Joe's Café Certified LEED Gold for Commercial Interiors

April 6, 2011

Joe's Café, a new eatery located on the ground floor of the Wharton School's Steinberg-Dietrich Hall, has been awarded with LEED Gold certification for Commercial Interiors for its sustainable food-service practices, recycling, composting, and chemical-free cleaning methods. The Café—Penn’s first sustainable commercial interior—replaces a smaller café that closed in 2009. It was designed by Voith & Mactavish Architects, LLP.

The concept of a sustainable café was conceived when Penn launched its Climate Action Plan in 2009, outlining strategies to reduce the University’s carbon footprint, including incorporating green building methods, increasing recycling and decreasing waste output and energy use.

Joe’s Café earned two innovation credits that recognized going above and beyond to green the facility – one for green cleaning and the other for sustainable café operations.  At Joe’s, the staff has incorporated green cleaning by minimizing and often eliminating cleaning chemicals altogether, and where they are necessary or required by law, environmentally-preferable products were sought out.  The café was also recognized for sustainable café operations spearheaded by Bon Appétit Management Company.  Joe’s provides local, organic and healthy menu options, and has committed to divert 50 percent of total waste from landfills via a combination of recycling and composting, both pre- and post-consumer.


Penn’s Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine was the first health facility to achieve LEED certification in Philadelphia and in the entire Delaware Valley.

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