On Campus Green


Creating Canopy

Marie Witt A Note On College Green
In reflecting on Penn’s progress toward its Climate Action Plan goals, I thought about the Penn Compact and the University’s vision of moving from excellence to eminence. We certainly have made excellent strides in lowering Penn’s carbon footprint. In the Business Services Division alone, we have launched initiatives which have increased sustainable transportation, green purchasing and local food sourcing options. But the question remains, “How do we move beyond these successes and become the preeminent institution in terms of sustainable practices?”

To be certain, we will continue to invest in major projects such as LEED certified buildings and energy conservation. But to truly achieve eminence, will require each of us to increase the number of sustainable actions we take each day on campus.  We know that the commitment is there, as we see recycling rates climbing and energy usage falling. Through the Green Campus Partnership, we have been developing programs to help make it easier for you to be even more sustainable at Penn.

For example, when you purchase office supplies through BEN Buys, we have made it simple to locate a greener alternative.  We are also working closely with our suppliers to increase the number of items made of recycled, remanufactured or other green attributes as well as to ensure that they are produced in ways that lower the environmental impact.  As part of our Sustainable Transportation Initiative we recently introduced a van pool program and already have three vans operating. From purchasing remanufactured toner to contributing University surplus to Ben’s Attic, from choosing a sustainable commuting option to shopping at our campus farmer’s market, there are small but still significant ways each of us can help lower Penn’s carbon footprint. 

PennMOVES is a perfect illustration of how individual efforts can reap big rewards. The contribution of each student was relatively small, but total donations added up to thousands of pounds of items that would have otherwise gone to a landfill and raised over $25,000 to support Goodwill’s local job training programs.

This newsletter is a great way to learn about all the ways we are trying to make it easier for you to incorporate sustainable practices into your routine. The small actions we each make, brought together can accomplish great things for our University and our planet.

Marie Witt
Marie Witt
Vice President, Business Services

Visit the Penn Green Campus Partnership Website
Sign Up to Recieve Red & Blue On College Green
Download the Climate Action Plan
Upcoming Events
Sign the Sustainability Pledge
Share Your Sustainability Story
FRISEP2 Freshman Preceptorial @ New Student Orientation:
Penn Green Campus Partnership & Eco-Reps

3:30pm - 5:30pm
Incoming freshmen: Click here to register for our NSO Preceptorial, where you can learn about the Green Campus Partnership, the Penn Eco-Reps program, and sustainability course offerings while getting a chance to meet student sustainability leaders and play some Green Campus Quizzo (trivia)!
SUNSEP11 Student Eco-Reps Application Deadline
Click here to learn more about the Penn Eco-Reps program and how you can apply to become a student representative of the Green Campus Partnership.
Green Fund Green Fund Spring 2011 Projects Selected
Three new sustainability projects from the Spring 2011 application pool have been selected to receive grants from the Penn Green Fund. The new projects will be implemented over the remainder of the year and join the list of creative sustainability initiatives conceived by Penn students, faculty, and staff since the release of the Climate Action Plan in September 2009... READ MORE
Navy Yard Studio Project MEBD Program Completes First Design Studio
This summer marked the first studio for PennDesign’s new Master in Environmental Building Design (MEBD) program, which challenged students to design a high performance building for Philadelphia’s unique waterfront development at the Navy Yard. The studio aimed to synthesize the skills and knowledge acquired by students in the first two semesters of the MEBD program and apply them to their projects in an effort to maximize the goals of net zero design... READ MORE
Red Day Top 6 Tips to Conserve Energy and Beat the Heat
Although we’re nearing the end of the summer, the heat is still on in the Philadelphia region. Here are some actions you can take that will help conserve energy on campus and cut the cost of your energy bill at home... READ MORE
PennMOVES Sale 4th Annual PennMOVES Sale Raises $25,000 for Goodwill
The fourth Annual PennMOVES Community Sale, held on June 4, raised over $25,000 to support Goodwill’s local employment training services for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment. Thanks to the sale, close to 90,000 pounds of usable items that students could not take with them when they left campus were diverted from landfills... READ MORE
Huntsman Hall Huntsman Hall Doubles Recycling Rate
In celebration of Earth Day 2011, Wharton conducted its second annual Huntsman Hall waste audit – a comprehensive waste sort that analyzes waste diversion rates, potential and waste composition. This year’s audit showed substantial progress in both reducing the building’s overall waste and increasing its diversion rate, as Huntsman Hall’s recycling rate doubled from 15% in 2010 to 30% in 2011... READ MORE
Music Building Music Building Wins SCUP Merit Award for Excellence in Architecture Addition/Renovation
The Music Building was recently recognized with a Merit Award for Excellence in Architecture Addition/Renovation from the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP). Completed in the spring of 2010, the renovation and expansion introduced new state-of-the-art teaching and rehearsal spaces that revitalized the building as well as the School of Arts and Sciences’ Music Department... READ MORE
ADF Tree Campus USA Award Penn Named 2010 Tree Campus USA School
Penn is one of 114 colleges and universities across the country to be recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a 2010 Tree Campus USA school. The program honors college campuses and nearby neighborhood leaders for promoting healthy urban forest management and engaging the campus community in environmental stewardship. This is the second year in a row that Penn has received the Tree Campus USA designation. Click here to view the complete list of Tree Campus USA schools honored by the Arbor Day Foundation.
Commuter Vanpool Penn Transportation & Parking Launches Vanpool Program
As part of Penn’s Sustainable Transportation Initiative, Penn Transportation and Parking has joined with VPSI, a national leader in vanpooling and sustainable transportation, to expand vanpooling options to Penn faculty and staff. The vans, which operate throughout the region, including New Jersey and Delaware, offer a reliable, affordable and sustainable way to commute to campus... READ MORE
Univ. Square Farmers' Market New Vendors Join University Square Farmers' Market
Summer is the perfect time to visit the weekly University Square Farmers’ Market, located on 36th Street between Sansom and Walnut Streets every Wednesday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m through November, local farmers set up to sell a variety of fresh vegetables and fruits as well as artisan breads, chocolates and locally roasted, fair trade coffee... READ MORE
Kilian Feeney, Eduardo Glandt, & Leandra Kern Leandra Kern & Killian Feeney, SEAS Green Team
In response to Dean Eduardo Glandt’s (pictured, center) pledge to expand sustainability initiatives at the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), Leandra Kern and Kilian Feeney stepped forward and formed the SEAS Green Team. Comprised of volunteer representatives from each of the school’s departments, the group holds monthly meetings to brainstorm new ideas, share best practices, and communicate successful initiatives back to SEAS students, faculty, and staff. Leandra and Kilian lead the Green Team’s efforts to improve sustainability from the top-down through construction projects (air handlers renovations, roof renovations, and equipment upgrades) and from the bottom-up (specifying sustainably-sourced furniture, piloting new recycling initiatives, and raising awareness amongst peers) in support of Penn’s Climate Action Plan. Their team serves as a model for successful sustainability working groups in schools and centers across the Penn campus.




Academic Term
Academic Year

Share a Story

Do you have a sustainability story to share with the campus? Want to hear more about a specific topic or project?
Send us an email and we'll consider the content for inclusion on the website or in a future e-newsletter.