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

STARS v2.1

University of Pennsylvania
EN-7: Employee Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Madeline Schuh
Sustainability Analyst
Facilities and Real Estate Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total number of employees (staff + faculty, headcount):
30127

Number of employees served (i.e. directly targeted) by a peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education program (avoid double-counting):
30127

Percentage of employees served by a peer-to-peer educator program:
100

Name of the employee educators program:
Staff and Faculty Eco-Reps

Number of employees served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (headcount):
30127

A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities:

The "Staff & Faculty Eco-Reps Program" is a peer education program that provides the tools to improve the environmental sustainability of Penn offices, labs, classroom, and other workplaces. The program includes about 100 active staff and faculty participants across the University representing a diverse set of offices, schools, and centers, and is open on an opt-in basis to any employee.

A six-person Steering Committee helps guide the program, which is led by a three person leadership team working with the Penn Sustainability Office. The program is designed to improve environmental awareness and behavior change, and builds knowledge and leadership across Penn's schools and centers by empowering individuals to champion the goals outlined in Penn's Climate Action Plan 2.0.

Participating staff and faculty volunteers meet monthly to share best sustainable practices between departments, and attend brief trainings by the Penn Sustainability Office on sustainability topics. Eco-Reps then implement change spreading awareness of important sustainability issues and conservation strategies in their respective offices and departments through projects, events, and creative informational campaigns.


A brief description of how the employee educators are selected:

Participating staff and faculty Eco-Rep members are self-selecting volunteers, representing their corresponding school and/or center.


A brief description of the formal training that the employee educators receive to prepare them to conduct peer outreach:

The program has a formal orientation session, which includes descriptions of Penn's "Climate Action Plan 2.0", structure of the Sustainability Office, and "Penn's Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee".


A brief description of the financial and/or administrative support the institution provides to the program (e.g. annual budget and/or paid faculty/staff coordination):

The Eco-Reps program is supported by the Penn Sustainability Office. Monthly meetings include lunch for participants, as well as fees for occasional speakers and lectures. the annual program budget is $30,000.


Name of the employee educators program (2nd program):
Sustainability Coordinators

Number of employees served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (headcount) (2nd program):
30127

A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (2nd program):

Sustainability Coordinators are designated leaders, appointed by Vice Deans or Vice Presidents, to champion environmental sustainability within their Schools and Centers. Sustainability Coordinators help the Penn Sustainability Office to implement sustainability campaigns, serve as members on different advisory committees, and provide expertise on sustainability issues. Members include representatives from the Schools of Arts and Sciences, Wharton, Communications, Design, Dental Medicine, Education, Engineering, Law, Medicine, Nursing, Social Policy and Practice, and Veterinary Medicine, as well as from the following Centers: Business Services, Athletics and Recreation, University Life, Residential Services, the New Bolton Center for Large Animal Veterinary Services, the Morris Arboretum, and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.


A brief description of how the employee educators are selected (2nd program):

Sustainability Coordinators are designated by the School or Center Dean, Vice Dean, Vice President, or other senior administrator for their expertise in key sustainability issues.


A brief description of the formal training that the employee educators receive to prepare them to conduct peer outreach (2nd program):

Sustainability Coordinators have a formal orientation session, which includes descriptions of Penn's "Climate Action Plan 2.0", structure of the Sustainability Office, and Penn's "Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee". In addition, sustainability education and training might be part of their formal job description. Coordinators have an annual retreat to plan the year as well as share best practices.

The Sustainability Team also has an annual retreat to plan as well as develop skills.


A brief description of the financial and/or administrative support the institution provides to the program (e.g. annual budget and/or paid faculty/staff coordination) (2nd program):

The Sustainability Coordinators program is supported by the Penn Sustainability Office, the combined annual budget for the two employee educator programs is $17,500 (2016)


A brief description of all other employee peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education programs, including the number of employees served and how employee educators are selected, trained, and supported by the institution:
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Total number of hours employee educators are engaged in peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education activities annually:
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The University of Pennsylvania is a major research institution, with over 3000 degrees granted annually from twelve professional and academic schools at the Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate levels. Penn is committed to engaging with both the campus and public community on sustainability, with a goal to make climate change and sustainability part of the Penn culture. This commitment and long standing tradition of both campus and public engagement around the issue of sustainability is seen through campus sustainability groups and community focused centers. Both public and campus engagement organizations partner with the Sustainability Office to create student internships, engage in environmental issues, and build knowledge around sustainability. For a more complete listing of engagement activities on campus, please see EN 10 to EN 14.
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.