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Sustainable Purchasing Green Purchasing Awards
Green Purchasing Awards

Green Purchasing Awards Announced at Supplier Show

The University of Pennsylvania’s Green Purchasing Awards, presented by Penn Purchasing Services and Penn Sustainability, were announced at the annual Purchasing Services Supplier Show on Tuesday, September 25.

The Green Purchasing Award program, now in its fourth year, recognizes the outstanding contributions of an individual or team that significantly advance the development of sustainable purchasing practices at Penn.

“With Penn’s dedication to environmental sustainability, it’s important to acknowledge the outstanding contributions being made at the University. We work in a decentralized purchasing environment with daily buying decisions that are made at the department level,” said Mark Mills, executive director of Penn Purchasing Services. “Given this model, it’s important to recognize our colleagues in the Schools and Centers who have embraced sustainability in their purchasing choices.  Our 2018 honorees are making smart, responsible purchasing decisions and instituting new programs – many of which can be shared and repeated across the University.”

The first 2018 award was bestowed to the School of Nursing’s “One Less” campaign team. Supported at the highest levels of the school, a series of green gifts were chosen for Faculty and Staff and distributed at its annual Service and Recognition Awards event.  This all-volunteer team worked on and off duty to design the logo and reach consensus on the choice of each year’s reusable item. Some of the items distributed were reusable, small tote bags, which can remove disposable plastic bags from the waste stream and reusable travel mugs, which can eliminate 23 pounds of waste annually per person using them. To further expand the potential impact, the team negotiated with the School’s café operator, 12th Street Catering, to provide an ongoing discount to anyone who uses those travel mugs or any reusable cup - incentivizing members of our community to make a green purchase daily. The award recipients include Patricia Adams, Lucia DiNapoli, Olivia Duca, Joseph Gomez, Karen Keith-Ford, Theresa Lake, Holly Marrone, Seymour Sejour, and Meredith Swinney.

 

The other award recipient was the “Furniture Reuse and Recycling Team” from the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS).  The team created a system that strives to divert used furniture from landfills.  The process begins by creating a monthly inventory of all used furniture available in the School. The inventory is then circulated for review to SAS’s building administrators and departments.  Then the list is sent to the Netter Center for Community Partnerships - reaching dozens of charity partners who may be able to reuse furniture listed on the inventory.  Furniture that cannot be reused within the school or by charity partners is recycled by Revolution Recovery. Revolution Recovery is able to divert over 80% of SAS furniture that has reached the end of its useful life from landfills. In the last four quarters for which program metrics are available (FY17 Q4 - FY18 Q3), SAS has diverted 20.86 tons of furniture from landfills. That is an 88.8% diversion rate overall. The honorees from the SAS team are Jonathan Burke, Carvel Camp, Floyd Emelife, Brittany Gross, Ruth Kelley, Ryshee McCoy, and Isabell Sampson-Mapp.

Both initiatives align with Penn’s Climate Action Plan 2.0, the University’s comprehensive strategic roadmap for environmental sustainability.