT 100 team of freshman business students to come up with creative marketing ideas and suggestions for future improvements. The team rolled out an "Outdoor Living" display during GreenFest 2014 — an outdoor dorm room that showed Penn students just how easy it can be to make their everyday behaviors greener. Students interested in becoming Green Living Certified may begin here.

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