Green Living Certification

The Green Living certification, offered through Penn’s Green Campus Partnership, provides students with an opportunity to reflect on their environmental impact and to recognize the importance of their daily, individual decisions on the University’s sustainability initiatives. 

Establishing greener lifestyles creates a tangible, positive impact on our campus.  This certification program aims to inspire Penn's community to take steps towards improving the health of our environment and reward and recognize them for their efforts.

Certification is awarded upon completion of two sections: Required and Optional Actions. The 5 Required Actions are habits that are relatively easy to accomplish and provide the foundation for implementing more difficult sustainable practices.

The Optional Actions are organized into 5 categories:

  1. Waste Minimization & Recycling
  2. Energy & Water
  3. Transportation
  4. Purchasing
  5. Involvement at Penn

All Optional Actions are assigned points based on a combination of environmental impact, difficulty of implementation, and cost. Based on the number of points achieved, participating students can earn one of three levels for completing the program.

        Bronze: 25 points                  Silver: 40 points                 Gold: 55 points


Certified students will then receive a special Gold, Silver, or Bronze decal celebrating their achievement. These should be displayed outside their rooms to promote their accomplishment. Additional prizes will also be awarded dependent on what level is achieved.

Steps to Certification

  1. Read the Green Living Certification Manual for information and tips for completing both Required and Optional Actions. If you have any questions, please email us at
  2. Complete the Green Living Certification Application in accordance to how many Optional Actions you qualify for.
    • Your room may be subject to a room inspection, so be sure to fill out the application correctly and honestly
  3. Submit your completed aplication. If your total score exceeds 25 points, you will receive the level-appropriate prize(s) and the Green Living Certified sticker.
  4. To achieve a higher level of certification, try completing additional actions by changing your behaviors, then repeat steps 1-3.
  5. Your input is valuable. Please send any comments or suggestions to our Green Living manager at

Contact Us

We encourage your feedback as we continue to improve the program. College House Eco-Reps and the Green Living Certification Manager ( are also available to talk with you about your application and to answer any questions about the program.

With your help, we can reach the University’s Climate Action Plan goals through minimizing waste, reducing energy and water consumption, and building a culture of sustainability throughout all parts of University life.





Our Partners


Picnic is a Green Acorn certified sustainable business, dedicated to supporting local sustainable agriculture. They regularly buy from four local farm organizations and one farm directly. They feature Metropolitan Bakery products and locally roasted La Colombe Coffee. In the shop, they also carry a selection of retail products made by American artisanal producers, as well as seasonal local produce and dairy products. Their menu features fresh seasonal foods prepared in an “American Bistro” style."

Metropolitan Bakery & Cafe, a Green Acorn certified sustainable business, was created to provide Philadelphia with fresh and sustainable products from local producers. Metropolitan is also very active in initiatives that directly affect the communities it serves, including endeavors to promote other local businesses, fight homelessness and support healthy food programs for city residents. Their menu features freshly created breakfast and lunch items and delicious coffee.

Shake Shack's mission is to continually Stand for Something Good®. Bottles, cardboard, and plastics at the Shack are recycled; cooking oil is reused to produce clean energy; burgers are made from freshly ground 100% all-natural vegetarian fed, humanely raised Angus beef; and every Shack is constructed from recycled and sustainable materials.Their menu features burgers, fries, custard and more.
sweetgreen is focused on sourcing local ingredients and eating with the seasons, when food is in its peak point of nutrition and flavor. All of their packaging is 100% plant-based and compostable, including bowls, cutlery and beverage cups. They use reclaimed and FSC certified materials in construction, and use energy efficient LED lighting. Their menu features signature salads and seasonal items.