Red & Blue On College Green
addams w tree


An Ever Greener Penn,


Another year brings more opportunities for building a greener Penn.  Sustainability continues to be a major focus of this campus.  It is now an indelible part of our culture and generates a passion that spreads among students, from class to class, and across cohorts of faculty and staff.


In this context, I am particularly proud of the role played by Penn Engineering.   Our Green Team has staff members in every department, taking local initiatives and engaging at the School level.  They organize Green Fund grants for the school, create sustainability awareness, work on sustainable engineering and participate in Philadelphia-wide initiatives.  Thanks to them, today our School has the highest percentage of Green Certified Offices on campus.  SEAS staff and faculty are switching all shared offices to desk-side recycling and are also working on composting initiatives throughout the complex.


The academic programs are in step, so that our students are given ample opportunities to link their interest in sustainability to their scholarly studies.  The relatively new Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research (VIPER) interdisciplinary dual major with SAS is but one vehicle for the pursuit of undergraduate projects related to energy and the environment.

And finally, the dedication of the Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology, another joint undertaking of SAS and SEAS, is our groundbreaking milestone.  It incorporates sustainable design in every detail and is on track to earn a LEED-Silver certification (at least!), which is extraordinary for such a specialized facility.  The new building captures all rainwater on site and reuses it for irrigation, utilizes high efficiency MEP equipment that operates 14% above industry standard, and high efficiency plumbing fixtures and systems that reduce water use to 30% below industry standard.  It also creates a literally green heaven on Walnut Street with two green roofs and the inviting courtyard, an appropriate gateway to an environmentally aware campus.


With best wishes as the semester continues at an ever greener Penn!



Eduardo Glandt

Nemirovsky Family Dean

School of Engineering and Applied Science

University of Pennsylvania

For ISAC Interns, A Summer Well Spent
30 Minutes in Nature, for 30 Days
Greenbuild Attendees to Tour Penn
Campus Water Bottle Filling Station Map
VIPER Scholars' Research Boosted by Summer Projects
Green Apple Day of Service
Power Down Challenge to be Held February 2014
M.I. Green
ReThink Your Footprint -- Nov 4-22
Announcing the MPS Program
Singh Center Balances Precise Science with Green Design
Golkin Hall Earns LEED Gold
100% Local Meal
Leading the Green: Dominic McGraw
 Penn Green Campus Partnership Website
Subscribe to Red & Blue On College Green
Download the Penn Climate Action Plan
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Red & Blue On College Green Archives

For ISAC Interns, A Summer Well Spent 
Working as a summer research assistant is not an uncommon experience at Penn. From engineering to English, graduate students and undergrads spend the summer on campus, helping professors conduct research in their field.  In the new Integrating Sustainability Across the Curriculum (ISAC) research assistantships, students bring concepts of environmental sustainability to subjects as diverse as introductory-level microeconomics and visions of utopian society. (See Partner Profile, On College Green, July 2013).

The ISAC program, funded by the Academics Subcommittee of Penn's Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee, helps Penn faculty introduce environmental sustainability into existing and new courses. Faculty who wish to "green" their courses are paired with undergraduate summer student research assistants tasked with integrating sustainability into the course syllabi, lectures, assignments, reading material, and tests. The program places students with two professors each to foster cross-pollination of ideas and collaboration.


Last summer, Luke Saputelli, C'15, split his course research

30 Minutes in Nature, for 30 Days

More than 70 Penn staff members pledged to spend at least 30 minutes outdoors for 30 days in a row, as part of the 30x30 Challenge in September and October. Andrea Kreiner, sustainability consultant and coordinator of the 30x30, said one of the goals of the program is to remind people about our place in nature, by committing ourselves to experience it every day. Read more in the Penn Current.


Greenbuild Attendees to Tour Penn

When the Greenbuild 2013 International Conference and Expo visits Philadelphia, November 20-22, the University will get to show off its green spaces, LEED-certified buildings and other environmental sustainability accomplishments on our historic campus.  More than 40,000 attendees are expected at Greenbuild, and many will sign up for pre- and post-conference tours in the Greater Philadelphia area, including six tours that will go through Penn's campus. View the list of tours on the Green Campus Partnership website.

Student volunteer opportunities are still available. Many volunteers will be able to attend the conference for free. LEARN MORE about volunteering at Greenbuild.



Like a Dowsing Stick, but Better...
Campus Water Bottle Filling Station Map 

As Penn moves away from disposable plastic water bottles, many of us have chosen to carry a refillable water container around campus. But where to find fresh, filtered water away from home? The Green Campus Partnership has created a map of water filling stations at Penn. In cooperation with the Business Services Division, this map was inserted into reusable water bottles given away to all residents in the College Houses at the start of the fall semester.

In response to student requests for more information, this map now includes more detail for where water bottle filling stations at Penn can be found. Each water station is numbered, each corresponding to a description in the "Specific Locations" box. Use this box to pinpoint exactly where the water filling stations are on each floor, room, or area.


Download your own map so that you may easily refill your containers.


VIPER Scholars' Research Boosted by Summer Projects 

This summer, all ten of the Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research (VIPER) Scholars from the Class of 2016 secured coveted campus research jobs, working  a range of projects, deepening their knowledge of the science and technology of energy.
  • Eric Lu worked in Professor Igor Bargatin's nanomechanics lab, contributing to the development of a passive, highly efficient device to convert heat directly to electricity at very high temperatures.
  • David Lim worked under Professor Andrew M. Rappe in the Department of Chemistry performing theoretical calculations on structural and magnetic aspects of charge-ordering in perovskite compounds, which may one day be used in future solar photovoltaic systems, among other applications. 



Green Apple Day of Service Bonds Together Student Eco-Reps 

Penn's student Eco-Reps kick off the semester with a community service project each fall. Both a team-building activity and a community service event, this initiative encourages students to connect with local organizations to improve sustainability throughout the region. Past projects have included partnerships with the Schuylkill River Development Corporation (SRDC) and the Historic Woodlands Mansion and Cemetery. Penn students have helped plant trees, remove invasive species, and clear trails to encourage public access and engagement.

This year, the Eco-Reps aligned their work day with the global Green Apple Day of Service, organized by The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). On September 21, about 45 student Eco-Reps spent the day at Bartram's Garden, at 54th Street and Lindbergh Boulevard in Southwest Philadelphia, planting, composting, mulching, and clearing garden beds.... READ MORE



Power Down Challenge to be Held
February 2014 

Mark your calendars to "power down!"  The Green Campus Partnership has announced that the Power Down Challenge, Penn's annual energy conservation contest, will be held February  3-28, 2014.

Julian Goresko, sustainability student outreach associate for the Green Campus Partnership, explained that the spring semester event will provide feedback to users and Penn facilities managers alike.  "Using newly installed, remote-reading meters in College Houses and academic buildings, we're looking to increase the frequency of feedback to building occupants.  The intent is for participants to use the metering data to educate building occupants, promote energy conservation, and help realize significant utility savings over the four week competition."  



M.I. Green Gives Students First Lessons on Sustainability 

Move In (M.I.) Green student volunteers fanned out across campus, united in their goal to collect the debris of move in and direct those bags, boxes and containers to their proper recycling containers. Serving as examples to incoming students, they spread the word about recycling at Penn. In all, M.I.Green volunteers helped to:
  • Collect nearly 20 tons of cardboard during Move In, while supporting Penn's Housekeeping and Urban Park sustainability efforts
  • Distribute more than 800 compact fluorescent light bulbs to students, educating them about ways to save energy on campus

While the M.I. Green program lasts only a few days, the program goal is to influence student behaviors throughout the year. Stepping into the place of the introductory M.I. Green volunteers are the student Eco-Reps and other students devoted to other Penn sustainability initiatives. Learn about these student groups on the Green Campus Partnership website.


ReThink Your Footprint Re-imagines Penn's Sustainability Practices 

ReThink Your Footprint is Penn's Fall 2013 waste minimization initiative. It culminates during three weeks, November 4 - 22, with an awareness campaign designed to engage the entire Penn Community. In support of our Climate Action Plan's goals in the area of waste minimization, an assortment of initiatives, events, presentations, and other forms of outreach will take place during this period to share information about environmentally sustainable practices in source reduction, reuse, and recycling.

Every school and center across the University, as well as the student community, is invited to participate.


College Houses, Greek organizations, student clubs, entire classes, and all Penn departments, large and small, can do something to reduce the amount of waste they generate, re-use items instead of throwing them away, or find new ways to recycle waste items and other used goods. Need ideas? Visit the ReThink:Get Involved website page. Here are just a few:

  • Ban the Bottle - get refillable bottles and use filtered water stations for drinking water
  • Consider Composting - we're here to help you learn what to do
  • Make Your Meeting or Event Zero-Waste - use compostable or re-usable plates, utensils and napkins
  • Pack it Up - organize an office clean-out or a charity drive.

Think about your actions as points towards your office's Green Office Certification or your student Green Living Certification!


Looking for more ideas or some inspiration? Seek out your Eco-Rep, sustainability coordinator, or email us at

copy paper

Announcing the Penn Managed Print Services (MPS) Program

Members of the Penn Community seeking to significantly reduce their office printing costs can now take advantage of Penn's new Managed Print Services (MPS) Program. The MPS Program provides participants access to the latest print technologies, high quality printer maintenance services, supplies, and the best overall office printing value on campus. Purchasing Services launched a pilot of the program earlier this year in three Schools and two Departments:
  • School of Veterinary Medicine
  • School of Dental Medicine
  • Annenberg School for Communication
  • University Lab Animal Resources
  • Chemistry Department, School of Arts & Sciences


Prior to implementation, Penn's MPS team carried out an extensive survey of printing habits and costs.  Across the pilot schools, a remarkable average of 1.5 printers per staff person was discovered, with a similar average of 1.5 local printers for every networked device. The total cost for the 600 printers identified was over $309,000 a year - an average of more than $500 per year, per print device. Penn currently has over 20,000 print devices on campus, so the aggregate cost is enormous.


For the pilot Schools and departments, phase one of the MPS implementation will yield significant savings of up to  $310,000, or an estimated 23% cost reduction -without removing any printers but by simply from shifting supplies/service from existing suppliers and right-sizing the existing printer fleet.


Learn more on the Penn Purchasing website.


singh center esto

Singh Center Balances Precise Science with Green Design 

The University officially opened the region's premier facility for advanced research, education, and innovative public/private partnerships in nanotechnology on October 4. The 78,000 square-foot Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology will serve as Penn's focal point for groundbreaking work in the emerging field of nanotechnology, which involves the manipulation of matter on an atomic and molecular scale.

Creating a building for such precise scientific work presented a design challenge of its own, a challenge increased by Penn's commitment to build all new buildings to at least LEED Silver specifications. Now, three years after this building was conceived, the Singh Center is poised to earn this U.S. Green Building Council designation, and perhaps higher.

 Many of the building components and operational systems that occupants will never see have contributed significantly to the LEED rating scale. High-efficiency mechanical, electrical and plumbing equipment for public spaces in the building operates at 14% above industry standard levels. Plumbing fixtures and systems reduce water use to 30% below industry standards. Other building systems exclude the use of refrigerants that have been shown to contribute to global warming.


Regionally manufactured and extracted materials, as well as materials with recycled content, were installed throughout the project wherever possible. Sourcing local and recycled content materials alleviates some of the environmental stress related to the manufacturing and transportation of building materials. Interior finish materials (such as paint) are low-emitting materials with minimal off-gassing to improve air quality. Fresh air ventilation has been increased well above industry standard to improve indoor air quality.


Natural daylight floods the building, obviating use of lighting fixtures in many of the study and work spaces for much of the day.




Golkin Hall

Penn Law's Golkin Hall Earns LEED Gold

Golkin Hall has been awarded LEED Gold status for new construction by the U.S. Green Building Council, a coveted recognition of best-in-class building strategies for energy and environmental design. The 40,000 square foot building, which opened in April 2012, incorporates advanced green features into its modern design for classrooms, administrative and faculty office space, and social areas. Read more on the University Communications News site.


electric car charging

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations at 34th & Chestnut Streets 

In line with Penn's commitment to sustainable transportation, Penn Parking has opened two fully operational electric vehicle charging stations provided by the Blink Network in our Law Lot. This lot is accessed via the north side of Chestnut Street, east of 34th Street. View the exact location of the new charging stations at, under "Where to Park."

All Penn permit holders are welcome to use the charging stations on a first-come/first-served basis after establishing an account with Blink .  The electric vehicle charging stations are provided by a Green Fund Grant from the University.



100% Local Meal - The Possibilities are Delicious

On Tuesday, September 24th, many diners on campus took the Eat Local Challenge, enjoying a delicious, 100% local meal.


All ingredients for selected stations came from local farmers and artisans within 150 miles of Penn -- the only exception being salt. The annual Eat Local Challenge highlights chefs' creativity, educates guests about eating locally and seasonally, and supports and publicizes great local farmers.


When Bon Appétit launched its first Eat Local Challenge in 2005, the idea of caring about "local food" was not yet a national movement. The idea behind the annual event was to encourage people to look beyond their supermarket and seek out the bounty of food growing all around them. The American Farmland Trust estimates that for each $10 spent on food, only $1.58 gets back to the farmers and ranchers who grew it. By buying directly from local farms, Bon Appétit has played a vital role in the local food movement over the last 14 years.


Each year Penn chefs get increasingly creative with their meals. It's not as easy as it may sound. Want bread? Bon Appétit has to find locally grown wheat and yeast. How about a turkey sandwich? Bon Appétit must locate turkeys close to Penn, too.

But that has never fazed the chefs --  at English House, Chef Patterson Watkins built a Burger Bar completely composed of local ingredients. Vegetarians headed to Hill House where they found Chef Donald Stauffer's Seitan Stroganoff with Braised Collard Greens and a White Bean Cassoulet. In 1920 Commons and Houston Market, Chefs Steven Ferrado and Khori Thomas respectively filled the huge salad areas with 100% local ingredients.


Enter, Enjoy, Exchange -- Take Out Food with Green2Go

This fall, thanks to a Green Fund Grant, Penn Dining has introduced the new Green2Go Program in its residential dining cafes to reduce the usage of disposable to-go containers.  The program is simple:

  1. ENTER the facility, present your Key2Green keytag to the cashier and receive a Green2Go eco-clamshell. (Key tags can be picked up at Stouffer Commons between the hours of 9 am to 5 pm.) 
  2. After you fill up the container, ENJOY your meals! Once finished, simply rinse the container and return it to any participating location...
  3. ...In EXCHANGE for another Key2Green keytag - to keep until your next to-go meal.

 By participating in the program, Dining hopes to eliminate more than two-thirds the number of disposable clamshells that make their way into the waste stream at Penn (estimated to be 171,000 last year.) As of mid-October, 940 students have signed up. Dining Services has experienced a 98% monthly reduction in landfill plastic containers or "clamshells" being distributed.  Learn more on the Penn Dining website.



Dominic McGraw - ITS Support Manager, Penn Law

For Dominic McGraw, his job and his passion merge as the Staff Eco-Rep at Penn's Law School. At Penn Law since 2011, Dominic has created a path for environmental sustainability by coordinating efforts towards Green Office certification and demonstrating where improvements can be made in operations and behavior. Thanks to Dominic's influence and the support of the Penn Law Green Team, Penn Law's annual staff barbecue has been a zero-waste event the past two years. Penn Law Information Technology Services recently achieved Level 4 Green Office Certification - one of only three offices at Penn to do so.