What’s the deal with that awesome new orange building? How about those water filling stations? What’s a recycling center? For all these questions and more, we took to the engineering quad to discover the sustainability initiatives being undertaken by the School of Engineering and Applied Science. We spoke with Leandra Davis, Sustainability Coordinator for SEAS, and Karema Seliem, Building Interiors Coordinator for SEAS.


Green Campus Partnership: What are your main responsibilities?

LEED [Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design] is a well-known standard for certifying green buildings, but what does it really mean when buildings are LEED Certified? Why has Penn adopted it? We talked to Dan Garofalo, Sustainability Director, and David Hollenberg, the University Architect to find some answers. Below is an edited excerpt of our discussion.


Green Campus Partnership: Why is LEED Certification such a popular building rating system?

Making electricity visible. That’s the aim of the student-run PennOrb, a startup launched by Penn students two years ago to “help you save energy by showing how you use energy”. We caught up with PennOrb’s ambitious founder, Jason Choi, to discuss PennOrb and the future of energy conservation.


Green Campus Partnership: What do you think is the main challenge facing energy conservation on campus?

Founded in Fall 2011, Penn Sustainability Review (or PSR) is a student-run, peer-reviewed online and print publication, focused on energy policy, sustainability, and environmental issues. They are made up of a 12 person board and a wide range of writers and contributors for their op-ed articles, speaking events, and blogs. Recently, we sat down with Sasha Klebnikov, PSR’s Editor-in-Chief, to discuss how PSR is driving much-needed discourse on energy and sustainability issues.

How does Penn manage energy usage across campus? What are Red Days? Steam and chilled water? Energy at Penn gets complicated, so we tracked down the men in charge, Ken Ogawa, Executive Director of Operations, Operations and Maintenance, and Walt Molishus, Utilities Operations Manager, Operations and Maintenance. Below is an edited excerpt of our discussion.


Green Campus Partnership: What is Operations and Maintenance?


One of Penn’s newest environmental groups has certainly made a splash, quite literally that is. With innovative projects like Wetland, a sustainable barge, the Penn Program in the Environmental Humanities (PPEH) bridges the gap between the sciences and the humanities to foster greater dialogue around sustainability issues.

From Huntsman Hall to Joe’s Café, the staff in Wharton Operations works hard to make sure everything from scheduling to lighting in these buildings functions without a hitch. We sat down with two people from Wharton Operations: David Mazzocco, Associate Director of Sustainability and Projects, and Robert Whitehouse, Senior Manager Engineering Services. Want to know more about the behind-the-scenes sustainability at Wharton? Read below!



In its second year, the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy is changing the energy landscape and providing a forum for discussion on critical energy and policy issues. We sat down with Cornelia Colijn, Deputy Director at the Kleinman Center, to learn more about how Kleinman is helping Penn power down. Below is an edited excerpt of our discussion.

Green Campus Partnership: What is the Kleinman Center?

The University of Pennsylvania has joined 213 colleges and universities in signing the American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge, an initiative launched by the White House Council of Environmental Quality. President Amy Gutmann signed the Act on Climate Pledge, expressing how Penn supports the efforts of the United States delegation to the 21st Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris.

Since 2009, Penn’s Student Eco-Reps have served as waste minimization champions on campus as they have encouraged their peers to change their waste disposal habits. This fall, Eco Reps are working on Sustainability Impact Projects, a new feature of the Eco Reps program designed to further expand students’ environmental leadership. Eco-Reps are partnering with thirteen community and campus organizations to implement hands-on, outcomes-based projects. You can read more about the Impact Projects here.


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