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 Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium

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PERC NEWS

This page features sustainability-related news from PERC Member Campuses.

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  • 15 Jul 2020 8:29 PM | Britani Peterson (Administrator)

    Climate Change and Public Health Infrastructure:
    Issues of Emergency Preparedness

    Join us on Tuesday, July 28 at noon for our third installment of Partners by Nature: Public Health and Sustainability. Our topic is "Climate Change and Public Health Infrastructure: Issues of Emergency Preparedness." Building on our discussion of how climate change has and will continue to impact Pennsylvanians--particularly the most vulnerable among us--three speakers will address the impacts on emergency services and infrastructure across the Commonwealth.

    LINK FOR REGISTRATION: https://forms.gle/DCWPnPVoBZnzHAft8

    Our panelists include:

    - Scott Buchle, Life Lion EMS, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

    - Heidi Kunka, PA Department of Environmental Protection

    - Christian Martin-Gill, Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

    UN Sustainable Development Goals Impacted:
    GOAL 3: Good Health & Well-Being
    GOAL 13: Climate Action

    Gratitude 
    This event is made possible by dues from PERC Member Institutions and by the support of PERC's sponsors, including SodexoNextEra and our newest sponsor, Terrasol Energies. Thank you.

  • 15 Jul 2020 2:19 PM | Britani Peterson (Administrator)

    Congratulations to the New Leadership of Students for Sustainable Action at West chester university

    Students for Sustainable Action (SSA), a campus environmental advocacy group, has new leadership for the 2020-21 academic year. Congratulations to Nicole Caruso, Jennifer Gaffney, Kelly Johnson, and Ashlyn Hickey!

    Check out the SSA on RamConnect for more info and to join:
     https://ramconnect.wcupa.edu/student_community?club_id=22300.

  • 05 Jun 2020 3:47 PM | Anonymous

    Media spotlights HU expansion project | Harrisburg UniversityOur thanks go out to PERC Member Institution Harrisburg University for being the first to pay their 2020-2021 dues. We know that the pandemic has brought financial uncertainty to many higher education institutions and we appreciate HU’s prioritizing the sustainability work that PERC and its member institutions achieve together. Thank you—and thanks to all our member institutions.


  • 30 Apr 2020 10:50 AM | Abbey Castor (Administrator)

    hh The Campus Sustainability Champion title is awarded to students, faculty, administrators, and staff of Pennsylvania colleges and universities who have made meaningful contributions benefiting social, economic, and/or environmental sustainability on their campus, in their community, or in society at large. Contributions can be in areas of teaching, research, co-curricular programs, campus culture, community service, and campus operations, including food recovery.


    2020 CSC Honorees  will be posted daily!  Keep your eyed peeled on social media and our home pages to learn more about our winners!

    https://pagreencolleges.org/2020_CSCs

  • 24 Apr 2020 9:59 AM | Abbey Castor (Administrator)

    Allegheny College recently became the first college or university in Pennsylvania — and the eighth in the United States — to achieve carbon neutrality.

    In 2010, Allegheny set a goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2020 as part of their climate action plan.

    What does it mean to be a carbon-neutral institution? 

    First it reduces its operational carbon footprint and then balances remaining emissions by investing in projects that will remove an equal amount of carbon from the atmosphere.

    How did they  accomplish this?

    • Reducing emissions through efficiency retrofits, system and behavior changes, and sustainable construction and renovation. The college has increased its energy efficiency by 19.2 percent during the last decade, even as the square footage of campus buildings expanded. Reducing energy consumption has led to significant cost savings for Allegheny.

    • Decarbonizing energy sources by shifting from fossil fuel to alternative energy sources. Allegheny has installed geothermal heating and cooling systems in four buildings. In addition, photovoltaic arrays on campus generate 8,500 kilowatt-hours annually, and all electricity purchased by the college comes from wind-generated sources.

    • Offsetting remaining emissions by investing in projects that prevent or remove an equivalent amount of carbon from the atmosphere. Through increased efficiency, the college not only has realized budget savings each year but also has been able to purchase offsets from its existing energy budget without allocating additional funds.

    Carbon neutrality efforts demonstrate urgent climate action to reduce the concentration of climate-changing gases in the atmosphere dramatically, said Allegheny Director of Sustainability Kelly Boulton.

    “Achieving carbon neutrality reflects more than a decade of effort to enhance efficiency in our operations, engage students in our research and action, and build collaborations with partners,” she said. “Carbon neutrality is not the end goal but rather another moment of progress in our continued efforts to be a sustainable and resilient campus and community member.”

    https://sites.allegheny.edu/news/2020/04/14/allegheny-college-becomes-first-college-in-pennsylvania-eighth-in-nation-to-achieve-carbon-neutrality


  • 22 Apr 2020 5:02 PM | Abbey Castor (Administrator)


    Like universities and colleges around the world, WCU has had to revise our plans for Earth Day 2020. We’ll miss celebrating in person with friends, classmates, and co-workers, but we’re carrying on with the message and mission of Earth Day this year, the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day protests and demonstrations in 1970. Here are some ways we can all participate in the theme of Earth Day this year – climate action – with events planned here on campus and by partner organizations: 

    From April 22 to 24, people across the world will come together for a three-day online event focused on climate action called Earth Day Live. Click here to find out more.

    Earth Day Live will be a 3-day live stream and online mobilization to engage people across the world as we demand action on from our leaders on climate change, jobs, and justice. On all three days, we are centering the stories and voices of leaders from communities of color, frontline communities, indigenous communities, workers, and more.

    The live stream will include training sessions, performances, and appearances to keep people engaged, informed, and inspired, with speakers including celebrities, politicians, scientists, and youth activists.

    Here's an overview of what's happening each day:

    • April 22 — STRIKE: On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we will demonstrate our collective power and unity through community building and storytelling. This first day will focus on amplifying the voice of Indigenous leaders and youth climate activists who are leading the movement to halt the climate crisis.
    • April 23 — DIVEST: The world’s largest banks have pumped $1.9 trillion into fossil fuels since the 2015 Paris Agreement. We can’t let fossil fuel companies use the pandemic to loot trillions more when people need relief so desperately. Led by the Stop the Money Pipeline Coalition, April 23rd focuses on the role of money in driving the climate crisis.
    • April 24 — VOTE: We need leaders who will address the existential threat of climate change, and for this to happen, we need people to show up at the polls. Led by the US Youth Strike Coalition, April 24th will focus on the urgency of political change through a nationwide youth voter registration day.

    Click here to RSVP to Earth Day Live and take part in one of the biggest days of digital action the climate movement has ever seen.

    The 50th anniversary of Earth Day is a day to demonstrate our collective power and unity through community building and storytelling. Just because we can't be together in person, doesn't mean that we can't stand together in spirit.

  • 22 Apr 2020 10:37 AM | Abbey Castor (Administrator)

    Dickinson College has reached it's 2020 carbon neutral goal and is one of the first in the U.S to produce zero net emissions of greenhouse gases. 

    “My impression of Dickinson’s sustainability is [it’s] so impressive, so heartfelt, so encouraging,” says actor and environmental activist Pierce Brosnan, who delivered the college's 2019 Commencement address and accepted the Sam Rose ’58 and Julie Walters Prize at Dickinson College for Global Environmental Activism on behalf of the NRDC. “I’m absolutely blown away by the commitment of the students [and] the faculty, to educate, to enlighten to enhance a better world for us all.”

    Check out their Youtube Video here

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRSDqSTSWww&feature=youtu.be

    Fore more information on the carbon neutrality push click here   https://www.dickinson.edu/news/article/4171/dickinson_s_reaches_its_2020_carbon_neutrality_goal

  • 11 Apr 2020 1:16 PM | Abbey Castor (Administrator)

    The Council of Sustainable Leaders at Penn State have been hosting a variety of showcases this spring offering connections between faculty research and personal and professional interest for the United Nation's SDG's. The speakers have been invited to give a thirty-minute talk and answer any questions attendees may have.

    The events were originally held in person but have been moved onto the zoom platform.

    The Events are Friday's at 12 p.m.- 1:30 p.m 

    To gain access to the zoom link, and take a look at the up coming speakers, visit their website here! https://www.pennstatecsl.com/showcases-spring-2020.html

  • 08 Apr 2020 1:38 PM | Abbey Castor (Administrator)

    "I have been thinking that the current situation provides some interesting insights regarding behavior change in the midst of a crisis.  COVID-19 is a crisis now, with dire implications and it is still challenging to get people to change behaviors.  Climate change is an emergency with a different timeline, but still with dire implications so maybe we can draw conclusions from the way people are responding to different behavior change messages"

    Ken Shultes, Associate VP for Sustainability & Facilities Planning


  • 30 Mar 2020 2:59 PM | Abbey Castor (Administrator)

    “Sustainability is…the foremost challenge of the CoVid public health emergency we are currently facing,” says Paul Shrivastava, Chief Sustainability Officer and Director of Penn State’s Sustainability Institute. In a recent communication with PERC, he continued, “CoVid and other viruses originate from unsustainable human food systems and land use practices. Viral vectors are accentuated by climate change. So CoVid is very much a sustainability issue. In the current hot phase of the Covid crisis the focus is on health and wellbeing (SDG Goal #3), also close behind is financial sustainability (SDG Goals # 8, 9, 10). After this hot phase we will continue to address CoVid effects on reducing inequalities (SDG Goal #10) creating livable Cities (SDG Goal # 11), sustainable production and consumption (SDG Goal #12).”

     

    An insight we thought worth sharing. We welcome your thoughts and comments and hope you all are staying well and safe in these challenging times.


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