PHILADELPHIA ‚Äď- The University of Pennsylvania has approved the funding of 10 Green Fund projects from an inaugural round of grant proposals.
The Green Fund, designed to seed environmental project ideas from faculty, students and staff with one-time grants of as much as $50,000 per project, was established this year as part of Penn‚Äôs pledge to create a more sustainable campus. The projects must support goals and objectives as outlined in Penn‚Äôs Climate Action Plan, launched earlier in the fall. The Plan is a long-range strategy to reduce the University‚Äôs carbon footprint and enhance its overall sustainability.
‚ÄúThe winning entries represent an interesting range of perspectives and audiences within the Penn community, showcasing the growing spirit of innovation and collaboration surrounding sustainability on campus‚ÄĚ Anne Papageorge, Facilities and Real Estate Services vice president, said. ‚ÄúEach has a project leader or leaders and a University sponsor to implement the plan and document the results.‚ÄĚ
The winners are:
¬∑ Mayer Hall Composting ‚Äď- Small-scale college-house composting demonstration project, offering better technology, both aesthetically and functionally.
¬∑ Penn Garden ‚Äď- An on-campus demonstration vegetable garden and urban agriculture project that will be tied to both academics and advocacy.
¬∑ Dormitory Energy Competition -- A managed competition for energy reduction and behavior change among residents of several college houses, chosen for similarities of size, age, design and purpose.
¬∑ Going Greener: Point A to Point B -- A project to raise students‚Äô awareness of Penn‚Äôs Morris Arboretum by providing transport to the Arboretum for eco-specific tours and green workshops.
¬∑ Sigma Chi Fraternity Window Restoration -- Energy-saving improvements for the historic building at 3809 Locust Walk in a project that uses green design principles: local supplier, reuse/ recycling of existing construction materials and increasing energy savings.
¬∑ 40th Street Sustainability Smackdown -- A student-led design competition in which student teams will develop plans to improve energy efficiency for retail merchants in Penn‚Äôs off-campus properties along 40th Street, in cooperation with the University City District. The most effective plans will be implemented with funds from this grant.
¬∑ School of Medicine Lighting Analysis and Implementation -- Lighting retrofits for School of Medicine buildings, including installation of occupancy sensors and LED fixtures.
¬∑ Ultraviolet Pool Disinfection System -- A reduced-chemical disinfection system for Penn‚Äôs Sheerr Pool that will save money on chlorine, reduce the amount of chemicals stored in-house, improve the water and air quality from a health perspective and extend the life of metal structures within the facility.
¬∑ Purchase of T3 Series Three-Wheeled Electric Vehicle -- A customer-friendly, high-efficiency electric vehicle to support security patrols in Penn Park and in other high-traffic University events.
¬∑ Penn Environmental Group Green Acorn Certification Program -- An initiative started by the Penn Environmental Group that will create a streamlined environmental certification process for local businesses and vendors that use green practices.
The recipients were selected by a committee of faculty, students and staff, and a key criterion was demonstrable return on investment. Money saved from the projects will serve to replenish the fund. Another round of grant applications will be accepted in the spring.
Additional information and application forms are available at www.upenn.edu/sustainability/greenfund.html.