Climate Action Plan Progress Presented in Penn Sustainability Annual Report

Progress to-date on the 2014 University-wide Climate Action Plan 2.0 environmental goals.

Carbon emissions, academic course selection, and the amount of waste sent to landfills are areas of significant achievement against the goals of the University of Pennsylvania’s Climate Action Plan, says the University’s Sustainability Office.

The Sustainability Office has just released the FY17 Sustainability Annual Report, based on data and metrics from fiscal year 2017 gathered from across many academic and administrative units at Penn. The Annual Report documents Penn’s progress towards the goals of the 2014 Climate Action Plan 2.0, tracking metrics in Academics, Utilities and Operations, Physical Environment, Purchasing Practices, Waste Minimization & Recycling, Transportation, and Outreach and Engagement.

“In an effort to track progress on our Climate Action Plan 2.0 goals, and to join our peer institutions in public, transparent reporting of our sustainability initiatives, we have produced this Annual Report,” explained Anne Papageorge, vice president of Penn’s Division of Facilities & Real Estate Services.

This report is intended to be the first annual, comprehensive, graphic, and concise presentation of progress in key metrics.   Some highlights include:

Carbon Emissions

CAP 2.0 Goal: Achieve the following reductions in carbon emissions from campus buildings (absolute)

  • 7% reduction by 2019 in comparison to the FY14 baseline
  • 18% reduction by 2042 in comparison to the FY14 baseline

2017 Annual Report Progress:

  • Carbon emissions from campus buildings decreased by over 13% since the 2014 baseline.

Academic Course Selection

CAP 2.0 Goal: Expand opportunities for teaching, learning, and researching sustainability among students, staff, and faculty.

2017 Annual Report Progress:

The Penn Sustainable Course Inventory has expanded from 124 to 298 courses, a 140% increase. Sustainability-related research continues to flourish, as exemplified by the multi-million dollar Mellon Foundation grant to the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities, and the Kleinman Center's expanded research on energy policy, fuel economy, utility resilience, and the sustainability of the urban traffic sector.

Landfill Waste

CAP 2.0 Goal: Improve Penn’s environmental performance by minimizing solid waste through community education, strategic purchasing, appropriate infrastructure, and proper disposal, strengthened by relevant and accurate metrics.

2017 Annual Report Progress:

Waste sent to the landfill has decreased by nearly 5% since the 2014 baseline.

According to Penn Sustainability Director Dan Garofalo, this Annual Report has delivered important information that will be used in the creation of Penn’s next five-year sustainability goals. “As we begin to work with representatives from across the University updating our Climate and Sustainability Action Plan for 2019 to 2014, the content of this Annual Report is guiding our conversations and priorities.”

Download a PDF of the FY17 Sustainability Annual Report.

Penn Sustainability is a University-wide initiative to advance environmental sustainability at the University of Pennsylvania, and coordinate programs to develop a more sustainable campus. 

Last Updated: Monday, March 12, 2018