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Temple’s 2022-2023 Sustainability Annual Report: Envisioning our Future

Explore how the collective actions of Temple students, faculty, staff, and administration continue to propel us forward toward a brighter, more sustainable future.

“As the university enters a critical time of transition and concludes the Boundless Temple campus development planning process, we are hopeful that the integration of sustainable practices and policy will continue to propel this institution forward.”

Ken Kaiser, Chief Operating Officer, and
Gregory N. Mandel, Senior Vice President & Provost
Temple’s campus development planning effort integrates Flying Further, the institutional strategic plan and the Verdant Temple landscape master plan, for a cohesive, sustainable vision of its future.

The Road to Carbon Neutral

Temple is well on its way to a carbon neutral future.

Since 2006, Temple has reduced gross emissions by 33% even while increasing the physical space of the university by more than 36%. The reductions are a result of increased efficiency in operations, investments in new carbon reduction technology, renewable energy sourcing, and a culture of climate leadership.

Spotlight: Major Progress Toward our Goals

Tackling Food Insecurity: Barnett Irvine Cherry Pantry 

After 5 years of providing students with non-perishable food and personal hygiene items, the pantry was renamed in honor of a donation from Temple alum Christopher M Barnett and his business partner Nathan Irvine. Increasing visitorship by 73% between AY 2021 and AY 2022 and beginning to offer unlimited fresh produce in Spring 2023, The Barnett Irvine Cherry Pantry continues to grow beyond achieving Temple’s goal of addressing food insecurity on campus by 2019.  

Climate in the Classroom

The Office of Sustainability supports students, faculty, researchers, and entrepreneurs in tackling today’s most pressing environmental issues by incorporating sustainability-related topics into curriculums, research, and projects. In Spring 2023, representatives from 20 of the 80 departments and programs currently offering sustainability-related courses gathered to highlight the importance of teaching and learning about the climate crisis.

Minimizing Waste: Give + Go Green and Temple Thrift Develop Circular Systems on Campus

This year, Temple exceeded its waste minimization goals to achieve a 55% diversion rate and a 54% core recycling rate. These efforts are bolstered by on-campus initiatives like Give + Go Green and Temple Thrift that promote circularity and equity. In May 2023, over 70 student and staff volunteers helped sort through 5,905 total pounds of donations. Of this, 1,326 pounds were nonperishable food items that were boxed and brought directly to the Cherry Pantry. The remaining 4,579 pounds of donations consisted of textiles and clothing that was packaged for sale at Temple Thrift on campus.

Greening our commutes: Insights from the Transportation Culture Survey

In 2022, the Office of Sustainability expanded the regularly administered Transportation Survey to also include questions about sustainability culture on campus. The Temple University Transportation and Sustainability Culture Survey Report captures students, staff and faculty’s perceptions, beliefs and behaviors related to sustainability and climate change in addition to typical data related to commute modes and associated emissions.

The survey found that 67% of students, faculty, and staff currently use sustainable modes of transportation in their commutes. To encourage further participation in these modes, the University offers Green Your Commute resources such as the student discount SEPTA University Pass and pre-tax commuter benefits for employees via WageWorks.

Want to be a part of Temple’s sustainable future? Join our LinkedIn Network!

The Office of Sustainability is launching our LinkedIn page to foster a community where students, faculty, and alumni can share their commitments to sustainable initiatives at Temple and beyond. Join today to stay up to build your climate action community.

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