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

STARS v2.2

University of Pennsylvania
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Natalie Walker
Sustainability Manager
Penn Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address sustainability in curriculum and/or research?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to academics and the plan(s) in which they are published:

- Support cross-disciplinary research and coordination of work between Schools and Academic Centers.
- Improve the climate literacy of Penn students
- Support the City’s regional sustainability objectives and provide professional development opportunities to students
- Improve opportunities for a cohesive sustainability education at Penn

https://www.sustainability.upenn.edu/our-commitment/our-plan


Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address student, employee, or community engagement for sustainability?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to engagement and the plan(s) in which they are published:

- Expand and strengthen existing outreach programs.
- Engage Penn's leadership to serve as sustainability change agents.

https://www.sustainability.upenn.edu/our-commitment/our-plan


Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address sustainability in operations?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to operations and the plan(s) in which they are published:

- Reduce campus carbon emissions and the costs associated with maintaining campus operations by adopting best practices in energy conservation through design, operation, and maintenance of both building specific and district energy infrastructure.
- Explore and adopt best practices for campus energy procurement.
- Reduce Penn’s building-related carbon emissions by 40% by 2024, using 2009 as the baseline year, by:
• Investigating a renewable energy power purchase agreement
• Advancing enhanced recommissioning
• Continuing proactive maintenance

https://www.sustainability.upenn.edu/our-commitment/our-plan


Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address diversity, equity, and inclusion; sustainable investment/finance; or wellbeing?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to administration and the plan(s) in which they are published:

- Integrate best practices in occupant health and wellness to Penn’s building standards
- Assess opportunities for implementation of WELL Building criteria in new construction and major renovations
- Incorporate sustainability as a formal component of the Wellness at Penn Initiative

https://www.sustainability.upenn.edu/our-commitment/our-plan


Does the institution have a published strategic plan or equivalent guiding document that includes sustainability at a high level? :
Yes

The institution’s highest guiding document (upload):
Website URL where the institution’s highest guiding document is publicly available:
Which of the following best describes the inclusion of sustainability in the highest guiding document?:
Major theme

The institution's sustainability plan (upload):
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Website URL where the institution's sustainability plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have a formal statement in support of sustainability endorsed by its governing body?:
Yes

The formal statement in support of sustainability:

I am pleased to present the University of Pennsylvania’s Climate & Sustainability Action Plan 3.0, our roadmap for Penn’s next great step forward in environmental sustainability. We launched our first sustainability plan in 2009. Since then, as global environmental challenges have become increasingly acute, we have accomplished much. But more remains to be done. Penn continues to set its sights ever higher, and this newest plan will challenge our ingenuity and commitment as we move purposefully toward our commitment of a 100% carbon neutral campus by 2042.

This is, in a sense, Penn’s own moon landing – an enormous challenge of great logistical and technical complexity. In this effort, our greatest asset is the depth of faculty, student, and staff commitment to solving these problems. Just since 2009, we have opened eight new faculty research centers across five schools, each of which focus on some aspect of environmental performance to help meet the global climate crisis. We are creating new lines of research in energy and data science, which will be housed in buildings that reflect our ambitious sustainability aspirations. Penn students are especially passionate about environmental issues, creating an ever-increasing number of interest groups and clubs to explore issues and advocate for improved environmental performance. We welcome their input and enthusiasm.

I hope you will take time to read through this report carefully. The next five years will see our carbon emissions reduced even further, our campus building efficiency improve, and a sustained effort to invest in environmental improvements through additional retrofits, renewal projects, and expanded recommissioning efforts in our labs, classrooms, and offices. Concurrent with that effort, our waste minimization programs, sustainable purchasing strategies, and expanded transportation options will build on the current success of initiatives already in place.

Penn’s leadership sets a national model. Our concern is unflagging, and our commitment is resolute: we are embarking on the next step in addressing the urgent environmental challenges of 2019 and beyond.

https://www.sustainability.upenn.edu/our-commitment/presidentsmessage


The institution’s definition of sustainability:

The Penn Sustainability website includes published a definition of sustainability in academics at Penn, written by Penn's Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee (ESAC) Academics Subcommittee.
See: https://www.sustainability.upenn.edu/sites/default/files/downloads/Definition%20of%20Sustainability%20at%20Penn.pdf


Is the institution an endorser or signatory of the following? :
Yes or No
The Earth Charter No
The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) No
ISCN-GULF Sustainable Campus Charter Yes
Pan-Canadian Protocol for Sustainability No
SDG Accord No
Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment (formerly known as the ACUPCC), Resilience Commitment, and/or integrated Climate Commitment Yes
The Talloires Declaration (TD) No
UN Global Compact Yes
Other multi-dimensional sustainability commitments (please specify below) Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal sustainability commitments, including the specific initiatives selected above:

In 2017, Penn President Amy Gutmann joined eleven other Ivy+ Universities in reaffirming commitment to climate change mitigation after the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.
https://sustainability.upenn.edu/news/penn-joins-11-other-universities-reaffirming-commitment-progress-climate-change

Penn's Wharton School of Business is the signatory of the UN Global Compact.
https://www.unglobalcompact.org/what-is-gc/participants/9332-The-Wharton-School-of-Business-University-of-Pennsylvania


Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability planning efforts 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.