Conservation at Penn State Berks
Long before environmental issues became popular or trendy, Penn State was investigating environmentally friendly initiatives that would improve the efficiency of its operations.
Greenhouse gasses and rising fuel costs have forced Penn State and other institutions to consider new ways to reduce the ecological footprint they make on the earth. These efforts will not only reduce environmental impact, but also utility costs, which exceeded $1 million at the Berks campus for the 2005-2006 academic year.
Conservation initiatives today take several forms, including standards for new facility construction and renovations, guidelines for purchasing energy intensive equipment and facility operating conditions standards.
Penn State Berks is the first, and currently only campus to convert maintenance equipment to use green fuels such as biodiesal and biologically based hydraulic fluid.
The Guaranteed Energy Savings Program (GESP) provides funds to invest in equipment and capital improvement projects that will lower utility costs. With the help of GESP, Penn State Berks is expected to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 34 percent.
Penn State also requires Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for new construction projects. The LEED Green Building Rating System™ is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.
These endeavors ensure that the University's facilities and practices meet or exceed compliance with all applicable state and federal environmental regulations established by agencies, such as the Department of Environmental Protection and the Environmental Protection Agency.