Penn's continual improvement in its ecological performance

Our Plan

Carbon Neutrality by 2042 (100 x 42)

The University of Pennsylvania has committed to the goal of achieving 100% carbon neutrality by 2042, a goal we call 100 x 42. The Operations and Maintenance Department, within the Division of Facilities and Real Estate Services (FRES), works with the Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee's Utilities and Operations Subcommittee to identify and execute funded projects that meet this goal.

Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 3.0

Penn’s Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 3.0 represents a vision for our university’s sustainable future.

Penn’s remarkable transformation into one of the world’s premier teaching and research institutions has been fueled by enormous growth in capabilities, means, and influence. The implementation of former Penn President Amy Gutmann’s Penn Compact puts the University in a strong position to address the environmental challenges ahead. Penn will continue to lead through inclusive climate change scholarship, innovative policy formation, and adoption of best practices to dramatically impact campus efficiency and reduce emissions. Through deliberate assessment, analysis, and planning. Penn is taking action to mitigate climate impacts, adapt to emerging environmental conditions, and prepare our university—and our students—to lead in a rapidly evolving world. The CSAP 3.0 recommends goals to:

  • Expand the scope of sustainability research in Penn’s academic centers, and connect students to Penn’s abundant resources in this field;
  • Continue to reduce carbon emissions and explore expanded use of renewable energy to mitigate the impacts of climate change;
  • Embrace circular economy principles to reduce waste and single-use products;
  • Make sustainable choices in transportation, purchasing, and business operations; and Inform, educate, and empower the Penn community to participate in Penn’s climate change and sustainability goals.

Penn has made remarkable progress since the launch of its first Climate Action Plan in 2009. Engagement on environmental issues from students and faculty has grown dramatically.

Accurate and timely reporting of key indicators by the Sustainability Office allows Penn’s leaders to make informed decisions: improving energy efficiency, reducing carbon emissions, streamlining workflow, managing costs, and prioritizing investment. Highlights since 2009 include:

  • Expansion of scholarship, research, and course offerings on sustainability, including 8 new environmentally-focused academic centers;
  • Building-related emissions reductions of over 40% - a result of on-campus conservation strategies plus a lower-carbon energy supply;
  • A solar power purchase agreement which offset around 70% of the main campus and health system electricity with renewable energy;
  • Certification of Penn's main academic campus as a Level II Arboretum and the adoption of LEED Silver minimum standards;
  • Over 20% waste diversion rate due to innovative purchasing and diversion strategies;
  • Recognition of individuals and teams across Penn who develop innovative ideas to improve purchasing sustainability;
  • The purchase of 4 Electric Vans by Penn Parking and Transportation; and
  • Continued engagement and education of the campus community through social media, newsletters, Climate Week and Earth Week campaigns, and affinity groups.

Penn’s CSAP 3.0 goals will test the ingenuity of the campus community as we continue to reduce our ecological footprint while prioritizing environmental health and resiliency. The focus is on Penn’s 100x42 carbon neutrality pledge—an ambition worthy of Penn’s commitment, and feasible given the University’s resources and expertise.

The CSAP 3.0 will translate Penn's ambitions into action and our shared values into accomplishments.

Use this link to download the full CSAP3.0 Full Document 3.0 PDF (15MB, 42 pages) or the CSAP3.0 Executive Summary PDF (48KB 3 pages).

If you are interested in joining one of our seven Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee (ESAC) Subcommittees, please contact us at