Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.31
Liaison Natalie Walker
Submission Date Aug. 9, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Pennsylvania
AC-9: Research and Scholarship

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 8.05 / 12.00 Natalie Walker
Sustainability Manager
Penn Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total number of employees that conduct research:
1,957

Number of employees engaged in sustainability research:
192

Percentage of employees that conduct research that are engaged in sustainability research:
9.81

Total number of academic departments that include at least one employee who conducts research:
97

Number of academic departments that include at least one employee who conducts sustainability research:
50

Percentage of departments that conduct research that are engaged in sustainability research:
51.55

A copy of the inventory of the institution’s sustainability research (upload):
Inventory of the institution’s 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:

In order to calculate the number of faculty and academic departments involved in sustainability research, the Penn Sustainability Office conducted detailed information searches on each research faculty member to ascertain if their work was related to sustainability. 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, Penn Sustainability found that 10% of research faculty (197 people) are involved in sustainability research, representing 42.4% of all departments on campus (125 departments). Several centers and institute that feature research faculty doing important work on sustainability include, but are not limited to:

Center for Environmental Building + Design

Center for Excellence in Environmental Toxicology

Kleinman Center for Energy Policy

McHarg Center for Urbanism and Ecology

Penn Institute for Urban Research

Penn Program in the Environmental Humanities

Vagelos Institute for Energy Science and Technology

Water Center

Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center


Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability research is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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 reducing emissions and energy use, as stated in the 2019 "Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 3.0." This submission documents Penn's efforts during the FY20 year and compares them to the FY09 baseline year which corresponds with the University's "Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 3.0." 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 Center 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.