Second nature Marks of Distinction logo

The University of Pennsylvania has been designated a Climate Leadership Award Winner from Second Nature, an organization committed to accelerating climate action in, and through, higher education. The founders of the University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), since 1993, Second Nature has worked with over 4,000 faculty and administrators at hundreds of colleges and universities to help make the principles of sustainability fundamental to every aspect of higher education.

Penn campus mower use

The team that maintains the Penn campus is now operating entirely with low-emission electric mowers and hand-held equipment.


Adam Linder has been at Penn for almost 7 years, with all of that time spent in the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) Computing department.

clothing swap

The Penn Community continued to reduce, reuse, and recycle in this year’s ReThink Your Footprint awareness campaign.  From Oct. 15-19, a variety of initiatives and events raised awareness about source reduction, elimination of single-use products, the impacts of landfill waste, and strategies to reduce consumption.

campus walk

Penn's Student Eco-Reps program is an internship program for undergraduate students interested in learning about environmental issues and working on sustainability projects that advance the University's Climate Action Plan 2.0. This year's Eco-Reps have been working in small groups with staff in Penn's Sustainability Office to help implement projects aimed at improving the University's environmental footprint in areas such as waste, energy, food, and water, as well as projects focusing on environmental education and literacy.


Just Salad opened its second Philadelphia location in April at 3728 Spruce Street. The fast-casual, value based restaurant chain offers salads, wraps, toast boxes and more starting at $7.49, and serves over 10 items under $10. Just Salad offered $2 salads at its official Grand Opening Event on April 12, where they also promoted their reusable bowl program, the largest in the world, helping to save over 75,000 pounds of plastic every year.

student group

This spring, eleven students participated in an Alternative Spring Break trip to Western Pennsylvania, where they spent time learning about energy and extraction issues in communities impacted by fossil fuel extraction. The students took tours of former coal extraction sites, visited the Frick Environmental Center, and met with representatives of the Fractracker Alliance, a nonprofit that studies, maps, and communicates the risks of oil and gas development.

give back box logo

In May 2016, Amazon@Penn opened in 1920 Commons, allowing students to connect their Amazon accounts to the on-campus delivery and shipping center in order to more easily ship and pick up packages. Recently, Amazon launched their Give Back Box program, which allows people to pack their empty Amazon boxes with household items they no longer need, print a free shipping label from, and easily donate the items to a local charity. Participants can drop off their boxes with the USPS or UPS to be sent to the closest charitable organization in need.

clothing swap graphic

The University’s first student-run thrift store, Penn Closet, opened in Williams Hall in early March. Developed by undergraduate students Zoe Weissberg and Damien Koussis, Penn Closet sells second-hand clothing ranging from $5-$25 per piece, and accepts donations in their store. Partially supported by a grant from Penn’s Green Fund, the store also plans to serve as a community space for Penn students to learn about sustainability through in-store events.


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