Penn’s Climate Action Plan, launched in September 2009, is the University’s initiative to become a greener campus. The plan outlines five main strategies to reduce Penn’s carbon footprint and enhance sustainable practices: conserve energy, reduce emissions, build green, minimize waste and learn sustainability.
Over the past two years, the Penn community has participated in the implementation of the plan in many ways. Students, faculty and staff have volunteered to serve as Eco-Reps, helping to educate their peers on a variety of green efforts. Successful energy conservation practices have been showcased through campus-wide events such as the Power Down Challenge, and 28 innovative sustainability projects from across campus have been financed by the University’s Green Fund.
Additionally, the University’s recycling rate has increased from 17 percent in 2007 to 28 percent as of April 2011, mainly through efforts such as RecycleMania, PennMOVES and composting. Also, as a result of Penn Transportation and Parking’s support of sustainable transportation initiatives, many employees who used to drive to campus now bike, walk or take public transportation. And now more than ever, Penn is offering sustainability-focused degree programs, coursework and lectures for continued learning opportunities.
In 2008, before the launch of the Climate Action Plan, Penn released a campus-wide sustainability survey, the results of which helped inform the University’s sustainability goals. As the two-year anniversary of the Plan approaches, the Penn Green Campus Partnership wants to again hear from the campus community about their perspectives, awareness and behavior relating to sustainability at Penn.
Take a few minutes to complete the Penn Sustainability survey at www.upenn.edu/survey/GreenCampusPartnership and let the Green Campus Partnership know what you think about the University’s green initiatives. Responses will remain anonymous; no identifying information will be collected.
For more information on Penn’s sustainability initiatives, visit www.upenn.edu/sustainability.
Originally published on June 9, 2011