Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.49
Liaison David Cullmer
Submission Date Dec. 17, 2020

STARS v2.2

Pennsylvania State University
EN-5: Outreach Campaign

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Lydia Vandenbergh
Assoc. Dir. Employee Engagement & Education
Sustainability Institute
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution held a sustainability-related outreach campaign during the previous three years that was directed at students and yielded measurable, positive results in advancing sustainability?:
Yes

Has the institution held a sustainability-related outreach campaign during the previous three years that was directed at employees and yielded measurable, positive results in advancing sustainability?:
Yes

Name of the campaign:
Campus Race to Zero-Waste (Recyclemania)

A brief description of the campaign:

Campus Race to Zero Waste (formerly, Recyclemania) is a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities.
2019 was the first year that Penn State had an organized Campus Race to Zero-Waste program spearheaded by the EcoReps. This pilot program was focused on ensuring an effective partnership between student leaders, green teams (staff engagement) and operations staff to share data.
During this pilot phase, EcoReps hosted 2 programs per week – one in the residence halls, and one in various campus locations (library, student union, dining halls) to raise awareness about the program. Further program development has been impacted by the campus COVID regulations. Due to the success of the 2019 pilot, the program will continue when COVID restrictions are lifted. https://recyclesearch.com/profile/recyclemania


A brief description of the measured positive impact(s) of the campaign:

Information tracked by the program includes weekly diversion rate (%) and pounds of waste recycled per person. This information is used to estimate the cumulative greenhouse gas reduction in metric tons of CO2 equivalent. Results to date in 2020 show an increasing cumulative per capita recycle rate over the five weeks of data available. Results for PA schools, including Penn State, can be seen here: https://recyclesearch.com/profile/recyclemania/report/321


Name of the campaign (2nd campaign):
Winter Shut-Down

A brief description of the campaign (2nd campaign):

Every fall and winter, we support our Green Teams and Sustainability Councils across all 23 Penn State locations to use the advertising resources that we create to urge Penn State employees to unplug electronics and appliances, especially refrigerators,printers, and lab equipment and shut off lights during the winter break holiday.


A brief description of the measured positive impact(s) of the campaign (2nd campaign):

In the winter of 2019, we had about 55 green teams and ten sustainability councils that are peer educators receiving information on the Winter Shut down campaign. We created a cute door hanger advertisement with five key energy saving actions, supported with fun engagement ideas in our monthly newsletter. In 2017, we created a short, one-minute video demonstrating the actions with jingle bells hummed in the background. In 2019, Penn State reduced its energy usage by 13,000 mmbtu over the two week close down period and avoided $245,000 in associated costs. https://psu.box.com/s/kjodg1951ysydvbqqetevzednho08xsp


A brief description of other sustainability-related outreach campaigns:

Annually, Penn State conducts a test of University Park’s ability to reduce its demand on the regional electrical grid. The test is conducted between 4 and 5 pm on a non-holiday weekday in June. In 2019 demand was reduced by 40 percent. Penn State’s Office of Physical Plant works remotely to power down as many pumps, fans, compressors and lights as possible, while University employees and students are encouraged to shut off their lights and office equipment. The Emergency DR (Demand Response) program demonstrates the University’s capability to reduce its demand on the grid during a regional power emergency.


Additional documentation to support the submission:
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