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

STARS v2.2

University of Pennsylvania
IN-48: Innovation B

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Natalie Walker
Sustainability Manager
Penn Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

This newly designed webpage provides search functionality for information about Penn’s Preferred Contract Caterers. Users can now search for caterers based on cuisine and dietary preference (e.g. kosher, halal, vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, etc.) In addition, and in support of Penn’s environmental and economic sustainability priorities, users are now able to search for caterers based on diversity classification, environmental sustainability capabilities, and local/regional designations. With these tools in place, every effort should be made to utilize local and diverse suppliers, while choosing services that are environmentally sustainable. The university has developed 4 tiers of capabilities for each supplier with Level 4 being the most sustainable.

Level 1: no straws, no styrofoam
Level 2: Level 1 plus recyclable wares, reusable wares, alternatives to box lunches
Level 3: Level 1 & 2 plus 50% or more food sourced locally, 50% or more food is fresh vs. frozen
Level 4: Level 1, 2, & 3 plus ability to compost event waste, compost at own facility

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:


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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.