Penn College Green

The University of Pennsylvania has completed its STARS survey for the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and has received a Gold Rating for its 2017 submission.

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.

A new Green Fund project awarded to the Earth and Environmental Science (EES) department is the installation of a Motus geospatial wildlife tracking system on the roof of the David Rittenhouse Laboratory (DRL) building. Used to track the migratory patterns of birds, butterflies, dragonflies, and bats, the tracking antenna will provide valuable information, particularly for birds that use Penn’s campus as a resting place during migration.


Nominations are now being accepted for Penn’s 2018 Green Purchasing Awards. Held in conjunction with the Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee (ESAC) Purchasing Subcommittee and Penn Sustainability, this award recognizes the leading actions of any individual and/or team that advances the development of sustainable purchasing practices at Penn. Visit Purchasing Services to review the nomination guidelines and information about the submittal process.


Penn completed its STARS survey for the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and has received a Gold Rating for its 2017 submission. The STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System) survey is a comprehensive benchmarking system developed and overseen by AASHE, and is used by more than 800 colleges and universities on six continents to evaluate their environmental performance. STARS is a transparent, point-based system with categories spanning all aspects of Penn's academics, operations, and administration.



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Penn Sustainability

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