Penn Earns Gold STARS Rating
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. The 2017 submission used FY17 data and was assembled by the Penn Sustainability Office, with input from multiple sources across the university. Penn has earned a Gold Rating, which is explained in detail on AASHE's website .

“A Gold Rating in STARS for Penn is particularly satisfying since environmental sustainability is a priority for our President, Amy Gutmann, who signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment in 2007, the first Ivy League president to do so,” explains Penn Facilities & Real Estate Services Vice President Anne Papageorge. “Penn’s Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee has transformed the sustainability initiatives on this campus since 2007, and in particular since the 2014 launch of our Climate Action Plan 2.0.”
Climate Action Plan 2.0 Progress presented in 2017 Sustainability Report  
In February 2018, Penn Sustainability released the FY17 Sustainability Annual Report, based on data and metrics from fiscal year 2017 gathered from across many academic and administrative units at Penn. The Annual Report documents Penn’s progress towards the goals of the 2014 Climate Action Plan 2.0, tracking metrics in Academics, Utilities and Operations, Physical Environment, Purchasing Practices, Waste Minimization & Recycling, Transportation, and Outreach & Engagement.
Deadine June 29
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.
Green Fund Supports Wildlife Tracking Study
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.
ISAC Set for Summer 2018
Thirteen Penn faculty members are participating in the 2018 ISAC ( Integrating Sustainability across the Curriculum) program managed by Penn Sustainability. The ISAC program helps Penn faculty incorporate environmental sustainability into new and existing courses by providing funding support for student research assistants who update or create new syllabi, lectures, assignments, texts, and/or tests that incorporate environmental themes.
Smith Walk
Campus Powers Down in March
2018’s Power Down Challenge took place during the week of March 19-23. Penn Sustainability partnered with various groups from the Penn community for workshops and informative events on energy reduction, including the School of Design, the School of Nursing, Penn’s Purchasing Program, and the Penn Beekeeping Club.
Penn Cyclists 'Bike to Work' Despite Rain
Organized by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, the city’s annual Bike to Work Day took place on May 18. The Sustainability Office joined staff from other facilities departments, the Penn Museum, Business Services, the Division of Public Safety, and others participating in the event. The light sprinkle during the morning commute didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits, as riders rode to work, re-fueling with donuts and snacks and free cycling swag at energizer stations throughout Center City. Penn’s informational station was set up near the Penn Museum at 32 nd & South Streets. 
StairWELL Installation
In an effort to promote wellness and reduce energy consumption, the Center for Public Health Initiatives (CPHI) and Penn School of Medicine (PSOM) collaborated on a successful Green Fund project entitled “StairWELL” focusing on promoting more use of the stairways in the Anatomy Chemistry Building, as well as other locations on campus.
9th Year in a Row for Tree Campus USA
For the ninth year in a row, Penn has been named a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation. The Tree Campus USA program recognizes college and university campuses that:
-          Effectively manage their campus trees.
-          Develop connectivity with the community beyond campus borders to foster healthy, urban forests.
Creating Canopy Gives Away 300 Trees
Since 2011, Penn’s Creating Canopy program has distributed yard trees at no cost to Penn staff and faculty, as part of an effort to increase environmental sustainability awareness and build the tree canopy in our region. Employees of both the University and the health system who live in the Greater Philadelphia area were eligible to participate. This year, 300 trees were distributed at our May 1st event in Penn Park. View photos from the event .
Student-run Thrift Store Opens on Campus
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.
Amazon’s Give Back Box program
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.
Alternative Spring Break Examines Fracking
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.  
Student Eco-Reps Final Project Reports
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. Read on for short summaries of some of the outstanding projects from the 2017-2018 academic year.
Just Salad Open on Spruce Street
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.
United By Blue Expands Walnut Street Location
United By Blue - an outdoor brand known for their socially responsible and sustainable outdoor apparel and accessories - opened a newly expanded space in University City in February.