Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium

 Higher Education connecting, collaborating and taking action



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

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  • 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.

  • 30 Mar 2020 12:54 PM | Abbey Castor (Administrator)

    West Chester University had been hosting Sustainability Research and Practice Seminars every Wednesday for students, faculty, and members of the community. However, as we all adapt to life with COVID-19, they decided to move the seminar to a webinar!

    The presentations will still take place every Wednesday at noon through April 22, 2020. HERE:

    On March 18, Professor Kathleen Riley of WCU’s Literacy Department and Professor Elizabeth Soslau, University of Delaware, kicked off the new format with Preparing Youth for (Climate) Action: Philadelphia Teachers Facilitating Student-Led Social Change in Elementary and Middle School Classrooms (a recording of their fascinating talk will soon be available, as are previous presentations from this semester, on the Office of Sustainability’s Digital Commons Sustainability Research and Creative Activities site).

    Check our Twitter at pagreencolleges for updates

     Here is the link again: Zoom link (

  • 26 Mar 2020 12:57 PM | Abbey Castor (Administrator)

    On April 7, 2020, colleges in every state in the US will engage in a new set of power dialogs. Solve Climate by 2030, organized through the Bard Center for Environmental Policy, will host a nationally coordinated on-line event with hundreds of participating schools in every state. College and University partners across the US are coordinating this convening of hundreds of conversations focused on the  potential to solve the energy side of climate change by 2030. 

    The event features 52 simultaneous, University hosted webinars, one in every state, and in DC and Puerto Rico. That evening, we will find out what are three, ambitious but feasible actions that need doing in Texas and Idaho, Missouri and New Jersey, Florida and Minnesota, if we really aim to solve climate change by 2030. Start times vary in the evening by state. The two-hour event begins with the university-hosted, one-hour state-level webinars in each state, followed by 45 minutes of community dialogs.

    The Pennsylvania event will be hosted through PERC Member school Penn State. The Pennsylania webinar will focus on strategies that Pennsylvania can adopt to address climate change in the next ten years. Panelists include:

    Some of the speakers at the event will be 

    Jacqui Bonomo, the Executive Director, PennFuture

    Joylette Portlock, Executive Director, Sustainable Pittsburgh

    Hannah Smith-Brubaker, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture 

    Grant Ervin, Chief Resiliency Officer, City of Pittsburgh

    Click here to read more

    The timing and scheduling of this event is up to each individual campus and community, based on their needs and whether they want to coordinate with the national Solve Climate event.. If you would like to stay informed about the event register with the link here!

    On April 7th, you can view the webinar HERE:

    Link to Join:

  • 26 Mar 2020 12:47 PM | Abbey Castor (Administrator)

    The Sustainable Development Goals are about more than just climate change. In the Public Health and Sustainability Webinar members from Penn State’s Sustainability Institute and public health officials from all across the state of Pennsylvania came together to discuss the synergy between the goals and public health.

    The SDG’s are a group of attainable goals, set by nations all around the world, to achieve by the year 2030. The idea is to advance global progress and fix climate change. There are 17 goals that address global issues surrounding clean water and sanitation for all, the ending of extreme poverty, the education of women, and things like clean energy, good health, peace and justice. 

    Goal 17 for the SDG’s is Partnership for the Goals, which is exactly why this collaboration is crucial to creating change. The need for a dialogue has never been more urgent. Pennsylvania is ranked 30th out of all 50 states in the U.S for achieving the goals. 

    This webinar provided an excellent overview of the relationship between human activity and the natural world, specifically honing in on the public health aspect. When comparing the social and economic factors of society with the earth’s system trends there are direct correlations between what people are doing and the impacts on the earth. As this trend line continues to go up, we see failures within the public health sector for humanity. Public health is all about the education and empowerment of communities to cure and prevent disease. 

    The interconnected web in the public health sector ranges from biologists, to elected officials, and lab testing centers, mental health facilities, hospitals, schools, etc… the goal is to have healthy people. But as we see things like increased warm climates, with less winter seasons, we also see things like lyme disease increasing. Without a winter, tick populations can survive longer and grow and infect more people.  When talking about ground level ozones and allergens, people that are dealing with building community parks can work to fight climate change, and promote cleaner air for people to breathe without even realizing it. Planting trees and building those parks can mitigate the urban heat island effect up to 9 degrees which is a significant impact for communities. The intersection between public health and the sustainable development goals addresses the increased possibility of infectious diseases, but enables programs like some in Philadelphia that look at the correlation between the health of the environment and maternal mortality rates. 

    The goal is to attain healthy and thriving human life and eliminate the disparity between certain groups of people. The goal is to promote social, physical, and economic environments that get communities to reach their full potential and well-being. Pennsylvania is a diverse place and coming together for this webinar is the start in creating a healthier state to be.

    If you would like to view a recording of the webinar view this link here

    A very big thank you to all of our speakers!!!

    Josh Hooper Director of PERC

    Peter Boger Assistant Director for Community Engagement, Penn State Sustainability Institute

    Peter Buck President-elect of PERC and academic programs manager, Penn State Sustainability Institute

    Lisa Davis Director of the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health

    Rebecca Kishbaugh Director of Division Cancer Prevention and Control for the Pennsylvania Department of Health

    Ruth McDermott-Levy Director for Center for Global and Public Health at Villanova University 

  • 03 Mar 2020 12:18 PM | Abbey Castor (Administrator)

    Monday, March 16 @ 5 p.m.

    Perkins Center, Multi Purpose Room

    For an inside look into the rise of the Global Youth Climate Movement. Youth Unstoppable follows the evolution of a diverse network of youth rising up to share the world they live in. It captures the vibrant untold story of the Global Youth Climate Movement and how decisions made today will shape the world that they live in.

    This Event features Shana Rose who is Reading for 100’s Berks County Outreach Coordinator and will share her experience as a delegate at the two recent United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) or COP23 & COP25 in Bonn, Germany and Madrid, Spain.

    They ask that attendees bring their own cup for refreshments to cut down on waste! 

    For more information contact Masha Kazempour at 610-296-6312


  • 18 Dec 2019 7:14 AM | Josh Hooper (Administrator)

    Is your school part of PERC’s PA Higher Ed Food Recovery Challenge (PHE-FRC)? Are you interested in learning more about food recovery techniques? Check out next Thursday’s EPA webinar on Methods for Measuring Excess Food. The PHE-FRC is a partnership between Sodexo, PERC and the U.S. EPA.

  • 10 Dec 2019 12:43 PM | Marcus Thompson (Administrator)

    Making it Work

    Ten years ago, a group of Shippensburg Area Middle School students were looking for a project to better their community. In cooperation with Shippensburg University art professor Ben Culbertson and a host of others from the town and the university, they created and deployed 300 ceramic storm drain markers with the idea of educating the public about where storm water goes. Read more about this fascinating project here.

    This is just one of the projects we will examine up close as part of PERC's Making it Work-A Workshop on Partnerships for Sustainability, on January 10th at Bucknell University. The agenda for the event can be found here

    Click here to register! For a step by step walkthrough on how to register click here!

  • 05 Dec 2019 2:30 PM | Marcus Thompson (Administrator)

    How to Change the World

    The Office of Sustainability, the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility, and the Environmental Studies Program at Swarthmore College will be hosting a public lecture by Paul Hawken, founder of Project Drawdown “the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming”, on December 6th! Not only will Hawken be in attendance but three other sustainability leaders from Hawai`i:

    Kamuela Enos, Director of Social Innovation at MA'O Organic Farms

    Matt Lynch, Director of Sustainability Initiatives at the University of Hawaii 

    Lala Nuss, Climate and Equity Manager at the City and County of Honolulu's Office of Climate Change, Sustainability, and Resiliency

    Paul Hawken and Kamuela Enos Public Lecture will be from 4:30 - 6:00 pm at the Science Center, room 101. This discussion will consist of solutions to climate crisis, indigenous practices, and centering marginalized communities in climate conversations. 

  • 04 Dec 2019 11:09 AM | Marcus Thompson (Administrator)

    Congratulations to Franklin and Marshall on winning the 2019 October College Month challenge held by Commuter Services. The goal of Commuter Services is to reduce the amount of solo car rides that PA commuters are taking by walking, biking, telecommuting, carpooling, vanpooling, riding the bus, or taking a train. Franklin and Marshall were able to record 538 “green” commuting trips during October securing their first-place finish. Anyone can join the Commuter Service challenge by joining on their website. Start going on more“green” commuting trips and enter them into Commuter Service to earn rewards! 

  • 02 Dec 2019 11:17 AM | Marcus Thompson (Administrator)

    Dickinson College Free xChange

    Dickinson College is the home of the Free xChange. The Free xChange is open everyday and offers free clothing to any student, faculty and staff of Dickinson. Anyone with card access to Allison can also donate clothes they no longer need. This is a system of freely trading clothes within this institution which reduces waste, decreases ordering new “things” and increases clothing reuse on campus.

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