University Sustainability Initiatives Show Successful Results

Committed to helping students, faculty and staff employ the sustainable practices that are imperative to the environment and the future of the planet, Philadelphia University offers its members regular opportunities to reduce their daily consumption of the Earth’s natural resources.  The success of such offerings is noted in the results of the University’s recycling and water-conservation initiatives.

Philadelphia University’s centralized recycling program, which features marked bins with restrictive lids that only accept certain materials, resulted in higher recycling rates across campus.  Currently located in Downs Hall, The Gallagher Athletic, Recreation, and Convocation Center, Hayward Hall, The Kanbar Campus Center, Mott Hall, Ravenhill Mansion, Search Hall, The Tuttleman Center and residence halls, the bins have turnofflight.jpgcontributed to a 118-percent increase in recycled cardboard, 198-percent increase in recycled office paper and 228-percent increase in recycled comingled glass, aluminum, plastic and tin since Fall 2006.  To further the program’s success, Physical Plant plans to place bins in University studios and science laboratories this semester.

In addition, new energy-efficient laundry equipment installed during the fall 2007 semester resulted in conserving 250,606 gallons of water campus-wide, based on real-time operational hours of the equipment compared to standard equipment.  To review the status of the new machines and monitor the amount of water saved by each facility, CLICK HERE.

“I am thrilled that the University’s sustainable practices are producing such positive results,” said Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer Randy Gentzler, who chairs the University’s Sustainability Committee.  “Through increased communications, which have raised awareness for our activities, we are able to see a marked improvement in our recycling and conservation efforts.  I feel confident that we will continue to see great things happening as we move forward.”

New this semester, Physical Plant will launch a “Turn Off the Lights” campaign challenging all University community members to turn off lights when leaving a room, especially classrooms.  As opposed to fluorescent bulbs, the University uses energy-efficient bulbs to light spaces, which need to be turned off to conserve energy.  Students, faculty and staff will be encouraged to do so by reminder stickers (pictured above), affixed near classroom light switches throughout campus.  Furthermore, Physical Plant is also investigating the installment of sensor lighting, similar to lighting currently found in The Kanbar Campus Center and The Gallagher Center, for academic buildings such as Hayward Hall.  Such lighting turns on and off according to sensors that monitor activity.

To stay current on the University’s latest sustainability news and events, visit PhilaU Today and the Sustainability Committee web sites.

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