Penn’s Climate Action Plan provides opportunities for the entire University community to educate themselves on the critical issues that affect climate change. Sustainability education, training, and discussion extends beyond classroom walls, engaging Penn faculty, students, and staff in a variety of courses, lectures, and continuous learning initiatives.

An effective energy management and conservation strategy is an integral component of the Climate Action Plan, as decreasing or eliminating energy consumption is the most direct method of reducing the University’s carbon footprint. Over 86 percent of carbon produced by Penn is from building energy usage.

One of the world’s most attractive urban campuses, Penn is home to significant achievements in planning, landscape design, and architecture. The award-winning Penn Connects campus development plan is steering Penn’s commitment to a healthy built environment.

While waste may not be the largest contributor to Penn’s carbon footprint, it is certainly the most visible. A 2008 waste audit revealed the potential to double the University’s diversion rate of traditional recyclables by adopting campus standards for signage, receptacle design, and collection protocols.

As the largest private employer in greater Philadelphia and a destination for thousands of daily commuters, Penn recognizes the significant impact of auto travel on the atmosphere. Penn’s compact urban campus is well served by a variety of alternative transportation modes suitable for reducing the amount of single automobile commutes to and from the University.

Penn's Sustainable Purchasing Initiative seeks to increase the purchase of products with a reduced or minimal (ideally zero) environmental impact as compared to other similar products/services that serve the same purpose.

The University augmented its commitment to sustainable and local food by partnering with Bon Appétit Management Company to deliver Penn’s Dining program. Bon Appétit is committed to providing socially and environmentally responsible food.


The Penn Environmental Group hosts GreenFest each semester, a campus-wide environmental festival.