Reducing Emissions

Emphasize and plan a quality pedestrian campus environment; encourage use of bicycling and public transportation for commuting, and provide safe, efficient local transportation services

Green Living Certification







Are you a student that lives sustainably? Do you have "green" living habits? Be recognized by the Green Living certification program for the environmental actions you make every day!

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 you and the rest of Penn's community to take steps towards improving the health of our environment and reward and recognize you for your efforts.

The Basics

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.

How do I get Certified?

It's simple! All you need to do is fill out the Green Living Certification survey with all the Optional Actions you qualify for.

Total points will be added at the end and tallied to determine what level of certification you have reached. If your total score exceeds 25 points, you will receive the level-appropriate prize(s) and a Green Living Certification sticker. You room may also be subject to a room inspection, so be sure to fill out the application correctly and honestly.

Want to reach another level of certification? Take a look at our Green Living Certification Manual for information and tips for completing more Optional Actions, make small changes to your behaviour, and then try completing the survey again.


What do you receive if you are able to reach a level of certification? Depending on the level, you will receive different prizes to reognize your commitment to sustainability. The prizes given are as follows (and subject to change):

Bronze (25 pts): Bronze Green Living certification sticker

Silver (40 pts): Silver Green Living certification sticker + one coupon from either Metropolitan Bakery, Picnic, Shake Shack, or Sweetgreen

Gold (55 pts): Gold Green Living certificaiton sticker + one coupon from either Metropolitan Bakery, Picnic, Shake Shack, or Sweetgreen + a gold level Green Living mug

Contact Us

If you have any questions and comments about the program and/or your application, please email the Green Living Certification manager at Additionally, we appreciate any feedback as we continue to improve 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 buy directly from one farm and regularly from four other local farm organizations. Featuring Metropolitan Bakery products and locally roasted La Colombe Coffee, they also carry a selection of retail products in-store 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, initiatives to fight homelessness, and campaigns to support healthy food programs for city residents. Their menu features freshly made breakfast, 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 store is constructed from recycled and sustainable materials.Their menu features burgers, fries, custard and more.
sweetgreen focuses on sourcing local ingredients and "eating with the seasons", using food when it is at its peak point of nutrition and flavor. As a result, their menu features signature salads and seasonal items. 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.