Green Fund

Students, staff and faculty, submit your "green" ideas

The Penn Green Fund welcomes ideas from the Penn community about ways to improve Penn’s environmental performance and reduce campus emissions. Since 2009, this initiative of Penn’s Green Campus Partnership, funded by the Division of Facilities and Real Estate Services, has seeded innovative ideas in environmental sustainability from Penn students, faculty, and staff. 

Proposed projects must support goals and objectives outlined in Penn’s Climate Action Plan, a long-range strategy, launched in 2009 and updated in 2014, to reduce the University’s carbon footprint and enhance its overall sustainability.

Green Fund Grant Program Updates

The variety and creativity of projects funded in the last five years has been impressive. Now, as Penn introduces Climate Action Plan 2.0 (2014-2019), the Green Fund Program has been updated. The refreshed program offers new grant award amounts and deadlines, all designed to make the grantmaking process more nimble and responsive to those who submit ideas. The Green Fund Review Board has announced the following program updates, effective for the Fall 2014 semester:

  • The maximum grant amount is now $30,000
  • Grant applications under $7,500 will be accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year, to allow for quick response to timely initiatives. Rolling applications also allow for groups to refine unsuccessful applications and apply again sooner, instead of having to wait until the following semester. These grant applications will be reviewed by the School and Center Sustainability Coordinators at their monthly meetings.
  • Grant applications over $7,500 will be reviewed twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring.
  • New this year, a student representative from the Student Sustainability Association at Penn (SSAP) will sit on the Review Board.
  • When there are applications to the Green Fund which are related to  academics, the ESAC Academics Subcommittee Co-Chairs will be asked to review the application and provide input.  

Applying for a Green Fund Grant


The Green Fund is available to current students, faculty and staff at Penn. The Green Fund does not cover on-going costs or salaries. In an effort to replenish the fund and make future awards possible, prospective grant-seekers should note that projects generating financial savings to the University are expected to repay the award. 

The following items are included in the Green Fund application and are required for review:

  • A description of the project and its intended outcome, including criteria for evaluating its success in meeting its goals, and with an explanation of any independent funding secured by the applicants
  • Project participants, identifying project leadership and their responsibilities
  • The target beneficiary audience
  • A detailed time line, including a start date and anticipated implementation schedule
  • Specific cost and savings estimates, and
  • A sponsorship letter, expressing support for the project from the sponsoring department chair and/or center head.

Rolling applications to the Green Fund are due on the 30th of every month. Application can be found here.

The Fall 2015 deadline for grants over $7,500, up to $30,000, is 5pm on November 6, 2015. Application can be found here. 

Please send submissions to:

Email with the subject line “Green Fund Submission”


Penn Green Fund
Division of Facilities and Real Estate Services
3101 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6289

Considering Applying to the Green Fund? We highly recommend that you email to schedule a time to meet with our sustainability staff to discuss your project. These meetings are helpful to identify other University partners and to understand the types of projects the Green Fund supports.

Green Fund Review Board

The Penn Green Fund Review Board is made up of nine individuals from the Penn Community. These individuals will represent students, faculty, and staff.  

  • Green Campus Partnership: Dan Garofalo, Environmental Sustainability Director
  • Facilities and Real Estate Services: Marilyn Jost, Exec. Director of Finance and Administration
  • Office of the Provost:  Andrew Binns, Associate Provost for Education
  • Penn Professional Staff Association:  Taylor Berkowitz, Senior Planner, Facilities and Real Estate Services
  • School of Arts and Sciences:  Matthew Lane, Exec. Director of Facilities Planning and Science Operations
  • Division of Business Services: John Eckman, Director, Residential Services
  • Student Sustainability Association at Penn (SSAP): Berenice Leung, SSAP Treasurer
  • ESAC Academic Subcommittee Co-Chairs: Jane Dmochowski, Faculty Lecturer, Earth & Environmental Science, School of Arts & Sciences and John Keene, Professor of City & Regional Planning / Environmental Studies, School of Design 

A list of Green Fund project frequently asked questions guide you through the application process.

Green Fund Projects support goals and objectives outlined in Penn’s Climate Action Plan, a long-range strategy launched in Fall 2009 to reduce the University’s carbon footprint and enhance its overall sustainability.