Penn Pilots More Sustainability Projects Through Another Round of Green Fund Grants

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Media Contact:Julie McWilliams | | 215-898-1422April 30, 2012

PHILADELPHIA – The Penn Green Campus Partnership has awarded five Green Fund grants ranging from a comprehensive recycling center within the School of Engineering and Applied Science to a behavior-change project focusing on water conservation. This spring’s grants bring the total number of Green Fund projects to 41.

The School of Arts and Sciences will use its Green Fund grant to replace a 21-year-old, fossil-fuel-powered delivery van used for on-campus equipment pickups and deliveries with a Columbia ParCar Mega Van, an electric vehicle that will serve as a pilot for future additions to the School’s fleet.

The Ware College House hand-dryer comparison project suggests a potential for significant conservation and cost savings and will determine the feasibility of wide-scale hand-dryers use.  The project will compare two market-leading hand dryers using data collected on energy consumption, sound and user feedback.

The School of Engineering and Applied Science received a Green Fund grant to establish a state-of-the-art recycling center which will provide areas to recycle compact fluorescent and incandescent light bulbs, ink and toner cartridges, hardcover books and bound materials, electronic waste, pens and markers, batteries, magazines and used paper towel composting.  With its de facto training program for housekeepers and maintenance staff, this project can be easily replicated across schools and centers.

Digital shower timers will be used in two college houses to discover the most effective behavior change messaging related to water conservation. Variable signage will be compared to determine the most effective timer and signage combination. The project leaders suggest the timers will not only save water energy, decreasing Penn's water footprint, but will also encourage lifelong sustainable conservation policies.

The fifth project to be funded is the purchase of equipment to enhance Housekeeping's green cleaning efforts.  Twenty battery-operated totes will process tap water to a higher alkalinity, making it an effective cleaning agent. The Green Fund also approved funding for four machines that can strip any floor with only a water base. These machines will expand green cleaning practices across the campus.

Additional information on the Penn Green Fund is available here.