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Welcome to the first issue of sustainABILITY, a quarterly newsletter from the Drexel University Sustainability Council.

One part of our Council's mission is to share information about products, services, policies, and procedures that will advance the University's mission of being a better environmental citizen. We also aim to communicate best practices in environmental management and educate our peers.

Our goal is to reinvigorate the commitment of our Professional Staff to Sustainability at DU and collaborate with student and faculty groups to create educational, effective, and FUN events for our University Community. At the same time, we'll be looking for ways to contribute to the Philadelphia Community at large, and work with other colleges and universities in the area. You'll be seeing us and hearing from us a lot more in the coming months!

I'm excited to be leading this fantastic team of Professional Staff on Main and Center City campuses. If you'd like to get involved or if you have comments or suggestions, you're welcome to contact me!

-Tara McLoone, Chair, Sustainability Council


Drexel Commits to 100 Percent Clean, Renewable Wind Energy
Drexel Honored for Green Initiatives
Green Grant Awarded to Dr. Geller
SEPTA ComPass Program Offers Greener, Cheaper Transportation Alternative
Are Your Department Purchases Green?
Hydration Stations: A Refreshing Stop
Dump the Junk: It's Nothing Personal!
Bring Your Recycling to the Rec Center - December 10
Show You're Green and Sign the Pledge
Contact Us!

Drexel Commits to 100 Percent Clean, Renewable Wind Energy


Drexel's recent signing of an agreement with Community Energy, Inc. to purchase Renewable Energy Certificates equal to 100 percent of its energy use makes the University one of the country's top 50 purchasers of wind energy. According to the current Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership rankings, the purchase will also place Drexel among the top five university purchasers in the nation. Drexel has been purchasing wind renewable energy credits since 2002.

The Renewable Energy Certificate purchase ensures that 84,268 megawatt hours of electricity will be matched annually with wind energy entering the electricity grid in the United States. The Renewable Energy Credits will be supplied by Community Energy, a renewable energy marketer and developer.

Compared to the average generation mix in the national electric grid, the environmental benefit from this purchase is equal to offsetting approximately 60,518 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, the annual impact of which is equivalent to the carbon sequestered by 12,904 acres of trees or removing 11,571 passenger vehicles from the road, according to the Environmental Protection Agency's greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator.

For the complete story, visit Drexel Green News.

Drexel Honored for Green Initiatives

wind farm

Drexel was one of 24 organizations and individuals that received 2010 PennFuture Green Power awards. Drexel was recognized for "leadership in energy efficiency including deploying an energy monitoring system at the main campus, and creating My Green CubeTM to help encourage efficiency, recycling, reduction, and re-use."

James Tucker, senior vice president of Student Life and Administrative Services (second from right with Secretary John Hanger, Pa. Department of Environmental Protection; Nick DeBenedictis '68, '69, Drexel trustee and president and CEO of award winner Aqua America; and Jan Jarrett, PennFuture CEO), accepted the award for the University. For more information, visit Drexel Green News.

Green Grant Awarded to Dr. Geller

toy truck

During the 2009-10 academic year, the Drexel Sustainability Council and Drexel Green awarded Drexel Green Grants to students, faculty, professional staff and alumni who submitted winning essays on how sustainability can be incorporated into one's everyday life and in the communities where students, faculty, professional staff and alumni live, work and play and completed the Go Green! Environmental Responsibility Pledge.

Dr. Pamela Geller, director of the Student Counseling Center on the Center City Hahnemann Campus and associate professor of psychology, was honored for "Driving the Point Home," her essay detailing her efforts to promote sustainability as well as instill a value system of sustainability in her two young sons. In the essay, Dr. Geller described how she and her husband, Steven Nocella, a local sculptor and faculty member at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, capitalized on their children's broad definition of toys and their creative behavior in order to reinforce the daily practice of the "3 R's" through a "family truck project." A sample of the toy trucks (made from a variety of household objects that would otherwise have been recycled or discarded) were displayed at the Creese Student Center.

Download a PDF of Geller's essay here. The Green Grants program was sponsored by Sodexo, Barnes & Noble College Bookstores and Office Depot.

For a list of award winners, visit Drexel Green News.

SEPTA ComPass Program Offers Greener, Cheaper Transportation Alternative

Looking for a greener way to commute to Drexel? Do you already use SEPTA and are looking to save money on your monthly pass? Consider participating in the SEPTA ComPass Program.

This SEPTA-sponsored and Drexel/College of Medicine-subsidized program provides a 10 percent discount on monthly commuter passes to eligible faculty and professional staff. It is available to all full-time and part-time benefits-eligible Drexel/DUCoM employees and all full-time students.

Two types of passes are available through the ComPass Program, the SEPTA transpass which is good for all travel and transfer on buses, trolleys and subways within the City of Philadelphia, and the trailpass, which offers unlimited travel up to the zone shown on the face of the pass on suburban bus routes, Regional Rail trains and all transit routes within Philadelphia.

Passes can be purchased online by logging into DrexelOne. Passes are available for pick-up at the Creese Student Center information desk on the University City Main Campus and the DragonCard Offices on the Queen Lane Medical and Center City Hahnemann campuses one week prior to the pass becoming valid. Drexel IDs must be presented at pick-up. For more information on the SEPTA ComPass Program and purchase instructions, visit SEPTA Compass Program webpage.

green hand

The average U.S. household spends 18 cents of every dollar on vehicle-related transportation, the largest source of household spending after home mortgages.

Are Your Department Purchases Green?

Drexel Procurement Green/Sustainable Vendors are companies whose daily operations or products have been consciously altered to reduce emissions and destructive practices to the environment. Members of the University community should select a sustainable vendor whenever possible. For a list, visit the Drexel Procurement Vendor List.

When ordering office supplies through Telrose, go to Office Supplies / More Ways to Shop / Greener Office Products. There are many green categories to select from including paper, toner, mailroom supplies and pens.

Sustainable Purchasing Tips:

  • Select recycled paper when purchasing for your office.
  • When purchasing computers, configure systems with ePEAT Gold ratings.
  • Check out office furniture in facilities storage Drexel Surplus Exchange or consider buying used office furniture.
  • Encourage reusable mugs and cups, but if you must purchase cups for guests, look for biodegradable or recyclable cups.
  • Purchase from vendors with green initiatives and sustainable products.
  • When buying computers in bulk, ask for pallet shipping which eliminates individual packaging and excess boxes.
  • Select high yield toner with return cartridge options.

Hydration Stations: A Refreshing Stop

hydration station on wall

Members of the Drexel community are encouraged to carry their reusable water bottles with them when traveling on campus to take advantage of several Hydration Stations. The Stations dispense water into a bottle, glass or other container, processing tap water by using filtration technologies. Hydration Stations eliminate the need for bottled water.

Stations are located on the University City Main Campus:

  • Recreation Center on the second floor, next to the staircase
  • Recreation Center third floor next to running track entrance and staircase
  • Bossone Research Enterprise Center, in the first floor hallway between the men's and ladies' rooms on the 32nd Street entrance side
  • Main Building, on the first floor next to the elevator on the 32nd Street entrance
  • MacAlister Hall across from the CAB office

An additional station will be located in the Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building

On the Center City Hahnemann Campus:

  • New College Building, first floor lobby.

Dump the Junk: It's Nothing Personal!

In 2009, The Junk Mail Reduction team was formed as a subcommittee of the Sustainability Council to examine the issue of non-business related mail and packages, and its impact on the University.

Their research found that 40 percent of mail traveling through Drexel's Mail Center is considered non-business related. This equals 512,000 pounds of non-business related mail each year. The best and easiest way to reduce this waste is to opt out of junk mailing lists by visiting the Direct Marketing Association website.

The Direct Marketing Association divides direct mail into four categories: credit offers, catalog, magazine offers and other mail offers (including donation requests, bank offers, retail promotions and more). For each of these categories, you can choose whether or not you want to receive mail from companies one at a time. Or, you can choose to stop receiving mail for all companies you haven't purchased from or donated to within an entire category. Any choices will be effective for five years from the date they are made.

Take the time to do your part and Dump the Junk!

green hand

In the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency estimates 44 percent of junk mail is discarded without being opened or read. Each person living in the U.S. will receive almost 560 pieces of junk mail this year.

Bring Your Recycling to the Rec Center - December 10

Join the Drexel community on Friday, December 10 from noon to 2 p.m. outside of the Recreation Center for recycling, refreshments and more.

University representatives will be collecting sneakers, plastic, glass, aluminum containers, bottle caps, small batteries, cell phones and plastic bags for recycling. Students, faculty and professional staff can sign the University's Environmental Responsibility Pledge and enjoy free refreshments. Free tickets to the men's basketball game will also be given away. For more information, contact Kyle Kephart, Director of Quality Services at 215-895-2831 or recycle@drexel.edu

Show You're Green and Sign the Pledge

Members of the Drexel community can demonstrate their commitment to being green and environmentally responsible on campus and at home by signing the University's Environmental Responsibility Pledge. Visit Go Green! Pledge Form.

Contact Us!

We want to hear from you. Do you have a suggestion for a Drexel Green project? Would you like to be a part of the Sustainability Council? If so, contact the Sustainability Committee:

Chair: Tara McLoone, training specialist, Human Resources
Vice Chair: Kyle Kephart, director of quality services, Student Life & Administrative Services
Administrator: Connie Gable, budget coordinator, Student Life & Administrative Services
Recorder: Lisa Unruh, project and production manager, LeBow College of Business Communications

Visit the Drexel Green website for more information on how to get involved.

sustainABILITY is published by the Drexel University Sustainability Council.
Email Lisa Unruh, for more information.