Seven new sustainability projects, including installation of electric vehicle charging stations and a marketing upgrade for the Green Acorn business certification program, will receive support from the University of Pennsylvania’s Green Fund.
The new projects, selected from the largest number of applications to date, will join the list of current sustainability initiatives that Penn students, faculty and staff have created since the release of the University’s Climate Action Plan in September 2009.
• Zellerbach Theatre LED spotlight installation: The Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts plans to install a mobile digital LED-based system of spotlights to replace its 40-year-old, energy-intensive system, reducing spotlight-energy consumption by approximately 70 percent and providing a return on investment within one year.
• Electric-charging stations for car-sharing vehicles: Penn Parking Services plans to install charging stations on campus to provide power for electric vehicles furnished by Penn’s car-share partners, PhillyCarShare and Zipcar.
• Green Acorn promotional partnership: Additional support has been awarded to the Green Acorn Certification program, a 2009 Green Fund project, for an expanded marketing and advertising campaign to raise public awareness. A Wharton Management 100 team will work with Green Acorn to develop “Acorn Nuts,” a frequent-customer rewards program.
• Environmental-Education Kitchen: The Penn Women’s Center plans to create an environmental-education kitchen that uses locally sourced, recycled materials and low-energy appliances. Penn Environmental Group members have signed on to script and record podcasts and offer tours and tutorials of the kitchen. This project has received additional support from the Office of the Vice Provost for University Life and Rose George, an alumna and the author of the 2010 Penn Reading Project book The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste & Why It Matters.
• Desktop Power Management: The Information Systems & Computing Division plans to install a desktop energy-management program on 1,500 to 2,000 systems that will enable departments to minimize desktop energy use while still providing users and ISC staff the flexibility to access desktops remotely. The program can produce reports on current power usage and potential savings based on power recommendations.
• Organic compost tea program: The Morris Arboretum is planning a brewing system for compost tea, a liquid compost extract that is an organic alternative to chemical fertilizers, and will use this grant to purchase the equipment and training necessary to implement a Sustainable Landscape Management program that will reduce the Arboretum’s use of pesticides.
• Williams Hall ground-floor-classroom LED installation: This grant will fund the installation of LED lighting in 12 Williams Hall classrooms as part of a long-term goal to replace fluorescent and incandescent lighting with LED lighting. LED lights will reduce both labor and replacement costs in addition to lowering classroom energy consumption.
The Green Fund was established in 2009 by Penn’s Green Campus Partnership with funding from Facilities and Real Estate Services, spurring the development of 18 projects in its first year. The maximum allocation for each award is $50,000. Projects that generate financial savings to the University are expected to repay the award in order to sustain the Green Fund and make future awards possible.
More information on the Penn Green Fund is at www.upenn.edu/sustainability/greenfund.html.