PERC NEWS

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

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  • 17 Apr 2019 11:29 AM | Pat Manion (Administrator)

    This past April 9th, the PERC interns had the pleasure of attending the PERC 2019 Spring Conference and Annual Meeting. The theme of the day was “Blueprint for the Future,” which was reinforced throughout the day by the numerous accomplished speakers and leaders in sustainability efforts who shared what they had to say with the conference attendees. Each speaker had much to say about each of their subjects, simultaneously raising awareness of our current state in combating the impact of climate change, and inspiring our outlook on how we can go about combating those impacts.

    The day for us started at the crack of dawn, with Tom Simpson, Franklin & Marshall’s Sustainability Coordinator, picking us up for our early morning drive to the conference. We arrived at State College just in time to help set up and shortly after enjoyed a light breakfast whilst making introductions with numerous PERC members. The conference kicked off at 9 a.m. with warm welcome from Josh Hooper, PERC’s Executive Director and Ben Culbertson, PERC’s President. Shortly after, Brian Noonan of Brookfield Renewable offered an in-depth sponsor’s perspective, that offered a variety of information on the benefits of hydro power in times where adopting green energy is becoming more and more urgent.

    After, Paul Shrivastava, Penn State’s Chief Sustainability Officer, gave a powerful presentation on the current state of Pennsylvania’s efforts toward sustainable developments, discussing how we can improve through addressing particular issues as a state. He went over the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development, a theme brought up many times throughout the rest of the day. (For the master PowerPoint of the entire conference day click here!)

    Following that, a panel including Caroline Fox, Jeffrey Brownson, and Lisa Davis discussed the state of sustainable development in Pennsylvania. Moving on from there, Ted Monk, the Vice President of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility for Sodexo North America discussed Sodexo’s efforts toward the Sustainable Development Goals. Following that, a panel discussing how our member colleges and universities work with Pennsylvania cities to meet targets for sustainable development was led by Shauna Barnhart, Ilona Ballreich, and Olivia Termini.

    Lunch was served and then the Keynote commenced. John Quigley, the founding Director of the Center for Environment, Energy & Economy and Lecturer in Sustainability at the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, and formerly the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, shared his thoughts about the present and future state of sustainability in Pennsylvania, his past experiences with the roles he filled over the years, and what roles we could play moving forward. After the Keynote, a poster session ensued, where we talked to a variety of undergraduate and graduate students about their research in sustainable efforts across Pennsylvania. After that, 2019's Campus Sustainability Champions were recognized, click here to find out more about the designees.

    The final panel of the day started, and it was about operational success stories members and partners have experienced in recent times. The speakers were Nick Goodfellow, Rob Cooper, and Chris Steuer, who brought hopeful accounts on successful campus projects and how they aligned with sustainable projects in the state of Pennsylvania and the Sustainable Development Goals. Lastly, the Sustainability Cafe was held, where we all workshopped as students, faculty, and staff, and discussed how each of our respective roles in college life could be used in helping our own institutions adopt more sustainable practices, which was followed by the closing remarks of the day from Josh and Ben, after which the conference came to a close.



  • 07 Apr 2019 9:50 PM | Pat Manion (Administrator)

    Millersville University is yet another Pennsylvania campus working toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The university recently opened their first zero energy building, the Lombardo Welcome Center. As an EPA Green Power Partner, the building features over 500 rooftop solar panels, a geothermal heating system, and an energy-efficient design that allow it to generate more energy than it consumes. “Zero energy starts with energy efficiency. The Lombardo Welcome Center is about 60 percent more energy efficient than the other buildings on campus,” explains MU sustainability manager, Chris Steuer. “The University of committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2040. This building encapsulates those aspirations in form and in function.” Learn more about the zero energy building here!


  • 07 Apr 2019 9:19 PM | Pat Manion (Administrator)

    Lancaster City, along with many other municipalities nation-wide, recently reduced what its regular recycling pick-up accepts, no longer accepting office paper in the single-stream bin. Franklin and Marshall College has found a way to work around the new regulations, collecting paper on their own to drop off at the city’s recycling center. The center is still accepting office paper, just not collecting it. F&M’s Center for the Sustainable Environment (CSE) on campus has distributed green bins, specifically for office paper collection, to “Green-Certified” offices on campus. Offices on campus are rated in terms of their sustainability efforts, a process which takes into consideration their energy consumption and conservation, recycling efforts, and other waste reduction efforts such as coffee pots in replace of Keurig-cups and electronic versus printed newsletters. Once an office has been green-certified, they have proven their commitment to sustainability and are eligible for an office paper only recycling bin. So far, eleven offices on campus have these bins. The paper is collected from the bins and transported by the school to the Lancaster City Recycling Center.

    - Sarabeth Erdman

  • 06 Apr 2019 2:20 PM | Pat Manion (Administrator)

    PERC is focusing on communications this year as an overall strategy to be able to promote and amplify the sustainability successes of our campuses. As a result of that we have two interns working with us on communications and outreach enhancement. Sarabeth Erdman and Pat Manion are both seniors at Franklin and Marshall college with interests in environmental studies and sustainability. Sarabeth is PERC’s Member Outreach/Social Media intern, while Pat is PERC’s Web Communication intern. Sarabeth has been focusing on contacting member schools regarding their recent sustainability news and achievements, as well as developing multiple social media platforms for PERC. Pat has been working to redevelop and modernize PERC’s website, as well as organizing the Perc News page and uploading news of member schools' achievements to the Perc website!


  • 05 Apr 2019 1:16 PM | Pat Manion (Administrator)

    Dickinson College's new residence hall is the latest building on campus to be recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council for its sustainable construction and footprint. And this time, it’s the council’s highest honor: LEED Platinum.

    (More...)



  • 05 Apr 2019 12:46 PM | Pat Manion (Administrator)

    The University of Pittsburgh has recently been recognized by both the Pennsylvania Resources Council (PRC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for their food recovery achievements.

    Food Recovery Heroes, a student group at The University of Pittsburgh committed to sustainability began recovering surplus food from a campus bakery in 2014 when they noticed food was being thrown out at the end of the night. After conversations with chefs and volunteer recruitment, four years later students are recovering from multiple dining halls and cafeterias across campus including the basketball arena after games and concerts. Students and Pitt Dining teamed up with the local food recovery organization 412 Food Rescue and together the students, Pitt Dining, and 412 Food Rescue have recovered more than 23,000 pounds of surplus food from campus - delivering it to local hunger-fighting agencies in the area including the campus food pantry and the local housing authority.

    Nick Goodfellow, Sustainability Coordinator at Pitt, calls the student group an “invaluable member of the Pitt service and sustainability community.” The group’s efforts have led to the recognition Pitt has received in the past year regarding the university’s sustainability practices.

    The PRC’s Zero Waste Awards aim to recognize environmental leaders for their commitment to sustainability and waste diversion. Pitt was awarded the Zero Waste Excellence award in early 2019. This award followed the EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional award in the Data Driven category for colleges and universities, at the end of 2018. The university was recognized for their success with the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge.

    The Food Recovery Heroes are now moving forward with a compost program expansion to compost 50% of food waste by 2025.

    Check out the full stories regarding both the PRC and EPA’s awards!

  • 02 Apr 2019 9:38 PM | Pat Manion (Administrator)

    On Feb. 5, Penn State and Lightsource BP announced the development of a large-scale, ground-mounted solar array of over 150,000 solar panels near Penn State’s Mont Alto Campus. This 70-megawatt, off-site solar energy project will support the University’s Strategic Plan, helping implement the plan’s "Stewarding Our Planet’s Resources" key pillar and supplying up to 25 percent of the University system’s electricity. 

    (More...

  • 12 Feb 2019 2:09 PM | Pat Manion (Administrator)

    Michael Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric science, Penn State, has been awarded the 2019 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. Founded in 1973, the Tyler Prize — often referred to as the "Nobel Prize for the Environment" — remains the premiere international award for environmental science.

    (More...)

  • 30 Nov 2018 2:12 PM | Pat Manion (Administrator)

    Swarthmore has made it a mission to lead in the climate change movement: The College was one of the first to adopt a carbon charge, hosted a workshop at the recent Global Climate Action Summit, and has committed to being a zero-waste campus by 2022.

    (More...)

  • 02 Jun 2016 9:17 AM | Chris Steuer

    Millersville University Finds New Home for Residence Hall Furniture

    Millersville University’s Purchasing and Campus Services Department recently found opportunities to reuse over 1,600 pieces of furniture from the Gaige Residence Hall by donating them to local charities.

    “To avoid just disposing of 300 sets of room furnishings, Lauren Weitzel, our assistant director of Purchasing and Campus Services, canvassed multiple charitable organizations in the area to see if there was a need,” said David Errickson, director of Purchasing and Campus Services. “She was very successful and, beginning on May 12, had organized the donation of over 1,600 pieces of furniture spared from the landfill, and benefitting four local non-profits – Water Street Rescue Mission, Refugee Resettlement, Habitat Restore and Nuestra Clinica.  In addition, a number of pieces of furniture were donated to Thaddeus Stevens College and Student Lodging Inc.”

    Gaige Residence Hall is slated for demolition during the summer of 2016.  The work was completed during a short interval between the close of the building on May 11, and the start of the demolition sequence on May 24.

    Refugee Resettlement, which provides immigration and refugee services to thousands of refugees fleeing oppression all over the world, was among the recipients.  Additionally, MU donated furniture to Nuestra Clinica, part of the Spanish American Civil Association (SACA), which provides rehabilitation support and halfway house accommodations for needy Spanish Americans in Lancaster County as well as Water Street Rescue Mission which provides food and shelter to the homeless in Lancaster County. Lastly, MU donated furniture to the Lancaster Habitat Restore—a donation center that sells new and gently-used furniture to help fund their organization—and Thaddeus Stevens College.

    In addition to donating the furniture, Millersville was able to identify a company that recycled the mattresses, thereby diverting them from the landfill.

    Source Article on Millersville University’s Exchange: http://blogs.millersville.edu/exchange/2016/05/31/gaige-innards-put-to-good-use/#comment-136860

     

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