Spring 2016 | sustainability.upenn.edu
In This Issue
adjusted Oct 2015
Creating Canopy:  Free Trees for Penn and UPHS Employees
Employees of the University and UPHS are invited to take home a free yard tree as part of Penn's continuing efforts to increase the green in the greater Philadelphia area. This spring, Penn is partnering with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation for Creating Canopy 2016.   A limited number of free trees will be given away on a first-come, first-served basis to interested Penn and UPHS staff and faculty who pre-register.  Trees will be available to city and suburban residents alike through this program.

Penn has led the way in investing in the ecological benefits of expanded urban tree canopy.  Since 2008, the staff of University Landscape Architect Bob Lundgren has planted more than 1,700 trees on campus. Urban trees provide a multitude of benefits to the region:  soaking up excess stormwater, providing shade to reduce the impact of hotter summers, absorbing and sequestering carbon dioxide to combat global warming, and providing habitat for beneficial birds and insects.  The Penn Sustainability Office wants to engage the staff and faculty in this ongoing greening effort, enabling them to plant trees in their own yards. Sponsorship of this program will make a great impact on the city and region to expand the environmental benefits of trees.

What you need to know:
  • Online registration opened on April 4. Visit bit.ly/PennTreeGiveaway
  • Registration will close on April 29, or when we are out of trees, whichever comes first.
  • Tree pick up will be on Tuesday, May 3, and Thursday, May 5, between 3 and 6 PM. You will need to choose which day when you register.
  • You will select your tree species online. The selection of trees is first-come, first-served.
  • All you need is your University or UPHS ID and a way to transport your new tree!

For more information, email  sustainability@upenn.edu

Celebrating 7 Years of Tree Campus USA
2015 is the 7th year for which Penn has received the Tree Campus USA designation from the Arbor Day Foundation. This honor recognizes the planning, care and commitment given to our trees and landscapes at Penn. Our pride in being named a Tree Campus has inspired us to create a month-long series of events to celebrate Penn's academic urban park.

  • Penn's Tree Campus Celebration will culminate on Friday, April 22, Earth Day, with a Ceremonial Planting on College Green. Leadership from Penn and the Morris Arboretum will be on hand to acknowledge the value we place on creating and maintaining our landscapes.  (11:30AM on the North Side of Claudia Cohen Hall)
  • Campus Tree Tours will follow the Ceremonial Planting, led by landscape experts from Penn's Office of the Landscape Architect and Morris Arboretum. Visit our website to sign up for tours.
  • Throughout the month of April, we will explore and recognize different aspects of our natural campus:
    • We're getting on line! Penn Plant Explorer is an interactive website, linked to Penn's comprehensive tree inventory (6,500+ trees), that allows users to map and interpret the significant trees, specialty gardens, urban parks, edible plants, and seasonal interest throughout Penn's campus.
    • Penn's trees have real value! Using the digital inventory system I-Tree Eco to catalogue comprehensive tree and building data collected during summer 2015, staff of the University Landscape Architect's Office determined the ecological value of Penn's urban forest. Graduate student and former landscape intern Corey Bassett has published The Environmental Benefits of Trees on an Urban University Campus. (Read the published project.)
    • Penn's Tree history has been mapped! Lara Roman, PhD, research ecologist with the U.S. Forest Service will present Penn's Campus as an Urban Forest: A History of Growing Canopy, 1870-Present on April 13 at the EES/IGEL Seminar Series in Environmental Studies. (See the full seminar listing.)
  • In addition, the Athletics Eco-Reps are planning a fun display with ivy cuttings in their booth at the Penn Relays Carnival, and the Creating Canopy Tree Giveaway is back for 2016.
For a full list of events for the Penn Tree Campus Celebration, visit the  FRES website

Power Down Challenge Saves Megawatts
The 2016 Power Down Challenge culminated in our first-ever campus-wide Energy Reduction Challenge. Over the course of 24 hours, the entire Penn community collaborated to save energy by turning off lights, taking the stairs, unplugging, and reducing energy in creative and inventive ways.

Over the 24-hour period on Wednesday, February 24th, Penn saw a 5.8% weather-normalized energy reduction compared to the rest of the month. That's a savings of 220,460 kilowatt hours ( 2.2 megawatts) and equivalent to
  • 152 metric tons of CO2
  • 354 barrels of oil, or
  • charging an iPhone6 for 58,016 years straight.
Julian Goresko, Penn's Sustainability Outreach Manager, reports that Challenge organizers are thrilled with the results: "We would like to give thanks and appreciation to the entire campus, and especially to our partners who played such a strong role in collaborating on this day. Your actions made a significant reduction, and we hope you feel proud of your efforts to power down. We cannot thank you enough for your support and participation in this endeavor."

As a result of these savings, Penn's Sustainability Office in Facilities and Real Estate Services will be donating $5,800 to support Climate Action Research Grants to the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. These grants give undergraduate students the chance to conduct innovative research under the direction of Penn faculty and address issues of environmental sustainability and global climate change.

Ecological Landscape Stewardship Plan Underway
Penn's Ecological Landscape Stewardship Plan is a groundbreaking endeavor that aims to enhance our existing sustainable landscape practices. Led by University Landscape Architect Bob Lundgren, a multi-disciplinary consultant team (including Penn faculty and students) is formalizing a system based, high-performance, long-term, and holistic approach to landscape design and maintenance. The program is being applied to four different campus urban environments and ecosystems:  Shoemaker Green, Kane Park at Spruce and 33rd Streets, Locust Walk, and the green at 40th Street. The Plan will critically evaluate soil biology, arboriculture, turf quality, biodiversity, cultural practices, labor, mechanical equipment, and aesthetic expectations in making recommendations for landscape design and maintenance practices.  The goal is to create a healthy, diverse, living, sustainable, and beautiful campus landscape.

According to Lundgren, the University is already engaged in many sustainable landscape management practices, including:
  • applications of compost tea and other natural soil amendments to campus turf instead of synthetic fertilizers;
  • the use of mulching mowers that distribute grass clippings back into the turf instead of creating additional waste;
  • collecting all leaves that fall on campus, composting them at an on-campus location, and using the compost as top-dressing for turf and planting beds;
  • use of a less corrosive and more environmentally friendly de-icing formula;
  • preference to permeable paving on many of the hard surface walkways, parking lots, and plazas to help manage stormwater;
  • ecologically managing Penn Park and Shoemaker Green - no synthetic fertilizers or herbicides, and
  • introducing more than five acres (so far) of natural meadows to campus.
Building on these practices, and drawing from Penn's stormwater management plan and Climate Action Plan 2.0, the initial meetings began late fall of 2015 and will continue throughout 2016.  The Plan team will observe the campus over several seasons, conduct interviews, and evaluate ongoing conditions.  Stay tuned for updates throughout the year!

Goats Come to Morris Arboretum with Green Fund Support
Two Green Fund Grants have been recently announced:

Targeted Goat Grazing Project  To help manage invasive plants at Morris Arboretum in an environmentally sustainable way, a herd of goats will be introduced to the property in May 2016. Arboretum intern Willa Rowan will evaluate the use of targeted goat grazing as an alternative to herbicides and power equipment for the control of invasive species in disturbed habitats. Goat grazing is one of several invasive plant control methods being tested by Rowan in a habitat restoration project, an oak grove at the Morris Arboretum's Bloomfield Farm where the ground cover is completely choked out by poison ivy and invasive plants. The invasive plants are harmful to the ecological value and biodiversity of this habitat, and the Targeted Goat Grazing Project offers the opportunity to explore the effectiveness and value of using goats in addressing the control of invasive plants. If the goat grazing project is successful, recommendations will be made for expanded use of goats at other affected areas at the Arboretum, and, capitalizing on the cost and staff savings associated, will free up resources for other sustainable land management initiatives.

A new laundry option in Harnwell College House  Skipping the dryer when doing laundry is now an easy option for residents of Harnwell College House, thanks to Harnwell Eco-Reps Elena Crouch (C '17) and Michael Shu (C '17).  The Eco-Rep team has been awarded a Green Fund grant to provide drying racks in the College House laundry rooms. With these racks, students can air dry their clothing without using the dryers, saving significant energy. In addition, the project provides a handfull of drying racks that students can sign out from the Harnwell information desk for use in their own rooms.  Crouch and Shu will evaluate the success of this project by keeping track of the frequency with which the drying racks are used, and by polling residents about their usage.

If you have a great idea for sustainability at Penn and would like to be considered for a Green Fund Grant, visit the Green Campus Partnership website

Spend 30 Days Outdoors in April
With spring around the corner, it's time to get outside! Join Penn's 30x30 Challenge to spend at least 30 minutes outdoors each day during the month of April. Based on a campaign started by the David Suzuki Foundation , 30x30 encourages the Penn community to get outside, learn about local ecology, and appreciate the beauty of spring. Research has shown that regularly spending time in natural settings - like parks, forests, or fields - can reduce stress while boosting immunity, energy levels, and creativity. Optional outdoor activities will be held throughout the month including a Wellness Walk and Campus Ecology Tour.

The Challenge is open to all Penn Faculty and Staff, and runs from April 1st through April 30th. See our website  for information for the remainder of April.

Green Office Program Expands on Campus
The Green Campus Partnership recognizes the efforts of staff and faculty to "green" their daily activities by offering four levels of Green Office certification. Participating offices earn points by completing specific sustainability actions, which are assigned point values based on their impact and level of difficulty. Offices can choose to aim for the highest level from the start, or work their way up slowly from Level One. A recent recipient of the highest level of Green Office, Level 4, is Wharton Finance & Administration. Not only did this office come in new to the program at a Level 4, but they have also achieved the highest number of points ever submitted under the Green Office Program 2.0 set of actions.

Some of the actions that set Wharton Finance & Administration apart are:
  • They eliminated single-use, disposable plates and cups by supplying reusable ceramic serviceware in their office kitchen.
  • They completed a managed print assessment and eliminated all personal printers, reducing waste, redundant supply needs, and energy use.
  • They have more than 20 plants in the office, exceeding the one plant per two people credit.
  • They bought kitchen supplies in bulk and large condiments containers instead of single-serve packets (like ketchup, mustard, half & half, and creamer), to reduce waste and unnecessary expense.
Danielle Faust, administrative coordinator in Wharton Finance & Administration, says that "Participating in the Green Office Initiative was paramount in raising environmental awareness within our department. The initiative afforded staff the opportunity to observe their daily consumption habits pertaining to energy usage and waste. I am proud of the organized efforts demonstrated by my fellow F&A staff members - although these may be considered small steps in a much larger and complex problem, creating awareness is a step in the right direction."

The Green Office program is taking root across the University. At present, there are 72 certified Green Offices:

Level 1 4
Level 2 33
Level 3 26
Level 4 9









Across all Schools and Centers, 1,332 people at Penn work in a Green Office. The majority (499) found in the EVP Division. Below is a snapshot of the Schools that have the highest number of Green Offices:


Green Offices People in Offices
EVP 13 499
Law 13 115
Nursing 9 49
Provost 10 164
SAS 10 184
SEAS 10 103


Guidance is available for offices that might like to apply for certification. Contact the Sustainability Office at sustainability@upenn.edu

Voice your Opinion! Take the Penn Transit Survey
Penn Transit Services has undertaken a project to redesign its website and online services. As part of this process, Penn Transit is surveying its ridership. If you use any of Penn's transit services (Penn Bus, Penn Shuttle, LUCY, Para Transit, Drexel bus share) we encourage you to participate in the survey. You can access the survey by clicking here

Penn Transit is also looking for individuals interested in participating in a focus group. If you are interested in participating in a focus group, there is a place at the end of the survey to provide your email address.

Beth Bayrd -  
Marketing Manager, Bon Appétit Management Company
beth bayrd bonappetit Beth Bayrd is marketing manager for Bon Appétit, the University's food service provider. Beth joined the Bon Appétit team at Penn in 2013, and since then has seen the commitment to environmental sustainability of both the University and Bon Appétit grow. 

Read more about Beth's role at Penn and the accomplishments in campus dining we have made as partners.

Download Waste Management and Recycling Posters
Information about waste management at Penn and colorful posters that you can download and print out are available on the  FRES website , under the Sustainability section. Posters guide users on types of items and what bins to use for Landfill, Recycling, and Compost. 
Fresh and Local Video
The Common Market's new video showcasing partnerships in the regional food system between local anchor institutions - including Penn - and local farmers. The leadership of our institutional partners in local food procurement is helping change the regional food system.  

Watch the @CommonMkt new video on food and anchor institutions.

University of Penn Facilities and Real Estate Services | sustainability@upenn.edu | http://www.facilities.upenn.edu
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Philadelphia, PA 19104