Spring 2013


Happy Spring from your friends at PERC. In the spirit of Earth Day, PERC is pleased to announce its latest initiative, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Food Recovery Challenge. Designed in cooperation with the U.S. EPA and made possible by a support from PERC Sustaining Sponsor Sodexo, the PHE-FRC will reduce food waste and cut carbon in the process.  To our knowledge, it is the first statewide project of its kind in country.

We invite your school to sign up to participate in this exciting sustainability project. PERC Member Schools can participate in 
this statewide Challenge at no cost. Among other benefits of the Challenge, it’s a chance to reduce your school's carbon footprint, increase campus education about climate change, engender student engagement in sustainability and to build campus-community connections.

EPA will supply the tracking software, technical expertise and project guidance. PERC will provide communications and education about the Challenge--who’s made the commitment, challenges met, lessons learned and more. Visit the PHE-FRC project's home page to find out more about the project and its benefits. For a description of what is involved in participating in the project, go to the PHE-FRC: Taking The Challenge page. Both pages have links to sign up for the Challenge.

Over the next month or so, as schools begin to sign up, we will keep all of PERC posted.  So be one of the first schools to join the Food Recovery Challenge: it’s a great sustainability project with important benefits. Questions or ideas?  Email Josh Hooper, PERC's Executive Director or phone (717-975-8705). Join us.

Free event scholarships
Member School Highlight
Free EnergyPath 2013 Scholarships are available for students, faculty and staff from PERC Member Schools!  EnergyPath is a week-long event, held this year in June at PERC Member School Villanova University, that offers both workshop and conference learning opportunities about renewable energy. PERC Members can find out more and sign up by clicking here!  If your school is not a PERC Member, learn more here. (The value of these scholarships can offset your dues several times over. )

State Capitol Event
PERC's Climate Change Working Group, along with Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light, the Pennsylvania Sierra Club, 
and Penn Future, are organizing an event to take place in the State Capitol in Harrisburg on April, 24. This event will seek to bring attention to the performance of Pennsylvania in reducing the threat of climate change to provoke a public discussion about policies that are needed to reduce GHG emissions from Pennsylvania.

This event will be comprised of two parts: 1) A two-hour seminar in the state capitol that would summarize the latest science about the enormous global need to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, compare Pennsylvania performance in reducing the threat of climate change with other US states, provinces, or governments around the world of comparable size, identify policy and legislative needs to greatly improve Pennsylvania performance on reducing the threat of climate change. 2) A press conference in the state capitol to review conclusions reached in the seminar.  Any interested PERC Members are invited to attend. Contact Don Brown, chair of PERC's Climate Change Working Group for the exact meeting place.

PERC Member school Franklin & Marshall College, located in Lancaster, has taken one giant leap towards a more sustainable future by approving its Sustainability Master Plan. This plan extends for twenty year and includes impressive goals such as containing 100 percent of storm water produced on campus, meeting 80 percent of campus energy needs through college-owned and leased renewable sources, and require all new buildings to meet LEED Silver building standards. F&M was the first college to support Keystone Solar, PA's largest utility scale solar project.

F&M has also begun the initiative of kicking all plastic water bottles off campus with newly approved water-filling stations. The initiative, led by Sean Tippen, a student employee of the Wohlsen Center for the Sustainable Environment, will be seen across campus by early summer. The college has budgeted to give every student a Nalgene water bottle to celebrate the removal of plastic water bottles from all dining services.

This past week, Franklin & Marshall hosted its annual Sustainability Week to bring awareness to students about the importance of “going green”. Special events occur every day aimed to educate students and encourage participation. An annual favorite at F&M's Sustainability Week is the Trashion Show, with clothes fashioned from discarded materials. Other Sustainability Week highlights: a free organic and local lunch, and a special visit from environmental stewardess and author of the viral Internet video Story of Stuff, Annie Leonard. Learn more about F&M's sustainability initiatives online.

Sponsor Update
2013-2014 Dues

Click to go to Sodexo's sitePERC is pleased to welcome our new Sustaining Annual Sponsor, Sodexo.  Sodexo's sponsorship provided the funds to make possible the PA Higher Ed Food Recovery Challenge.  We deeply appreciate their commitment. In addition, longtime PERC sponsor Community Energy Inc. has renewed their Gold Annual Sponsorship. A number of PERC schools have signed up to partner Keystone Solarin CEI's Keystone Solar Project, PA largest utility scale solar. Our sponsors continuing confidence in the work we do means a lot. 

Teaching Climate  Change

 The Climate Change Working Group (CCWG) has made a recommendation that each PERC School organize an event this calendar year that educates students  and civil society on the enormity of the challenge of climate change. We are tracking events on a dedicated Climate Change Education page on the PERC website.

The CCWG writes: "There is a case to be made that higher education needs to do a much better job in educating all students (not just environmental and science majors) and civil society about the urgency of reducing the threat of climate change. The event is to educate students and civil society about the scientific and factual basis for why climate change is being viewed by the mainstream scientific community as an urgent civilization challenging threat. PERC suggests that this event discuss several elements of human-induced climate change that one must know to understand why climate change is being viewed by mainstream science as a global emergency of the highest importance." 

Please let us know if you are holding (or have held) such an event. If you need help thinking through content for your event, reach to CCWG chair Don Brown.

Intern News

 Thanks to Jessica Holtzapple, PERC intern from Millersville, who has worked since fall semester on a range of projects from our GHG survey to PERC's database and web page editing.  Thanks as well to Dan Friere from F&M, who helped developed the template for this newsletter. Both of these students made a significant contribution to PERC: our gratitude to each of you.

Dr. Daniel Porterfield, F&M College PresidentWe understand that President Porterfield of F&M College is sending a letter  to his fellow presidents of Pennsylvania higher ed institutions this week, encouraging them to renew their membership in PERC. We appreciate his vote of confidence and wanted to let you know that dues invoices, while sent in May, are dated June 1st with a due date of July 31st (allowing members to choose to charge dues to this fiscal year or next). 

If you would like an invoice earlier than May, please reply to this email and let us know. 

Keep Us in the loop

What's going on on your campus? We know that there is a lot of good work being done at PERC Member School campuses.  We suspect that there is sustainability work happening on our campuses that we know little about. This is your chance to share.

  • Are you having a sustainability event on campus that is open to PERC Members? Let us know about it with a description (and a picture, if applicable) and we'll get it in the Events section of the PERC site.
  • Is there a sustainability project you are working on that you want to share? Let us know about it?  
  • Are you planning for (or have already held) a climate change education event for the campus community? Send us a quick summary with date and time and we will add it to the Climate Change Education page.
  • Should your campus be in he next Member School highlight?  Write up a summary and include a picture or two.  It will go in a future newsletter and appear on our website as well.
Help us learn from each other by letting us know what's sustainability work is happening on your campus.
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