Penn State Wins Back to Back National Championships in Competition Focused on Sustainability

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sammy Mancuso


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Pennsylvania State University recently prevailed with a huge victory in the Small Steps, Big Wins Campus Challenge this past fall semester (2014).


Leading the charge in this victory was Penn State’s own Net Impact undergraduate chapter, a group who pride themselves on being at the intersection of sustainability and social responsibility in business.


Net Impact (national chapter) and MyActions have teamed up to bring this competition to campuses all across the country, once per semester, in an effort to raise awareness and elicit positive, environmental change.


At a national level the Net Impact organization works to promote their vision of creating a more socially and environmentally stable world.


According to Alec Raymond, The Small Steps, Big Wins campus director at Penn State, the challenge is a highly interactive competition where students compete to see which school can create the most collective social and environmental impact through logging small, simple actions over the course of the semester.


“76 different schools participate,” he said, “everyone records their actions online”.


Alec explained that if someone wants to participate in the challenge, all he or she has to do is go to the website:


“You can register with your email, or connect with your Facebook, it’s really simple.”


Once registered, the user can browse through other profiles, and post “small steps” or in other words, specific actions they completed throughout the day. The nature of this competition encourages students to realize the difference they are already making during their weekly routines as well as providing suggestions for ways to make an even bigger impact! These actions include turning off the lights before leaving a room, increasing the amount you recycle, using less water, and even volunteering in local communities. Throughout the competition students log actions that fall within one of four total categories: Save Power, Reduce, Help Others, and Learn & Lead.


For Penn State, this is their 2nd national title as they also won during the spring 2014 semester. Because of the large part that Penn State’s Net Impact chapter has played in these recent victories, the undergraduate organization has come to understand how much potential this competition has and the huge difference it can make on a college campus. They are especially excited by the numerous organizations from the university that have decided to join the competition in an effort to make a difference and keep Penn State a major player in this national competition.


As of a few weeks ago, the spring competition is under way! As a university, Penn State has already recorded 567 actions and accumulated over 7,371 points with the Net Impact chapter accounting for a little over a 100 of those actions and 1,431 of the total points.


Penn State’s Net Impact Undergraduate chapter currently holds a gold standing by the national Net Impact organization. 


To find out more about Net Impact or the Small Steps, Big Wins challenge, go to



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