Our History

A Commitment to Sustainability

THE PRESIDENTS' CLIMATE COMMITMENT

Penn President Amy Gutmann was the first Ivy League President to sign the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).

Over 600 colleges and universities have joined President Gutmann in this commitment, and these institutions are leading the way in addressing the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase research and education at places of higher learning in order to curb the earth's rapidly changing climate. As part of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, in September 2008, Penn's Greenhouse Gas emissions were made publicly available on the ACUPCC website. To learn more about the commitment, visit the ACUPCC website.

About the Green Campus Partnership

CREATING THE PARTNERSHIP

The Green Campus Partnership is the umbrella organization that was formed in 2007 to address environmental sustainability planning and policy development at the University of Pennsylvania and to coordinate programs and initiatives for a more sustainable campus.

The Green Campus Partnership includes Facilities and Real Estate Services, Business Services, the Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee (ESAC) as well as faculty and student groups, including the Penn Environmental Group (PEG).

EXPANDING THE PARTNERSHIP

President Amy Gutmann's signing of the Presidents’ Climate Commitment charged Penn to develop a strategic plan outlining the University’s goals for carbon reduction. To carry out this mission the Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee (ESAC) was formed. ESAC is a cross-campus collaboration that includes a representative group of faculty, staff, and students who advise the President on environmental sustainability issues. This committee is comprised of six subcommittees: Academics, Physical Environment, Energy and Utilities, Waste Management and Recycling, Transportation, and Communications. These subcommittees developed recommendations for short- and long-term actions to address the Commitment’s requirements. These recommendations were reviewed by the members of ESAC and now serve as the backbone of Penn’s Climate Action Plan.

ESAC SUBCOMMITTEE cO-CHAIRS

Anne Papageorge, Chair, Vice President, Facilities and Real Estate Services

  • William Braham, Interim Chair and Professor of Architecture, School of Design
  • David Hollenberg, University Architect, Facilities & Real Estate Services
  • Ken Ogawa, Executive Director of Operations, Facilities and Real Estate Services
  • Brian Shaw, Director, Business Services
  • Eric Weckel, Executive Director of Space Planning and Operations, School of Medicine

ESAC SUBCOMMITTEE MEMBERS

  • Taylor Berkowitz, Senior Planner Special Projects, Facilities and Real Estate Services
  • Jonathan Bryan, undergraduate student, School of of Engineering and Applied Science
  • Jane Dmochowski, Managing Director, Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research
  • Richard Fisher, graduate student, School of Design
  • Ann Greene, Associate Director for Undergraduate Studies, History & Sociology of Science 
  • Andy Huemmler, Lecturer, School of Arts and Sciences
  • Mark Alan Hughes, Distinguished Senior Fellow, School of Design
  • Matt LaneExecutive Director of Facilities Planning and Science Operations, School of Arts & Sciences 
  • Barbara Lea-Kruger, Director of Communications & External Relations, Business Services
  • Marsha Lester, Professor and Chair, Physical Chemistry and Natural Sciences
  • Noam Lior, Professor, Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, School of Engineering and Applied Science
  • Bob Lundgren, University Landscape Architect, Facilities and Real Estate Services
  • Muscoe Martin, Adjunct Professor, Architecture, School of Design
  • Ali Malkawi, Professor, Architecture, School of Design
  • Dominic McGraw, graduate student, School of Arts & Sciences
  • Paul Meyer, F. Otto Haas Director of the Morris Arboretum, Business Services
  • Jessica Morris, graduate student, School of Design
  • Rob Nelson, Director, Office of the Provost
  • Eric Orts, Professor, Environmental Management, Legal Studies and Business Ethics and Management, Wharton School
  • Laura Peller, Associate Director, Industrial Hygiene and Environmental Programs, Environmental Health and Radiation Safety
  • Jennifer Rizzi, Director of Communications, Facilities & Real Estate Services
  • Kyle Rosato, Senior Industrial Hygienist, Environmental Health and Radiation Safety
  • Michael Shostek, undergraduate student, School of Arts & Sciences
  • Melanie Silver, graduate student, School of Design
  • Ben Suplick, Director of Engineering & Energy Planning, Facilities & Real Estate Services
  • Franca Trubiano, Assistant Professor, Architecture, School of Design

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

  • Craig Carnaroli, Executive Vice President
  • Gregory S. Rost, Vice President and Chief of Staff
  • Vincent Price, Provost
  • Maureen Rush, Vice President, Division of Public Safety
  • Marie Witt, Vice President, Business Services
  • Daniel Garofalo, Environmental Sustainability Director

The Climate Action Plan

PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE

On September 15, 2009, the University unveiled its Climate Action Plan, a comprehensive strategy to address the significant reduction of the campus’ greenhouse gas emissions. Fulfilling the Climate Action Plan requires the power of this partnership to build a culture of sustainability and shared responsibility between the institution and the individual to reduce Penn’s carbon footprint.

As the Plan is implemented, the Penn community will gain new skills, knowledge, and appreciation for the value of a sustainable campus. Energy will be conserved, recycling expanded, emissions from commuting and air travel reduced, and buildings constructed and rehabilitated using today’s best practices in sustainability.

The University of Pennsylvania will foster a culture of environmental engagement, integrating sustainability into its ongoing mission of teaching, research, and service well into the future.

Click here to read Penn's Climate Action Plan.

Fact

Penn has won the EPA Green Power Purchasing Award every year since 2006.