Day was first celebrated throughout the country on April
22, 1970 inspired by a speech by Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis.)
in 1969. The Earth Day celebration in Philadelphia was planned
and organized by a group led by Ian McHarg, the late professor
emeritus of landscape architecture and urban planning (Almanac March
20, 2001) whose seminal book, Design With Nature,
introduced environmental concerns to landscape architecture.
The department of landscape architecture and regional planning,
which he founded and chaired at GSFA, was the major focus
for the celebration, which culminated in 30,000 people at
Belmont Plateau in Fairmount Park that spring day. On the
occasion of the 30th anniversary of Earth Day, April 20,
2000, the departments of city and regional planning, and
landscape architecture and regional planning, in association
with the Pennsylvania Planning Association, dedicated a commemorative
bronze plaque citing Professor McHarg's accomplishments
and recognized his extraordinary legacy as a leader in integrating
environmental principles into modern planning practice. The
plaque hangs in the Dean's Alley in Meyerson Hall. Below
are some of the initiatives Penn has taken as part of its
continued commitment to the environment.
Purchase of Wind-Generated Power to 10 Percent of Penn's
the Penn banner at the wind farm east of Pittsburgh,
in Somerset, PA, are (left to right) Sharon Hsu, C
'03; Rob Smith, CGS '04, an Environmental Initiatives
at Facilities & Real Estate Services; Barry Hilts,
associate vice president, Facilities Operations; Andrew
Pike, C '04; Mike Coleman, director, Central Services, Facilities
Services; and Christina Wood, C '05.
a new 10-year agreement, Penn will now purchase 10 percent
of its energy needs from wind-generated power, in effect doubling
its nation-leading wind-energy purchase to the output from
10 wind turbines.
will purchase 40 million kilowatt hours annually from Community
Energy Inc. of Wayne, Pa. This agreement represents the largest
retail purchase of wind-generated energy in the nation. The
10-year commitment will also lead to the construction of a
new wind farm in Pennsylvania.
at Penn are pleased to be a national leader in the choice for
clean energy and the development of the wind-generated power
industry in Pennsylvania," President Judith Rodin said. "Through
this example of environmental stewardship, we can continue
to raise the awareness of our students and the community about
alternative fuel options."
became a national leader in the use of renewable energy through
its original 2001 agreement to purchase 20 million kilowatt
hours of wind-generated power per year for three years. The
energy is produced at a wind farm in western Pennsylvania.
Although wind-generated power is currently more expensive than
that produced by traditional power plants, Penn funded the
difference through savings from its aggressive energy-conservation
program that reduced peak demand by18 percent.
new 10-year commitment will make it possible for Community
Energy and other partners to construct a new wind farm to be
situated in the Poconos, just off the Pennsylvania Turnpike's
Northeast Extension. The wind farm will consist of 12 turbines
and is expected to produce 20 mega watts, 40 percent of which
will supply Penn's additional purchase.
September 2002, the federal Environmental Protection Agency
and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
honored the University for its commitment to alternative energy
consumption. The EPA/Department of Energy presented Penn with
the Green Power Leadership Award to recognize the quantity
of renewable energy purchased, the impact of that purchase
and the extent to which the University helped to establish
a precedent that others might replicate.
that month, Penn also received the 2002 Governor's Award
for Environmental Excellence, presented each year to the state's
leaders in innovative green technologies, environmental management
and resource protection.
Fuel Vehicles: The Facilities and Real Estate Services
currently has one electric cart and five compressed natural
gas cargo vans for use by the maintenance crews on campus.
Soon they will add three lightweight, electric/pedal-powered
utility vehicles (at left) for landscaping on campus.
Use and Conservation: Penn consumes considerable quantities of
electricity and steam to cool and heat buildings on campus. The
University implemented an extensive energy conservation program
in FY 2000 resulting in a decline in electricity use in spite
of new building growth. There are two significant infrastructure
upgrades that allow for the effective control and conservation
of energy use across campus, one of which is "Utility Mod
7", that has allowed energy and financial savings from chilled
water production and off-peak production of ice.
Conferences and Talks: See the Update April AT PENN, under
Conferences and Talks for upcoming events pertaining to the
Environment: Sustaining the Mountains: Ecological Citizens
for the 21st Century; and New Challenges for the EPA:
Managing National Environmental Emergencies.
the Town Green Conference and Trade Show, May 1-3, at
Houston Hall will include a trade show in the Hall of Flags
showcasing companies marketing sustainable products and vehicles.
The trade show is open to the public, free of charge, May
1, noon-5 p.m. and May 2-3, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information
about the Conference see www.dvgbc.org.
Solar Car--The Spirit of 76: Penn and the Solar Car
Team plan to unveil its sixth generation of Penn Solar powered
vehicles at the American Solar Challenge this summer, where
the newest solar car, Spirit of '76, will race as many
as 60 other teams from Chicago to Los Angeles. The Spirit of '76
will be on display at the Alumni Weekend Block Party on Saturday,
May 17, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on 33rd Street between Chestnut and
Walnut Streets. For more information on the Solar Racing Team
and the Solar Car, visit the website at www.seas.upenn.edu/~solarwww.
at Penn: There is a new addition to the Facilities and
Real Estate Services web site, The Environment @ Penn, dedicated
to raising awareness of environmental issues on campus.
See www.facilities.upenn.edu/environment/ for
infomation about what Penn is doing and what faculty, staff
and students can do "to attain environmental sustainability."
instance, in the Solid Waste and Recycling section, under the
history and stats heading it says, "Penn's recycling program
quickly attained success after its creation in 1990. For much
of the nineties, Penn was the number one institutional recycler
in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with a recycling rate of
around 28%. The recycling program's success has declined in recent
years, however. Roughly 20% of waste was recycled in 2002 or
only 1,809 tons of the total 8,802 tons of solid waste. The Division
of Facilities Services is dedicated to improving Penn's recycling
program and is working on several strategies to decrease the
waste stream and improve the percentage of waste that is recycled." It
also lists what can be recycled on campus and where.
by M.A. Morris
Penn’s 10-year commitment to purchase ten percent of its energy needs from
wind-generated power was announced Monday, at the Earth Festival 2003, sponsored
by the Penn Environmental Group (PEG). The theme was Thinking About Alternative
Energy. Gathering on College Green after the announcement are (left to right)
Brent Alderfer, president of Community Energy Inc., Omar Blaik, Penn’s
vice president of Facilities and Real Estate, Services, Sharon Hsu, ’C03,
and Mike Coleman, director, Central Services, Facilities Services.
electric cart that Facilities uses on campus is “street
legal” and can go up to 25 mph.
Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 30, April 22, 2003