Penn State to hold 'Leading the Green Challenge Conference' March 3

January 19, 2010

The Penn State Leading the Green Challenge Conference will take place on March 3, at The Penn Stater Conference Center on Penn State's University Park campus.

This one-day conference is designed to provide Penn State faculty and staff with the latest information about “greening” the workplace. The conference is the product of a unique partnership between the Penn State Office of Human Resources, the Campus Sustainability Office and the Office of Physical Plant. It will feature a welcome by Penn State President Graham Spanier, presentations by top sustainability experts, the development of 'green' leadership skills, and many opportunities for attendees to network and share ideas. Registration information can be found at online.

“Thanks to the commitment of Penn State faculty, students and staff, Penn State is a national leader in sustainability,” Spanier said. “Our efforts to save energy, reduce waste, create innovative new programs and improve quality have had a profound impact on our campuses and have served as models for other universities. This one-day conference will showcase new and ongoing ‘green’ initiatives and will help participants learn to lead and integrate sustainability practices into workplace operations, programs and services."

Leading the Green Challenge will feature the latest technical information and help participants to refine skills for leading green teams. Specialists from the Office of Physical Plant and Procurement Services will participate in a dynamic morning panel discussion focused on key sustainability impact areas, including energy, recycling, water and green purchasing. Attendees will learn the top five actions they can take for maximum impact and discover answers to common questions, such as:

  • -- What are the best ways to save energy and other resources?
  • -- How can I purchase more green products?
  • -- Why don’t we recycle all types of plastics?
  • -- How can I organize a zero-waste event or meeting?

The conference schedule also includes concurrent sessions that focus on building “green leadership skills.” These interactive sessions, which feature presenters from the Human Resource Development Center (HRDC) and the Campus Sustainability Office, strengthen skills in three areas: green communications, green leadership, and building an effective green team. Attendees will learn the top 10 tips on generating support for green initiatives and will tackle issues such as effective methods of communication on green issues, motivating those who are disinterested, and ways to keep momentum in the direction of green practices going at the departmental and campus levels.

“Sustainability is simply about maximizing the benefits of our decisions; the benefits to the workplace in increased efficiency, the benefits to the environment in less pollution and the benefits to people in improved safety and protected health,” said Erik Foley, director of the Penn State Campus Sustainability Office. “After countless conversations and presentations, we have learned there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Penn Staters already doing their part in big and small ways. This conference was inspired by and designed for them, so we can all go even further, faster.”

The Campus Sustainability Office is part of the University’s Office of Physical Plant and works to constantly strengthen Penn State’s environmental performance which eliminates waste, improves quality, adds value, protects and enhances the University’s reputation, and reduces risk. For more information, visit or call 814-865-2714.

The HRDC leads professional and organizational development at Penn State. The Center helps the University to improve and enrich its human resources through training and development programs and services for faculty and staff. In partnership with other Penn State units, HRDC anticipates and meets the University's diverse and changing human resource development needs. The Center's services enable Penn State to achieve its goals through individual and organizational growth. For more information, visit online.

For more information about The 2010 Leading the Green Challenge Conference, contact Rick Capozzi at 814-865-2753 or in the Human Resource Development Center, or Foley at 814-865-2291 or in the Campus Sustainability Office.

Last Updated February 19, 2010