Penn’s First Climate Week a Virtual Success

college hall with green trees
December 9, 2020

Penn hosted its first Climate Week, September 21-25, to learn how the climate emergency intersects with the pressing issues of today and how to take action. This community-wide initiative presented 47 events, organized by 28 separate Penn organizations, on topics from climate science to climate storytelling, with a special emphasis on racial justice and local action. Penn Sustainability intentionally aligned its annual educational campaign, ReThink Your Footprint, with Climate Week in order to highlight events and resources on waste minimization.

Penn Sustainability hosted two presentations during the week:

“Nature As Nurture: How 3 Philly Groups Are Improving Access.” This event was a panel discussion with speakers from Penn Medicine, University City Green, and the Overbrook Environmental Education Center. Watch the video.

A Green Labs Panel. Representatives from Penn Libraries, Penn Engineering, and the Perelman School of Medicine spoke about how their labs have participated in Penn’s Green Labs program. Watch the video.

Since on-campus collection events for the recycling and reuse of specialty items could not occur, Penn Sustainability asked students, staff, and faculty to self-report specialty items that they recycled or donated during the week using a Qualtrics survey. Over 333 items were recycled or donated during the week, including over 100 pieces of miscellaneous electronic waste, 98 plastic bags, 57 pieces of clothing, and 14 books.

Also of note, published during Climate Week, was a Q&A interview with professor of architecture Bill Braham. He spoke with Design Weekly about the university’s carbon goals, energy usage, and the Climate and Sustainability Action (CSAP) Plan 3.0. Read the article.