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GreenGov News

GreenGov Council & Penn State Sustainability Institute's Sustainability Series for Commonwealth Employees

The series is intended to give commonwealth employees opportunities to hear from subject matter experts and receive updates on each topic to enrich their knowledge while engaging in group conversations.

This series will also be a useful tool for agencies to explore options and develop sustainability initiatives while receiving credit on upcoming GreenGov Agency Certification Checklist (Checklist) program areas. Specifically, the series supports Checklist efforts under the "Culture" category on Employee and Public Engagement (sections 13 and 14).


All interested employees are asked to complete this survey and indicate which presentations they plan to attend.

Series Information:

June 24
1:00-1:45 PM
UN Sustainable Development Goals & Pennsylvania
Paul Shrivastava, Chief Sustainability Officer & Director of PSU Sustainability Institute
July 10
1:00-1:45 PM
Ensuring Food Security in Pennsylvania Nicole McGeehan, Certified ServSafe instructor, trained in Home Food Preservation, teaches Retail and Consumer Food Safety programs and Cooking for Crowds: A Volunteer's Guide to Safe Food Handling

August 14

1:00-1:45 PM

Carbon Emission Drawdown (CO2)Tom L. Richard, PhD, Director of PSU Institutes of Energy and the Environment, professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering

September 18

1:00-1:45 PM

Green Teams to Activate the WorkplaceLydia Vandenbergh, Associate Director of Employee Engagement and Education at Penn State's Sustainability Institute

October 16


Water, Agriculture, and PennsylvaniaLara Fowler, Senior Lecturer, Penn State Law; Assistant Director for Outreach and Engagement, Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment
November 13 1:00-1:45 PMRecycling Markets Lydia Vandenbergh, Associate Director of Employee Engagement and Education at Penn State's Sustainability Institute

Webinar Summaries:

UN Sustainable Develop Goals & Pennsylvania

Paul Shrivastava will discuss Penn State's Sustainability Institute's (SI) goals and how they are engaging regional campuses across Pennsylvania. The SI uses the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for its charter. Learn how Penn State utilizes the SDGs to institutionalize sustainability throughout the Penn State system and can help address need throughout the state.

Ensuring Food Security in PA

Nicole McGeehan will introduce participants of this webinar to the value of local food systems, will spotlight the resources of Penn State Extension and offer practical helps on food preservation. 

Carbon Emission Drawdown (CO2)

Tom L. Richard, PhD will discuss ways we can utilize technologies and best practices available today to not just slow the growth of carbon emissions, but drawdown (or reverse) emissions. Learn how energy efficiency, renewable energy and smart grid solutions play a role. Learn about opportunities for carbon sequestration through forestry, farming practices and other technologies.

Green Teams to Activate the Workplace

Lydia Vandenbergh will highlight the values of implementing a "green team" in your agency (GreenGov Sustainability Teams). Learn about Pennsylvania's legal foundation to support sustainability. Lydia will share what constitutes a green team and how to staff and support them. Large corporations in the U.S. are beginning to implement green teams learn and discuss how this is working in a corporate setting.

Water, Agriculture and Pennsylvania

Lara Fowler will discuss critical challenges associated with water and agriculture facing Pennsylvania, including meeting requirements for water quality for the Chesapeake Bay. After briefly outlining such federal and state requirements for the Chesapeake and beyond, Lara will discuss efforts through the Pennsylvania in the Balance meetings to find ways to promote sustainable agriculture and sustainable watersheds in the Susquehanna River watershed. Additionally, the Water for Agriculture project focused on engaging stakeholders in addressing local watershed concerns related to water and agriculture will be discussed.

Recycling Markets

Lydia Vandenbergh will discuss the current market for recyclables and why they are changing in Pennsylvania and across the U.S. Learn where are our recyclables going and into what types of products. The PSSI will share its predictions for the future and how the commonwealth can play a larger role in supporting the markets.