Penn’s Climate Action Plan: Creating a Culture of Sustainability

 

Five years after releasing its original Climate Action Plan, the University of Pennsylvania has demonstrated wide-ranging accomplishments in integrating sustainability into coursework as well as campus planning, design and operations.

Now with the launch of the Climate Action Plan 2.0, on Oct. 21, 2014, Penn has set forth bold new goals building a roadmap for environmental improvement and sustainability on campus to 2019 and beyond.

Five years after releasing its original Climate Action Plan, the University of Pennsylvania has demonstrated wide-ranging accomplishments in integrating sustainability into coursework as well as campus planning, design and operations.

Penn President Amy Gutmann made sustainability a top priority when she became the first Ivy League president to sign the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007. Penn’s Climate Action Plan took shape and was launched in 2009, with goals addressing energy conservation, sustainable practices and green design in construction, programs to minimize waste and reduce carbon emissions.

The goals and recommendations described in full in the Climate Action Plan 2.0 report build upon those outlined in the original Climate Action Plan. The report also points to Penn’s progress made over the last five years including great strides in the classroom – bolstering the curriculum, Penn now offers over 170 courses focused on and related to sustainability. Other programs and degree offerings include a Sustainability & Environmental Management minor, a Master in Environmental Building Design, and the Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research.

Penn has also made significant progress in reducing its carbon footprint, growing greener, minimizing waste, commuting with fewer emissions and engaging the whole Penn community succeeding in creating a campus-wide culture of sustainability.

Building on the successes of the last five years, the Climate Action Plan 2.0 sets forth challenging new goals for campus building performance, expanded educational opportunities for students and enriched support for faculty research.

With the Climate Action Plan 2.0 serving as a blueprint for environmental improvement and sustainability on campus, Penn is committed to research and innovation and to best environmental practices and leadership to 2019 and beyond.

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  • Video by Chip Murphy & Rebecca Abboud
  • Photos by Stuart Watson
  • Text by Amanda Mott