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

STARS v2.2

University of Pennsylvania
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Natalie Walker
Sustainability Manager
Penn Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the municipal/local level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the municipal/local level:

Penn participates in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the local level. Penn identified supporting Philadelphia’s Zero Waste Goal as a key strategy in Penn’s Climate and Sustainability Action Plan, and recently signed on as an official Zero Waste Partner with the City of Philadelphia. Penn also participates in the Solid Waste Recycling Advisory Council for Philadelphia.


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level:

Penn participates in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the state level. A recent example of state level advocacy would be Penn’s letter of support for Pennsylvania to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the first multi-state carbon trading initiative.


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the national level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the national level:

The University of Pennsylvania signed the President's Act on Climate pledge, joining over 150 other American colleges and universities, including all seven other members of the Ivy League, to support the American efforts at the COP 21 Climate Talks in Paris. In addition, Penn is a member of the US Green Building Council, is a sustaining sponsor of the Delaware Valley Green Building Council, and a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. All of these organizations participate in advocacy and sharing best practices around environmental sustainability


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the international level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the international level:

Penn is a member of the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN), which provides a global forum to support leading colleges, universities, and corporate campuses in the exchange of information, ideas, and best practices for achieving sustainable campus operations and integrating sustainability in research and teaching. In addition, Penn is now the co-host of the Global University Climate Forum.


A brief description of other political positions the institution has taken during the previous three years (if applicable):

As noted above, the University of Pennsylvania signed the President's Act on Climate pledge, joining over 150 other American colleges and universities, including all seven other members of the Ivy League, to support the American efforts at the COP 21 Climate Talks in Paris. In addition, Penn is a member of the Global University Leadership Forum's Sustainable Campus Network, the US Green Building Council, is a sustaining sponsor of the Delaware Valley Green Building Council, and a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. All of these organizations participate in advocacy and sharing best practices around environmental sustainability.


A brief description of political donations the institution made during the previous three years (if applicable):
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Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability advocacy efforts 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.