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Eco-Reps Involvement Grows Among Staff & Faculty

July 8, 2013

Numbers are up among Staff & Faculty Eco-Reps, having gone from just 60 participating in the program in 2012, to more than 100 as of this May. According to Andrea Kreiner, Sustainability Consultant, new Eco-Reps have signed up from the libraries, the dental school, the Netter Center, the Penn Museum, and the Hospital system.

Will Hopkins is a research specialist in the Positive Psychology Center and was part of the team that worked to achieve a Level 3 Green Office Certification. He said that in his office, environmental sustainability gets complete support from supervisors, making his role as an Eco-Rep about sustaining an existing interest. Mr. Hopkins called the Staff & Faculty Eco-Reps program “an invaluable resource on campus.” He continued, “It shows that Penn is committed to environmental sustainability in its day-to-day operations, and makes it that much easier to make progress.  One person is all it takes to make a difference, but having an organized group of people willing to give their time makes it that much easier.”

At the Morris Arboretum, Liza Hawley advocates for sustainability awareness. As Visitor Education Coordinator, Ms. Hawley is used to bringing enthusiasm to group activities, and has employed her skills to increase recycling in the office and bring greener practices to their café.  She thought that having Eco-Reps in offices “has made a huge difference. Having meetings is great to get people energized.”

Ryan Frasch, Senior Training Specialist in the Perelman School of Medicine’s Office of Organizational Effectiveness had always been interested in environmental sustainability on a personal level. “I practice many of these things at home and wanted to do this at work as well,” he said. In Mr. Frasch’s two-plus years as an Eco-Rep, he has seen awareness grow and thought the green guidelines provided by the Green Campus Partnership “make us more efficient and lets us operate in a much more sustainable way.”

Some of the Staff & Faculty Eco-Reps have successfully recruited Green Teams – others in their office who volunteer to help with education and programming. Green Teams range from two people to 17, in proportion to the size of the office.

The Staff & Faculty Eco-Reps are a voluntary peer-education group that meets monthly to share best sustainable practices and attend brief trainings by the Green Campus Partnership on sustainability topics. Find a list of current Eco-Reps on the GCP website. If your office does not have an Eco-Rep, contact Andrea Kreiner to learn how to get started.

Fact

Air travel and commuting makes up 11% of our campus' energy usage.

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