Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.40
Liaison Madeline Schuh
Submission Date Feb. 21, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Pennsylvania
AC-9: Research and Scholarship

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 9.44 / 12.00 Madeline Schuh
Sustainability Analyst
Facilities and Real Estate Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total number of the institution’s faculty and/or staff that are engaged in research (headcount):
4722

Number of the institution’s faculty and/or staff that are engaged in sustainability research (headcount):
2042

Percentage of the institution's faculty and staff researchers that are engaged in sustainability research :
43.24

Total number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that include at least one faculty or staff member that conducts research:
326

Number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that include at least one faculty or staff member that conducts sustainability research:
140

Percentage of research-producing departments that are engaged in sustainability research:
42.94

A copy of the institution’s inventory of its sustainability research that includes names and department affiliations of faculty and staff engaged in sustainability research:
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The institution’s inventory of its sustainability research that includes names and department affiliations of faculty and staff engaged in sustainability research:

A list of programs and resources on research activities on campus can be found at the following website. https://www.sustainability.upenn.edu/sustainability-themes/learning-sustainability. Faculty departments and research information can be found by following the associated links.


A brief description of the methodology the institution followed to complete the research inventory (including the types of faculty and staff included as researchers):

In order to calculate the number of faculty and academic departments involved in sustainability research, the Penn Sustainability Office reached out to academic departments associated with each undergraduate, professional, and academic degree programs offered at Penn to request department-level information on sustainability research. For the purposes of this survey, the Penn Sustainability Office used AASHE's expanded definition of sustainability to identify ongoing research, including research of social and economic equity as well as research on ecological systems and resilience.
Based on this investigation, the Penn Sustainability found that 43% of departments surveyed were involved in sustainability research. The Penn Sustainability Office used this data to extrapolate the number of faculty working in sustainability related research to determine that 2042 or 43% of the 4722 faculty are engaged in sustainability research. Note that this number and percentage of faculty is not based on a faculty-by-faculty survey.
Specific centers and programs with sustainability ingrained in their mission are outlined below.

Penn Institute for Urban Research - penniur.upenn.edu/associates/view-everyone/types/penn-iur-faculty-fellows
The Penn Institute for Urban Research (Penn IUR) is a university-wide entity dedicated to an increased understanding of cities through cross-disciplinary research, instruction, and civic engagement. Penn IUR is dedicated to developing knowledge in three critical areas: innovative urban development strategies; building the sustainable, 21st-century city; and the role of anchor institutions in urban places.

The Penn Center for Energy Innovation - www.energy.upenn.edu/?q=pennergians
Pennergy: the Penn Center for Energy Innovation was launched in September 2009 under the sponsorship of the University of Pennsylvania’s Schools of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) and Arts and Sciences (SAS) and from Penn’s Office of the Vice Provost of Research. The Center unites faculty and students from SEAS and SAS as well as from other Penn schools, and from neighboring Drexel and Temple Universities. Pennergy brings together world-class researchers to solve scientific and technological problems enabling the efficient use of current energy sources, the practical use of more sustainable energy, and the conversion of energy to different forms. The Center researchers and educators integrate and share their knowledge through energy research, educational, and outreach activities that impact researchers, students, and our community

Penn Center for Environmental Building + Design: https://www.design.upenn.edu/cebd/about
The goal of the Center for Environmental Building + Design is to connect the academic and professional worlds of sustainability research. The mission is to develop new knowledge, tools, processes, techniques and continuing education for professionals involved in building energy and technology. The goal is to create healthier, productive, energy efficient strategies that will lead to high performance buildings and sustainable environments.

Energy Efficient Buildings Hub - www.eebhub.org/about-eebhub/members/university-of-pennsylvania/
Penn faculty participate in research carried out at the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub (EEB Hub), which was established at the Philadelphia Navy Yard by the U.S. Department of Energy as an Energy-Regional Innovation Cluster (E-RIC) in 2011.

Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership - http://igel.wharton.upenn.edu/about/faculty-and-staff/
The Wharton-led, Penn-wide Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL) promotes knowledge for business sustainability through world-class research, transformative teaching and constructive dialogue between top alumni, academic, corporate, government, and non-government organizations. IGEL is a hub for business and sustainability, connecting and leveraging academic capital at Penn to help business leaders of today and tomorrow to create more sustainable industries.

Institute for Environmental Studies - www.sas.upenn.edu/earth/ies_fr.html
The Earth Science department has the mission of bringing the perspective of the Earth scientist to bear on contemporary problems of natural resources conservation and environmental quality.

Ocean Biogeochemistry & Climate Change, Department of Earth & Environmental Science - https://climate.sas.upenn.edu
Within the Department of Earth & Environmental Science, this group's research interests are at the frontier of ocean biogeochemistry, ocean ecology and physical oceanography. It researches the oceanic controls on atmospheric CO2 and global climate from inter-annual to millennial time scales, to improve understanding and prediction of:
- Oceanic uptake, storage and release of atmospheric CO2 and other gases;
- Climate-sensitivity of ocean biogeochemical cycles and interactions with ecosystem structure;
- Feedback between ocean carbon cycle, ocean ecosystem structure, ocean circulation and climate.
Their work combines theoretical aspects with running climate change simulations and sensitivity studies (using complex general circulation models or GCMs) on a newly acquired state-of-the-art computer cluster in the Earth and Environmental Science Department at the University of Pennsylvania.

Kleinman Center for Energy Policy: http://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu
The Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, developed through the School of Design, works to cultivate policy innovation and promote its application - creating opportunities for students, researchers, and professionals to debate viewpoints, explore options, and develop agendas for decision and action. The Kleinman Center envisions a transition from a fossil-fueled energy system with uncompensated external costs to one that optimizes energy productivity through smart demand, internalized carbon impacts, and sustainable supply.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Penn Institute for Urban Research - penniur.upenn.edu/associates/view-everyone/types/penn-iur-faculty-fellows
The Penn Center for Energy Innovation - www.energy.upenn.edu/?q=pennergians
Penn Center for Environmental Building + Design: https://www.design.upenn.edu/cebd/about
Kleinman Center for Energy Policy: http://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/events
Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership - http://igel.wharton.upenn.edu/about/faculty-and-staff/
Institute for Environmental Studies - www.sas.upenn.edu/earth/ies_fr.html
Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research - http://www.viper.upenn.edu/
The University of Pennsylvania is a major research institution, with over 3,000 degrees granted annually from twelve professional and academic schools at the Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate levels. Penn is committed to teaching environmental sustainability, with a goal to make climate change and sustainability part of the curriculum and educational experience available to all Penn students. (Penn's 2009 "Climate Action Plan".). This submission documents Penn's efforts during the FY17 year and compares them to the FY14 baseline year which corresponds with the University's "Climate Action Plan. 2.0". The submission relies on information related to the main, academic, West Philadelphia campus, but to more fully document efforts across the Penn system, information related to the Morris Arboretum and New Bolton has also been referenced and noted as outside the boundary in descriptions. The information is used to enrich examples of University efforts and is not intended to be the primary justification for credits. The responses for each of the questions and sub-questions are drawn from University materials, both internal and public documents. Each section notes the website where the information can be found.

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.