Penn State and the Environmental Protection Agency forge partnership

University Park, Pa. -- On Earth Day, April 22nd, outside the HUB-Robeson Center on Penn State’s University Park Campus, Penn State became the first university to become a partner in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Sustainability Partnerships Program (SPP). Steve Maruszewski, the leader of Penn State’s Environmental Stewardship Strategy, opened the ceremony, followed by Al Horvath, Penn State's vice president for finance and business and Wayne Naylor, deputy director of the Land and Chemicals Division at EPA. The ceremony signified the university’s commitment to an increased reduction in energy use, with an initial focus on usage at stadium and athletic events, and in the campus residence halls which house more than 14,000 students.  The university is also committed to increasing its recycling efforts.

“Penn State’s Physical Plant has partnered with several of the University’s colleges and student organizations on sustainable initiatives,” explained Al Horvath, “and our joining with EPA to forge solutions to climate change promises no less. We look forward to working on ways to improve energy efficiency and recycling on our campuses, combining our abundant resources with those of EPA and creating solutions to benefit our community and our planet.”

In his remarks to the crowd, EPA’s Wayne Naylor pointed out the need to add a fourth R, ‘Rethink,’ to the typical waste solutions of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. “Whether an institution the size of Penn State or as individuals, we must Rethink what we buy, what we use and as a society how we use our resources,” commented Naylor.

SPP partners receive technical support from EPA to accomplish their desired goals. Partners are also assigned a sustainability account manager who serves as a single point-of-contact with EPA to provide support, direction and assistance for the partners to meet their sustainability goals. The SPP is designed to produce significant environmental benefits in the areas of energy savings, waste disposal prevented or diverted, reduced water usage and impact on the climate.

At the ceremony, Naylor also announced EPA’s recognition of Penn State’s Green Power purchasing.

“Throughout the 2008-09 academic year, EPA’s Green Power Partnership tracked green power purchasing by colleges and universities by Collegiate Athletic Conference,” noted Naylor.  “As part of the Big Ten Conference, Penn State  took first place  purchasing more than 83 million kilowatt hours of Green Power. That represents 20 percent of all of the electricity purchased by Penn State Today is the beginning of an exciting journey for EPA as we welcome Penn State as the first University in the nation to join us as a Sustainability Partner.” 

To see more photos of  the ceremony, please visit

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Last Updated November 18, 2010