Penn. Campus


Penn recognized as top performer in 2020 Sustainable Campus Index

November 23, 2020
student group in front of college hall

Penn has been recognized as a top performer in the 2020 Sustainable Campus Index, ranking 7th overall in the area of Diversity and Affordability and 5th overall in the area of Transportation.

A publication from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), the Sustainable Campus Index recognizes top-performing sustainable colleges and universities overall and in 17 impact areas, as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). 

“This is a great accolade for Penn’s Transportation, and Diversity & Affordability efforts, demonstrating that out of 670 STARS-rated institutions, Penn rises to the top,” says Nina Morris, Penn Sustainability Director.

Penn achieved top performer status by earning a high score in the Diversity and Affordability and Transportation subcategories in STARS.

Penn tied with Emory University (GA) for the 7th place in the Diversity and Affordability subcategory, which looks at diversity coordination, assessment for campus equity, discrimination response, higher education affordability and access, increasing faculty diversity, and support and recruitment of underrepresented students, faculty and staff.

  • In concert with the Penn Compact 2022, Penn’s sustainability programs motivate community members to innovate, be radically inclusive, and positively impact their local, national, and global communities.

The 5th place in the Transportation subcategory was earned by Penn for its campus transportation fleets, student/employee modal split, and programs promoting sustainable transportation.

  • Penn’s Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 3.0 Annual Report FY20 credits the university for eight new electric vehicle charging stations installed on campus, a working group formed to better assess faculty and staff commuting behavior, and two new Indego bike share stations installed, bringing the total in the campus vicinity to 6 stations.

Penn’s STARS report is publicly available on the STARS website:


The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. STARS was developed by AASHE with broad participation from the higher education community. The credits included in STARS span the breadth of higher education sustainability and are organized into four categories: Academics, Engagement, Operations, and Planning & Administration. All reports are publicly accessible on the STARS website. For more information, visit


AASHE empowers higher education administrators, faculty, staff and students to be effective change agents and drivers of sustainability innovation. AASHE enables members to translate information into action by offering essential resources and professional development to a diverse, engaged community of sustainability leaders. We work with and for higher education to ensure that our world's future leaders are motivated and equipped to solve sustainability challenges. For more information, visit Follow AASHE on Facebook and Twitter.

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.