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Penn's Climate Action Plan 2.0

Since the 2009 launch of the University’s first Climate Action Plan, Penn can look back on a remarkable and steadily deepening array of accomplishments, and forward to a path of continual improvement in its ecological performance. Upon becoming the first Ivy League signatory to the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007, the University began the process of creating and executing a vision of environmental sustainability at Penn. The launch of the 2009 Climate Action Plan set concrete goals and began the formal process of integrating sustainability into coursework, classes, community, and campus planning, design and campus operations. Significant progress has been made.

Developing a new five year plan was an exciting opportunity to build on such successes, institutionalize organic change, and use the experience learned from past challenges to better frame new goals and strategies.  One of the most ambitious elements of Climate Action Plan 2.0 is the expansion of the Plan’s geography, from the core academic campus, to more fully capture the range of environmental leadership across the University’s entire built assets. By including the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, the Morris Arboretum, the New Bolton Center, and the University’s leased space and real estate portfolio, Climate Action Plan 2.0 reflects an expanded approach to environmental stewardship, and highlights important work accomplished, underway, and planned for the future.

Climate Action Plan 2009-2014

The recommendations included throughout Climate Action Plan 2.0 were formalized in Spring 2014 semester by the respective Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee (ESAC) Subcommittees, building upon five years of collective experience implementing the initial plan. ESAC Subcommittees are organized by topic area:

  • Academics
  • Utilities & Operations
  • Physical Environment
  • Transportation
  • Waste Minimization & Recycling
  • Outreach & Engagement

Regular meetings of the ESAC Subcommittees, which include students, faculty, and staff allowed each one to develop and hone five-year goals. The final recommendations were presented in April 2014 to the Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee, chaired by Anne Papageorge, Vice-President of Facilities & Real Estate Services. Formal briefings to Craig Carnaroli, Executive Vice President, Dr. Vincent Price, Provost and President Gutmann followed. Presentations to Senior Roundtable, University Council, Academic Planning and Budget Committee expanded the breadth of University familiarity and buy-in of the plan in advance of its release in October 2014.

The Climate Action Plan 2.0 document is organized by the above subcommittee initiatives, with each section including a Mission, Five Year Summary, and Recommendations.

Full Climate Action Plan 2.0 document (PDF)

Executive Summary - Climate Action Plan 2.0 (PDF)


The Swine Teaching and Research Center at Penn’s New Bolton Center has capacity to meet 10-12% of its energy needs using solar power.