Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.74
Liaison Krista Bailey
Submission Date Oct. 20, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Pennsylvania State University
EN-4: Outreach Materials and Publications

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Lydia Vandenbergh
Assoc. Dir. Employee Engagement & Education
Sustainability Institute
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution produce the following outreach materials and/or publications that foster sustainability learning and knowledge? :
Yes or No
A central sustainability website that consolidates information about the institution’s sustainability efforts Yes
A sustainability newsletter Yes
Social media platforms that focus specifically on campus sustainability Yes
A vehicle to publish and disseminate student research on sustainability Yes
Building signage that highlights green building features No
Food service area signage and/or brochures that include information about sustainable food systems Yes
Signage on the grounds about sustainable groundskeeping and/or landscaping strategies employed Yes
A sustainability walking map or tour Yes
A guide for commuters about how to use alternative methods of transportation Yes
Navigation and educational tools for bicyclists and pedestrians Yes
A guide for green living and incorporating sustainability into the residential experience Yes
Regular coverage of sustainability in the main student newspaper, either through a regular column or a reporter assigned to the sustainability beat Yes
Other sustainability publications or outreach materials not covered above Yes

A brief description of the central sustainability website:
Penn State has a Sustainability Portal that allows those that access the site to learn about sustainability initiatives at all 24 locations of Penn State and the University's Sustainability Strategic Plan. The site's organization parallels the strategic plan: Learn, Live, and Lead and aims to meet the needs of students, faculty, staff and the community. . Learn: Find learning opportunities for students, faculty, staff, and the general public about Penn State’s efforts in sustainability. Find out about programs, funding opportunities, courses, and more. Live: Read more about how to live a more sustainable lifestyle at Penn State by getting information on the Reinvention Fund, Sustainable Communities Cooperative, Green Teams, student groups, möbius, and much more. Lead: Stories on inspiring leaders in the world of research, student life, faculty and staff, and efforts across all of Penn State campuses.

The website URL for the central sustainability website:
A brief description of the sustainability newsletter:
The "Mainstream" e-newsletter is Penn State’s Sustainability Highlights for each week. We share stories from across all campuses and areas at Penn State while also letting everyone know about upcoming events, funding opportunities, and how to follow us on social media.

The website URL for the sustainability newsletter:
A brief description of the social media platforms that focus specifically on campus sustainability:
Penn State uses Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+. Our most engaging/engaged platform is our Twitter account: https://twitter.com/sustainPSU http://www.pinterest.com/sustainpsuedu/ https://twitter.com/sustainPSU http://instagram.com/sustainabilitypsuedu#

The website URL of the primary social media platform that focuses on sustainability:
A brief description of the vehicle to publish and disseminate student research on sustainability:
The Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment (PSIEE) has an on-line resource geared to publicize and disseminate student research on energy and the environment. (See web URL below.) For a more ephemeral but larger representation, we also "publish and disseminate" student research at the PSIEE's annual picnic: Bar Charts and Bar-B-Que. At this gathering, faculty and students share their research results. Many of our student's sustainability research projects get published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. Undergraduates may present their research results at the university's annual undergraduate research exposition. Graduate student theses and dissertations are published in the online eTD database that allows one to search titles for terms such as "sustainability". https://etda.libraries.psu.edu/

The website URL for the vehicle to publish and disseminate student research on sustainability:
A brief description of building signage that highlights green building features :
N/A

The website URL for building signage that highlights green building features :
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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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A brief description of signage on the grounds about sustainable groundskeeping and/or landscaping strategies:
In an effort to rehabilitate Penn State's historic Hort Woods, the University has been removing invasive plants and restoring the area with native woodland trees, shrubs and herbs. Signage has been installed to help the public understand this example of diverse forest on our campus and its importance to our community. At the Penn State arboretum, interpretive signage educates the public about the pollinator garden and the meadow marsh.

The website URL for signage on the grounds about sustainable groundskeeping and/or landscaping strategies:
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A brief description of the sustainability walking map or tour:
Penn State has both an online and paper map that guides people to see sustainable features on the University Park campus. A description of the sustainable features is included for all 24 sites, as well as icons for key features. The map shows the community garden, LEED buildings, green roofs, native landscaping, public transportation stops, and more.

The website URL of the sustainability walking map or tour:
A brief description of the guide for commuters about how to use alternative methods of transportation:
The sustainability.psu.edu portal lists alternative transportation means for commuting to and navigating around the University Park campus. Some of the information that can be found using the portal includes: Penn State and Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA) offer a free on-campus bus system. Transportation Services coordinates 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:
A brief description of the navigation and educational tools for bicyclists and pedestrians:
Penn State's University Park campus strives to be both pedestrian and bicyclist friendly! The University recently collaborated with the Borough of State College to develop a Bicycle Master Plan that will promote bicycle commuting and expand on-campus mobility for students and staff. Penn State and our local township created a bicycle and bus route map to assist walkers and cyclists.

The website URL for navigation and educational tools for bicyclists and pedestrians:
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:
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:
Each semester, a student is assigned to cover the environment beat for Penn State's student newspaper, The Daily Collegian. In fall 2013, Sarah Rafacz covered this area and this spring, Clayton Over wrote several articles on this topic area. See the following for an example: http://www.collegian.psu.edu/news/campus/article_ccd8bb48-8ed8-11e3-bbc2-001a4bcf6878.html A search of the Daily Collegian archives shows 139 articles that include the term "sustainability" appeared in the most recent one year period. A columnist for Onward State, the alternative student newspaper, frequently writes about sustainability issues.

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:
A brief description of another sustainability publication or outreach material not covered above (1st material):
Sustainability is included in Penn State's staff review process and our University's Sustainability Institute worked closely with our Human Resources division to create a tip sheet to guide a supervisor's and staff's conversation on this topic.

The website URL for this material (1st material):
Does the institution produce another sustainability publication or outreach material not covered above? (2nd material):
Yes

A brief description of this material (2nd material):
To assist our community to understand Penn State's goals and approaches to embedding sustainability into the fabric of our University, we have posted the University's strategic plan for sustainability on our website, as well as the strategic plan for the Sustainability Institute. http://sustainability.psu.edu/sustainability-institute/sustainability-institutes-strategic-plan

The website URL for this material (2nd material):
Does the institution produce another sustainability publication or outreach material not covered above? (3rd material):
Yes

A brief description of this material (3rd 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 (3rd material):
Does the institution produce another sustainability publication or outreach material not covered above? (4th material):
Yes

A brief description of this material (4th material):
Each major Penn State unit is required to submit a updated strategic plan to the University administration by July 2014. The Sustainability Institute (SI) has put together tools and resources to support unit's effective implementation of the guidelines for sustainability found in the Unit Strategic Planning Guidelines. These resources have been combined in an easy to use guidebook: http://sustainability.psu.edu/sites/default/files/SustainabilityGuidebook_final_feb19.pdf

The website URL for this material (4th material):
Does the institution produce another sustainability publication or outreach material not covered above? (5th material):
Yes

A brief description of this material (5th material):
Penn State presently has over 100 Green Teams, defined as a group of faculty and staff who volunteer to learn about sustainability and find ways to apply these concepts to unit decision making. Monthly, the Institute releases a newsletter to the members filled with tips, calendar events, success stories, and indepth resources.

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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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Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
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