News

Green Fund Projects Spur Growth of Sustainability at Penn

December 15, 2011

Eight new sustainability projects from the Fall 2011 application pool have been selected to receive grants from the Penn Green Fund. The new projects will be implemented over the remainder of the year and join the list of creative sustainability initiatives conceived by Penn students, faculty, and staff since the release of the Climate Action Plan in September 2009.

BUSINESS SERVICES
ICE RINK WATER DENSITY SYSTEM

  • Installation of a water density system for the Penn Ice Rink that will reduce the Rink's energy usage and provide an improved ice product to customers.
  • Project Leader: Paul Caron
  • Project Sponsor: Brian Shaw, Director of Transportation & Parking, Business Services

DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY
CHEMICAL INVENTORY & WASTE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

  • Purchase of a 2-year University-level site license for a Chemical Inventory management system bar-code reader technology. The system will greatly improve Penn's ability to reduce the purchase of hazardous chemicals and reduce the University's hazardous waste stream. This pilot project within the Department of Chemistry will ideally expand to other departments, schools, and centers.
  • Project Leaders: Matthew Finucane, Executive Director, Environmental Health & Radiation Safety (EHRS) & Matthew Lane, Executive Director of Facilities Planning and Science Operations for the Department of Chemistry
  • Project Sponsor: Matthew Lane, Executive Director of Facilities Planning and Science Operations for the Department of Chemistry

DEPARTMENT OF EARTH & ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
PENN SUSTAINABILITY JOURNAL

  • Establishment of a peer-reviewed undergraduate journal on sustainability. The project team has put together a Faculty Advisory Board, which has representation from many schools and centers. The funding would cover the first year of production, including website development, promotions, and publication of the journal.
  • Project Leaders: Yaowen Ma and James Teng (students)
  • Project Sponsor: Fred Scatena, Professor and Chair, Department of Earth and Environmental Science

DEPARTMENT OF RECREATION & INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETICS
ONE TOWEL AT A TIME: OZONE WASHING MACHINES AT POTTRUCK

  • Installation of ozone washing machines at the Pottruck Health and Fitness Center, which currently uses eight-year-old traditional washing machines with standard hot water, detergent, and bleach.  Ozone washing technology is a proven cost-saving and environmentally beneficial process. The process involves splitting oxygen atoms to form ozone, which is then injected into the machine’s washwater. Ozone is known for its purifying and sanitizing properties, which kill bacteria and viruses more effectively than conventional chlorinated detergent. By employing patented cold water Ozone washing technology, Pottruck anticipates reducing hot-water utility costs and cutting water consumption.
  • Project Leader/Sponsor: Tricia Depoe, Associate Director, Department of Recreation & Intercollegiate Athletics

NEW BOLTON CENTER
MURPHY LABORATORY BUILDING ENERGY AUDIT

  • Funding for an energy audit on an energy-intensive laboratory space at New Bolton Center. The project will build upon a previous Green Fund grant to the New Bolton Center, which installed meters in campus buildings. The grant will also cover the retrofits outlined from the audit.
  • Project Leader: Karen Cronin, Business Administrator & Sustainability Director, New Bolton Center
  • Project Sponsor: Corinne Sweeney, Associate Dean, New Bolton Center

PENN STUDENT SERVICES
PENNCYCLE BIKE-SHARING PILOT

  • A pilot bike-share program to be headquartered at Hill College House, with potential to expand to other College Houses. Developed in collaboration with the Penn Office of Risk Management & Insurance. Students taking out a bike from PennCycle will be required to watch a safety and security video.
  • Project Leaders: Madison Roberts, Chris Crux, Alex Rattray, Jenny Xia, and Elizabeth Cutler (students)
  • Project Sponsor: Audrey Edmondson, General Manager, Penn Student Services

TRANSPORTATION SERVICES
PENNROUTES SHUTTLE EFFICIENCY SYSTEM

  • Development of PennRoutes, a routing system to make Penn Shuttles more efficient and reduce emissions. Penn Shuttle drivers will enter passengers' addresses on a tablet. After all of the passengers are picked up, the driver will hit "start," and the system will automatically compute the shortest route through all the destinations.  The PennRoutes system will also be capable of sending real-time information about the shuttle to Penn Transit; currently communication is done through radio. Penn Transit will also be able to quickly identify the closest shuttle when an off campus pick-up is requested.
  • Project Leaders: Ruxin Ho, Yuanjiao Shen, Xiaoting Zheng, Ting Zhou (students)
  • Project Sponsor: Matthew Brown, Associate Director of Transportation, Business Services

URBAN NUTRITION INITIATIVE
FRANKLIN’S FARMERS

  • Establishment of Franklin’s Farmers, a network of gardeners at Penn who cultivate community, health, and environmental awareness along with fresh fruits and vegetables. These individuals will receive trainings and in return, will donate a portion of their crops for community distribution in West Philadelphia. The group, representing all 12 Schools and Centers, will aim to host 24 gardening workshops and 16 healthy cooking workshops for 600 members of the Penn community throughout 2012. AUNI will contribute support and funding for Franklin's Farmers through two student fellows.
  • Project Leader: Danny Gerber, Director, Urban Nutrition Initiative
  • Project Sponsor: Ira Harkavy, Director, Netter Center for Community Partnerships

Fact

40% by 2014 is Penn's five-year goal for recycling paper, cardboard, and commingled materials.

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