Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 58.76
Liaison Krista Bailey
Submission Date July 29, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

Pennsylvania State University
ER-4: Sustainability Outreach and Publications

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Erik Foley
Managing Director
Sustainability Institute
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Does the institution have a central sustainability website that consolidates information about the institution's sustainability efforts?:
Yes

A brief description of the central sustainability website that consolidates information about the institution's sustainability efforts:

Penn State has a Sustainability Portal that allows those that access the site to learn about the university's sustainability initiatives. The sustainability efforts are publicized on the portal that was created from a partnership of faculty and staff representing 5 main "greening" areas: Operations, Research, Outreach, Teaching, and Student Life.

Going to the portal will allow those seeking information to learn how sustainability is part of each area. Tabs are labled:
What We're Doing, What You Can Do, Academics and Research, Programs and Resources, News and Events.


The website URL for the central sustainability website that consolidates information about the institution's sustainability efforts:
Does the institution have a sustainability newsletter?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability newsletter:

The Campus Sustainability Office shares an on-line monthly newsletter with Penn State students, faculty, staff, and the surrounding community. Those that subscribe to the newsletter learn more about how specific departments and units are engaged in sustainability efforts, green events, efforts of Penn State Commonwealth Campuses, student opportunities, and success stories.

The newsletter is sent to 3,000 contacts on the Campus Sustainability Office Listserv that continues to grow.


The website URL for the sustainability newsletter:
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Does the institution have a vehicle to publish and disseminate student research on sustainability?:
No

A brief description of the vehicle to publish and disseminate student research on sustainability:
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The website URL for the vehicle to publish and disseminate student research on sustainability:
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Does the institution have building signage that highlights green building features?:
No

A brief description of building signage that highlights green building features :
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The website URL for building signage that highlights green building features :
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Does the institution have food service area signage and/or brochures that include information about sustainable food systems?:
Yes

A brief description of food service area signage and/or brochures that include information about sustainable food systems:

The dining halls have signage to combat food waste. There are posters to educate about composting. Vegetarian meals are made available in all five dining areas and are labeled as well.


The website URL for food service area signage and/or brochures that include information about sustainable food systems:
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Does the institution have signage on the grounds about sustainable grounds-keeping strategies employed?:
No

A brief description of signage on the grounds about sustainable grounds-keeping strategies employed:
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The website URL for signage on the grounds about sustainable grounds-keeping strategies employed:
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Does the institution have a sustainability walking map or tour?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability walking map or tour:

The Penn State University Park Campus has a walking map and those that follow the map have the opportunity to take a Green Tour. The map features: community garden, LEED buildings, green roofs, native landscaping, public transportation stops, and more.


The website URL of the sustainability walking map or tour:
Does the institution have a guide for commuters about how to use alternative methods of transportation?:
Yes

A brief description of the guide for commuters about how to use alternative methods of transportation:

On the green.psu.edu portal there is a list of alternative transportation methods and information about them.
Some of the information that can be found using the portal:
Penn State and Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA) offer a free on-campus bus system. Transportation Services funds an express bus to New York City, Washington D.C., Baltimore, and other urban areas. Full-time employees can purchase monthly bus passes for five dollars a month. Students, faculty, and staff can find out how to register their bikes on the site.


The website URL for the guide for commuters about how to use alternative methods of transportation:
Does the institution have a guide for green living and incorporating sustainability into the residential experience?:
Yes

A brief description of the guide for green living and incorporating sustainability into the residential experience:

Recycling Guidelines are annually shared with the Resident Assistants (RAs) in a booklet publication. The publication is updated annually so students are aware of changes in recycling and composting guidelines. The publication includes: Residence Hall Recycling Guidelines, Recycling Program History, Recycling Facts, Composting Guidelines, Energy Conservation Tips, Special Event Recycling Guidelines, and other resources. The booklet is produced by Residence Life, Housing Services, and the Office of Physical Plant.


The website URL for the guide for green living and incorporating sustainability into the residential experience:
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Does the institution have regular coverage of sustainability in the main student newspaper (either through a regular column or a reporter assigned to the sustainability beat)?:
No

A brief description of regular coverage of sustainability in the main student newspaper, either through a regular column or a reporter assigned to the sustainability beat:
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The website URL for regular coverage of sustainability in the main student newspaper, either through a regular column or a reporter assigned to the sustainability beat:
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Does the institution produce another sustainability publication or outreach material not covered above? (1st material):
Yes

A brief description of this material:

The Campus Sustainability Office has a handout describing the mission and programs of the office. It is given to new employees during New Employee Orientation and given out during events.


The website URL for this material:
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Does the institution produce another sustainability publication or outreach material not covered above? (2nd material):
Yes

A brief description of this material:

"How to Green IT" is a publication describing sustainable ways to use technology including: power-management software for 17,200 computers at Penn State, combining servers to reduce electricity costs and space, and avoiding screen savers.


The website URL for this material:
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Does the institution produce another sustainability publication or outreach material not covered above? (3rd material):
Yes

A brief description of this material:

The Green Paws Action Checklists is organized into four levels of certification that signify an office's progression towards higher and higher levels of efficiency, health, and environmental sustainability. Faculty and Staff can follow the checklists to reach levels of Green Paw Certification.


The website URL for this material:
Does the institution produce another sustainability publication or outreach material not covered above? (4th material):
Yes

A brief description of this material:

Take Charge Posters are in various buildings on campus describing sustainable behaviors made by Penn State leaders. Examples of behaviors featured in the posters:
Turning off room lights when leaving a room
Using compact fluorescent bulbs
Unplugging electronics when not in use
Closing lab hoods in research labs


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Does the institution produce another sustainability publication or outreach material not covered above? (5th material):
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Does the institution produce another sustainability publication or outreach material not covered above? (6th material):
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Does the institution produce another sustainability publication or outreach material not covered above? (7th material):
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Does the institution produce another sustainability publication or outreach material not covered above? (8th material):
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.