Leading the Green Challenge Conference set for Nov. 8 at Great Valley

The Penn State Leading the Green Challenge Conference will take place on Monday, Nov. 8, at Penn State Great Valley in Malvern, Pa. This daylong conference is designed to provide Penn State faculty, staff and students with the latest information about "greening" the workplace, including basic technical knowledge about energy, waste, water, green purchasing and transportation, as well as how to turn events, offices and homes "green." The conference is a result of a unique collaboration among the Penn State Office of Human Resources, the Campus Sustainability Office and the Office of Physical Plant. Registration is open to Penn State faculty, staff and students.

For complete information about the conference, and to register, visit http://www.green.psu.edu/news_events/2010_news/green_challenge_conference.asp online.

"Thanks to the commitment of Penn State faculty, students and staff, Penn State is a national leader in sustainability," said Penn State President Graham Spanier. "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. There is still much more to be accomplished. 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."

The conference will feature the latest information on effective green actions and will help participants to refine skills for leading "green teams," an increasingly popular way to take action at work. Green teams are groups of co-workers organized to integrate sustainability into their unit. Several leaders from Penn State campuses will begin the program, discussing their experiences in improving business practices, while simultaneously reducing costs, improving efficiency and environmental performance, and enhancing the quality of Penn State programs and services.

Attendees can choose to participate in three of eight break-out sessions focused on key sustainability impact areas, including energy, recycling, water, green purchasing and transportation. Other sessions will focus on the formation of effective green teams, how to organize environmentally-friendly meetings, and tips for greening offices and homes. There is a special session for upper management called "The New Green Executive" that will feature practical tools busy leaders can use to build strategies around a high-impact green agenda.

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 first Leading the Green Challenge conference, held at University Park on March 3, 2010, had more than 250 participants.

"Their presentations were gripping and very thought provoking. I started the day off withan immediate desire to make changes in the way we operate" said a participant at last year's conference.

The results have been staggering in terms of growth of people, offices and units taking action to both benefit the environment and reduce operating costs. In just one year, the number of green teams University-wide has more than doubled and more are forming daily.

"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, 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.