Tag Archives: Wharton

Household Energy Survey

Doug Miller, former Wharton IGEL Staff member, Penn alumnus, and now a Master’s student at Imperial College London, is currently working with three fellow graduate students on a project that investigates the factors affecting household investments in energy efficient technologies. Their survey aims to identify what determinants have the greatest impact on these investment decisions. They hope to receive responses from people living in the U.S., so that they can compare these to responses in Europe. The survey takes about 10 minutes on average to complete and will remain open until Friday.

Click here to begin the survey. Thank you for your participation.


Five Insights from ACORE’s National Renewable Energy Policy Forum

by Candice D. McLeod*


On February 6th, the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) held its 10th annual Renewable Energy Policy Forum on Capitol Hill. The event featured a host of industry, financial and government leaders, who spent the day discussing the progress of the renewable energy industry, from the industry’s current purgatorial state due to impending policy deadlines to the potential implications of the current fiscal and partisan climates.

The overall themes were clear – more financing options for renewables, renewable energy policy stability, and China setting the global rhythm.

Here are five main insights drawn from the forum:

  1. Renewable energy markets continue to grow significantly. Perhaps we should stop referring to them as “alternative sources” of energy
  2. Economic security -keep your eye on Iowa and rural America
  3. More policy stability, please
  4. More financing options -MLPs  & REITs
  5. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater

1. Renewable energy markets continue to grow significantly. Perhaps we should stop referring to them as “alternative sources” of energy

John R. Norris, Commissioner, U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) opened the panel Renewable Energy Market Growth with the statement, “[if] it wasn’t for an economy that’s walking with a limp and a dramatic decrease in natural gas prices, the renewable energy market would be twice the size.” Continue reading

Community Engagement through Penn’s Sprouting Athletics Eco-Reps Program

by Marissa Rosen

Collegiate athletics programs can provide experiential learning and engage a broad audience, thus serving as a particularly attractive educational vehicle. Athletic teams and their events can build a school’s community, appeal to donors, strengthen alumni connections, attract prospective students, and generate school pride. They can also send a message of environmental sustainability.


Wharton’s Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (Wharton IGEL) sponsored last Tuesday’s official kick-off dinner for the University of Pennsylvania’s Athletics Eco-Reps program. Thirteen founding Varsity athletes, along with coaches and supporting staff, have been strategizing since last fall to reduce their teams’ environmental impact, addressing water and energy conservation issues, recycling rates, fan engagement, and responsible sourcing. Penn’s unique program is part of the Ivy League Conference’s collaboration with the Natural Resources Defense Council Green Sports group and the Green Sports Alliance.
Continue reading

Wharton IGEL and Benjamin Franklin, Penn’s Founding Father Figure

by Peter Woolsey*

Were you aware of the fact that Benjamin Franklin, founder of the University of Pennsylvania, discovered the North Atlantic drift in his voyages across the Atlantic? He also tamed electricity, advocated a frugal use of resources, and laid out a series of rules for a sustainable lifestyle. Continue reading

Three Compelling Reasons to Study Sustainability

Why Every Student Should Take an Environmental Management Course

By Gary Survis*

When I graduated Wharton in 1986, sustainability wasn’t even on my radar screen.  Sure the concept existed (it had been introduced in the early 1970s), but the idea of combining business and environment were as unlikely a combination as Barak Obama and Newt Gingrich.  It took me many years, and the evolution of business, to learn that sustainable business in not an oxymoron and represents instead a core knowledge base for virtually every student.  Today, students have the opportunity to gain this understanding while at Penn and, I believe should do so, for three compelling reasons.

1) Sustainability is Ubiquitous. We have moved beyond the hype of the first ten years of the new millennium (think Leonardo DiCaprio attending the Academy Awards in a Prius to demonstrate his dedication to sustainability).  Today, in every facet of our daily existence, whether it is agriculture, energy, computing, or just about anything we touch, sustainable practices are becoming the norm.  I believe, currently, that there are sustainable ways to do things and un-sustainable ways.  In the future, there will just be one “way” which will be the norm… And that will be the sustainable one. Continue reading

IGEL’s Careers in Sustainability Event: An Evening of Discussion About Sustainability, Energy and Business

By Marissa Rosen*

On Wednesday, October 3rd, Wharton’s MBA Career Management department and Wharton’s Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL) co-hosted the second annual “Careers in Sustainability, Energy, and Business” panel at Huntsman Hall. The brightly lit 8th floor Colloquium Hall buzzed with chatter and enthusiasm from a mixture of Penn students, faculty, and staff who were eager to hear from a dozen business and environmental professionals from across the United States, half of whom were Wharton graduates.

In opening remarks, Vice Dean of the MBA program Howard Kaufold paid homage to Barry Commoner, a leader in the emerging environmental movement of the 1960’s, famous for stating that “everything must go somewhere”. Kaufold explained how Commoner’s words ring true fifty years later, as the examination of the symbiosis of economics and social impact is more necessary now than ever before. Continue reading

Upcoming Events in November 2012

Join Wharton IGEL at these upcoming events in Philadelphia:

November 2, 2012: Wharton Energy Conference
Wharton IGEL is a sponsor

November 7, 2012: IES/IGEL Seminar Series – The Future of Water
“Liquid Gold: Global Water Developments and Opportunities”
Jon Freedman, GE Water & Process Technologies
Francesca McCann, Global Water Strategies
Co-sponsored by Wharton IGEL and the Institute for Environmental Studies

November 8, 2012: “Out of Eden: A Journalist Gone Rogue”
Paul Salopek, two-time Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist
Co-sponsored by Wharton IGEL and the Graduate Student Center

Simplicity in Context

Author Silvia Schmid is a graduate of the Master of Environmental Studies program at the University of Pennsylvania and takes care of communications and web content management for IGEL. Opinions represented in blog posts and research briefs represent the opinions of the authors only, not of Wharton, IGEL, or the University of Pennsylvania.

Last week, Wharton’s Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL) and the Wharton Social Impact Initiative hosted Sustainable Brands’ “New Metrics of Sustainability”, a two-day conference centered on innovations in environmental analysis and reporting. The conversation engaged the audience of business leaders and sustainability professionals on the ever-evolving issue of quantifying sustainability efforts in business. Among the primary topics discussed were the standardization of sustainability context and the implementation of more intelligible indicators and reporting guidelines.

Continue reading

IGEL’s Sixth Conference-Workshop

Save the date for IGEL’s Sixth Conference-Workshop on “The Nexus of Energy, food, and Water”, to be held on Thursday, March 21st, 2013. Objectives of the conference include providing an overview about sustainability as it relates to energy, food, and water, the multitude of strategies needed to evaluate water risk in the global economy, as well as the intersection between energy resources, food supply, and security. Speakers will include Andrew Winston, author of “Green to Gold”, Jeff Seabright of Coca-Cola, Perry Moss of Rubicon Global, Tamara Thies of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and many more. The keynote address and prelude to IGEL’s conference-workshop will be delivered by General John Ashcroft, followed by a VIP Dinner the night before, Wednesday, March 20th, 2013. For more information, please view the conference agenda.

Noam Lior presents on Sustainable Energy Development

IES/IGEL Seminar: Noam Lior
Wednesday, October 17th, 2012
The Carolyn Lynch Room, Chemistry Building
University of Pennsylvania
(Corner of 34th & Spruce Streets)

Noam Lior, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics at the University of Pennsylvania, will present on sustainable energy development at the upcoming IES/IGEL seminar on October 17th, 2012. This event  is free and  open to the public, no registration required. See the abstract for the presentation and mark your calendar. This is an event not to be missed.