Log In
  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.88
Liaison Mary Easterling
Submission Date Sept. 14, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Pennsylvania State University
PA-1: Sustainability Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Mary Easterling
Assoc Director, Analysis & Assessment
Sustainability Institute
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have at least one sustainability committee?:
Yes

The charter or mission statement of the committee(s) or a brief description of each committee's purview and activities:

The Sustainability Institute's Executive Committee is comprised of the Provost and five vice presidents, representing Undergrad Education, Student Affairs, Finance and Business, Research, and Outreach. The role of this committee is to provide advice and feedback to the Sustainability Institute, and to foster two-way communication between the SI and each VP's constituents. This committee meets quarterly with the Sustainability Institute.

The Penn State Student Sustainability Advisory Council provides consultation and advice on Penn State sustainability planning, programs, and initiatives. The Council meets bi-monthly for discussions and planning. The Council is comprised of student leaders, appointed by the President, with experience and interest in studying, advancing, and promoting sustainability. http://sites.psu.edu/ssac/

The newly-formed Sustainable Operations Council includes leaders of Finance & Business units, Intercollegiate Athletics, and Hershey Medical Center. The Council will facilitate interaction among F&B units, and between the units and the Sustainability Institute, to create a more comprehensive, coordinated, and strategic approach to decision-making and initiatives in the sustainability realm.

In addition, some of Penn State's colleges have their own sustainability committee - for example, the Smeal College of Business has established the Smeal Sustainability Council. http://www.smeal.psu.edu/sustainability/about-us/community


Members of each committee, including affiliations and role (e.g. staff, student, or faculty):

Sustainability Institute Executive Committee:
Nicholas Jones, Executive Vice President and Provost
David Gray, Senior Vice President for Finance and Business/ Treasurer
Robert Pangborn, Vice President and Dean for Undergraduate Education
Neil Sharkey, Vice President for Research
Damon Sims, Vice President for Student Affairs
Craig Weidemann, Vice President for Outreach and Vice Provost for Online Education

The Penn State Student Sustainability Advisory Council currently consists of 2 student co-chairs (currently, Haley Bendis and Jenna Hakun), 20 student members, 4 faculty/ staff members, and a staff adviser.

Sustainable Operations Council:
Jeremy Bean, Sustainability Institute, Co-chair
Lisa Wandel, Auxiliary & Business Services, Co-chair
Steve Maruszewski, Physical Plant
Mark Bodenschatz, Athletics
Elena Manges, Commonwealth Campuses
David Rose, Auxiliary & Business Services
David Gindhart, Information Technology Services
Rob Cooper, Physical Plant, Energy Services
Dean McCracken, Purchasing
Linda Tobin, Human Resources
Eric Strucko, Hershey Medical Center
Erik Foley, Faculty, Smeal College of Business
Emily Fucinatos Student
Aaron Blackney, Student


Does the institution have at least one sustainability office that includes more than 1 full-time equivalent (FTE) employee?:
Yes

A brief description of each sustainability office:

The Sustainability Institute's mission is to lead and support Penn State in the pursuit of sustainability across all functions of the University (teaching and learning, research and discovery, outreach and engagement, administration and operations), through building the capacities of faculty, staff, and students, and reducing institutional barriers to action.

To that end, the Sustainability Institute oversees programs for students, faculty, and staff to build institutional capacity to learn about and practice sustainability; works at the unit and institutional level to support the establishment of measurable goals in sustainability; provides seed funding for sustainability innovations on campus and beyond; and communicates internally and externally to highlight sustainability achievements, build collaboration, and inspire others.


Full-time equivalent (FTE) of people employed in the sustainability office(s):
10

Does the institution have at least one sustainability officer?:
Yes

Name and title of each sustainability officer:
Dr. Paul Shrivastava - Chief Sustainability Officer and Director, Sustainability Institute

Does the institution have a mechanism for broad sustainability coordination for the entire institution (e.g. a campus-wide committee or an officer/office responsible for the entire campus)?:
Yes

A brief description of the activities and substantive accomplishments of the institution-wide coordinating body or officer during the previous three years:

The Sustainability Institute counts the following among its accomplishments over the past three years:
- helped units to integrate sustainability into their own strategic plans, and promoted inclusion of sustainability in strategic planning at the university level
- worked with faculty to promote inclusion of sustainability in academic courses and programs
- taught a once yearly course on sustainability leadership
- organized sustainability-themed film screenings and related panel discussions
- worked with students to promote and facilitate their engagement with sustainability
- managed the Sustainable Communities Collaborative, which matches sustainability-related needs of the community with class projects to address them
- facilitated staff engagement with sustainability through overseeing Green Teams and the Green Paws Program, which promotes sustainable office practices
- organized the Sustainable Operations Council and worked with Finance & Business to promote sustainability in various aspects of Operations.
- managed sustainability communications for Penn State, including a website and weekly newsletter
- managed the Reinvention Fund, which provided competitive seed funding to living lab projects in sustainability


Job title of the sustainability officer position:
---

Job description for the sustainability officer position:
---

Job description for the sustainability officer position:
---

Job title of the sustainability officer position (2nd position):
---

Job description for the sustainability officer position (2nd position):
---

Job description for the sustainability officer position (2nd position):
---

Job title of the sustainability officer position (3rd position):
---

Job description for the sustainability officer position (3rd position):
---

Job description for the sustainability officer position (3rd position):
---

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

On July 1, 2017 Dr. Paul Shrivastava became Penn State's first Chief Sustainability Officer, and the director of its Sustainability Institute. The position will report to both the Provost, and to the Senior Vice President for Finance & Business.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.