Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.49
Liaison Mary Easterling
Submission Date Dec. 17, 2020

STARS v2.2

Pennsylvania State University
PA-1: Sustainability Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Mary Easterling
Assoc Director, Analysis & Assessment
Sustainability Institute
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Does the institution have at least one sustainability committee?:
Yes

The charter or mission statement of the committee(s) or a brief description of each committee's purview and activities:

As of Fall 2020, nine of Penn State's 13 colleges, plus University Libraries and the Medical School, have established college sustainability Councils. Each Council is led by a Chair (who is appointed by the Dean in the case of colleges), and includes faculty, staff and student representation. Each Council develops its own charter. This decentralized structure is designed to encourage ownership of sustainability within the units and allow them each to determine their own unique contributions. The Sustainability Institute convenes the Council Chairs twice each semester for facilitated discussion and idea exchange, and encourages them to function as a peer network. The remaining colleges, and other non-academic units, are each encouraged to establish a similar structure. http://sustainability.psu.edu/councilsandchairs

The Sustainable Operations Council includes leaders of Finance & Business units, Intercollegiate Athletics, and Hershey Medical Center. The Council structure facilitates interaction among F&B units, and between the units and the Sustainability Institute, to create a more comprehensive, coordinated, and strategic approach to decision-making and initiatives in the sustainability realm. https://sustainability.psu.edu/sustainable-operations-council

The Penn State Student Sustainability Advisory Council (SSAC) provides consultation and advice on Penn State sustainability planning, programs, and initiatives. The SSAC meets bi-monthly for discussions and planning. The SSAC is comprised of student leaders, appointed by the President, with experience and interest in studying, advancing, and promoting sustainability. http://sites.psu.edu/ssac/


Members of each committee, including affiliations and role:

Chairpersons of each College Council are listed here (committee members are too numerous to list): http://sustainability.psu.edu/councilsandchairs
Sustainable Operations Council membership is listed here: https://sustainability.psu.edu/sustainable-operations-council
Student Sustainability Advisory Committee membership is here: http://sites.psu.edu/ssac/


Does the institution have at least one sustainability office that includes more than 1 full-time equivalent employee?:
Yes

A brief description of each sustainability office:

The Sustainability Institute's mission is to lead and support Penn State in the pursuit of sustainability across all functions of the University - teaching and learning, research and discovery, outreach and engagement, operations and administration - through building the capacities of faculty, staff, and students, and reducing institutional barriers to action.

To that end, the Sustainability Institute oversees programs for students, faculty, and staff to build institutional capacity to learn about and practice sustainability; works at the unit and institutional level to support the establishment of measurable goals in sustainability; and communicates internally and externally to highlight sustainability achievements, build collaboration, and inspire others.


Full-time equivalent of people employed in the sustainability office(s):
13

Does the institution have at least one sustainability officer?:
Yes

Name and title of each sustainability officer:
Dr. Paul Shrivastava - Chief Sustainability Officer and Director, Sustainability Institute

Does the institution have a mechanism for broad sustainability coordination for the entire institution?:
Yes

A brief description of the activities and substantive accomplishments of the institution-wide coordinating body or officer during the previous three years:

The Sustainability Institute, as described above, serves as an institution-wide coordinating body for sustainability. Because it aims to facilitate, catalyze, and amplify the efforts of others across the University, its most substantive accomplishments are in helping others to do more, and in encouraging cross-functional collaborations. For example, the Sustainability Institute has:
- helped units to integrate sustainability into their own strategic plans, and promoted inclusion of sustainability in strategic planning at the university level
- facilitated the formation of College Councils and helped them network with each other
- organized the Sustainable Operations Council and worked with Finance & Business to promote sustainability in various aspects of Operations.
- promoted Living Lab projects, which integrate curricular education with campus operations, and transdisciplinary research, which involves not only collaboration across disciplinary boundaries but also interaction with stakeholders outside of academia.
- worked with faculty to promote inclusion of sustainability in academic courses and programs
- organized sustainability-themed film screenings and related panel discussions open to the broader community, as well as Penn Staters
- worked with students to promote and facilitate their engagement with sustainability
- managed the Sustainable Communities Collaborative, which matches sustainability-related needs of the community with class projects to address them
- facilitated staff engagement with sustainability through overseeing Green Teams and the Green Paws Program, which promotes sustainable office practices
- managed sustainability communications for Penn State, including a website and weekly newsletter
- and more...


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Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability coordination is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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