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An Earth Day Look at what your PERC dues have accomplished

Excerpts from a letter to PERC Reps from PERC Executive Director Josh Hooper on April 22, 2020

I hope you are finding cause for celebration on this, the 50th Anniversary Earth Day. It is quite fair to say we have never seen times like these in our lifetime. The international pandemic has taken a toll on nearly every organization, certainly including higher education institutions. With that in mind, the Executive Committee has opted to extend the period for PERC Member Institutions to pay their dues. Invoices will be sent within the week--about a month earlier than usual, and PERC has increased the grace period to 60 days, which extends the effective due date to August 31st. This will give over 120 days to pay this year’s dues; allowing the flexibility to either pay with remaining funds from the current year or to wait until the coming fiscal year. We hope this flexibility will prove of some help during this challenging time.

That said, we express our thanks to Member Institutions like yours. PERC dues are the foundational funds that allow PERC to do the work it does. So, it seems fitting that we take a twelve month look back at some of things PERC accomplished this year with your support:

  • Coming up this month on April 29th: PERC’s C-PACE webinar produced in partnership with the Sustainable Energy Fund. With the pandemic causing cash flow concerns for nearly every campus, the Executive Committee thought this webinar, which explores the little known money-saving benefits to higher education of the C-PACE program, would prove especially timely.
  • Last April saw “Blueprint for the Future,” PERC’s conference on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and higher education. The conference was a great success with the Executive Committee resolving to use the SDGs as a focusing point for PERC’s future events and initiatives.
  • In November we held “Climate Choices Deliberation” at Penn State, a workshop to build the capacity to communicate about climate change and build knowledge, understanding and the will to take action. A follow up event is being discussed for the coming year.
  • Our workshop for the January break, “Making It Work,” took place at Bucknell’s campus. This event focused on community/campus sustainability partnerships and featured Heidi Kunka, the director of DEP’s Local Government Climate Action Assistance Program, a program that PERC partnered with DEP to launch.
  • March saw “Partners by Nature” a PERC webinar that focused on how healthcare and sustainability professionals can collaborate across sectors on projects and initiatives using the framework of the SDGs.
  • PERC Member Institution Penn State hosted the Pennsylvania version of “Solve Climate by 2030,” a nationwide webinar focused on what strategies Pennsylvania can adopt to address climate change in the next 10 years.
  • For the eighth time we have selected a cohort of PERC Campus Sustainability Champions, recognizing the extraordinary work being done in sustainability by students, faculty, staff and administration. The listing of the PERC 2020 CSC honorees was just added to PERC’s website.
  • This is our ninth successful year of PERC’s Pennsylvania Higher Education Food Recovery Challenge, a partnership between PERC, the U.S. EPA and Sodexo, a multiple award winning,  multi-campus effort that has diverted food waste reducing greenhouse gas emissions by well over 1,000 MTCO2e.
  • This year saw the re-design and update of PERC’s website—with improvements to both the look and user experience of our site.
  • This year also marked a significant increase in our presence on social media—both Twitter and Facebook. We also have increased the postings of news of interest to and about our Member Institutions on the “PERC News” section of our website. We encourage you to share news on your sustainability efforts with us so that we can promote and amplify your work.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me at any time to discuss any aspect of your membership in PERC. In closing, let me personally thank you for your support of PERC. We couldn’t do the work we do without you.

Josh Hooper
Executive Director
Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium

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