Green Fund grants support sustainable projects across campus

Green Fund

Pop quiz: What do compost tea, LED lighting, electric vehicle charging stations and a Green Acorn have in common? Answer: All are sustainability projects slated to receive financial support from Penn’s Green Fund.

Seven new projects, selected from the largest number of applications to date, will join the 18 previous projects that Penn students, faculty and staff have launched since the first Green Funds were awarded in Fall 2009. The Green Fund initiative was created shortly after the University launched its Climate Action Plan. The maximum allocation for each award is $50,000.

Penn Parking Services will use its Green Fund grant to install charging stations in campus parking lots to power electric vehicles operated by PhillyCarShare and Zipcar, the University’s car-share partners.

• The Green Acorn Certification Program, funded by last year’s Green Fund, has received another round of funding to support its marketing and advertising efforts, including “Acorn Nuts,” a frequent-customer rewards program.

• The Morris Arboretum will spend its grant on developing a brewing system for compost tea, an organic alternative to chemical fertilizers, and on a sustainable landscape management program to reduce the use of pesticides.

Information Systems & Computing (ISC) will put its Green Fund grant towards funding a desktop energy-management program to minimize desktop energy use while still providing users and ISC staff remote access.

• The Penn Women’s Center’s grant will help to construct an Environmental Education Kitchen Project that will use locally sourced, recycled materials and Energy Star appliances. The kitchen will also be the focus of podcasts, tours and tutorials.

Lastly, two projects call for the installation of LED lighting to replace existing fluorescent and incandescent lighting systems: One in the Zellerbach Theatre, and the other in 12 designated Williams Hall classrooms. The theater will swap its 40-year-old system of spotlights with an LED-based system, while the classrooms in Williams Hall will be outfitted with LED lighting that is expected to lower energy consumption and reduce labor and replacement costs.

Projects that generate financial savings are expected to help replenish the Green Fund.

For more information about the Green Fund and the grant winners, visit


Originally published on .