Emerson College was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the 2010–2011 Individual Conference Champion for using more green power than any other school in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference.
Since April 2006, EPA’s Green Power Partnership has tracked and recognized the collegiate athletic conferences with the highest combined green power purchases in the nation. The Individual Conference Champion Award recognizes the school that has made the largest individual purchase of green power within a qualifying conference.
Emerson College beat its conference rivals by purchasing 12 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, representing almost 100 percent of the school’s annual electricity usage. Emerson College purchases renewable energy certificates from Community Energy,which helps to reduce the environmental impact associated with the campus’s electricity use.
According to the U.S. EPA, Emerson College's green power use of 12 million kWhis equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electricity use of more than 1,000 average American homes annually, or the CO2 emissions of nearly 2,000 passenger vehicles per year.
”We’re glad to see the competition heating up as more and more colleges and universities join the Green Power Challenge,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “This year’s schools used more than 1.5 billion kilowatt-hours of green power, cutting harmful emissions from our air, protecting health, and driving demand in the clean energy market.”
Thirty-one collegiate conferences and 69 schools competed in the 2010–2011 challenge. EPA will extend the College and University Green Power Challenge for a sixth year, to conclude in the spring of 2012. EPA’s Green Power Challenge is open to all U.S. colleges, universities, and conferences. In order to qualify, a collegiate athletic conference must include at least one school that qualifies as a Green Power Partner, and the conference must collectively purchase at least 10 million kWh of green power.
Green power is electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass, and low-impact hydro. Purchases of green power help accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector.
“It’s wonderful to be recognized by the EPA for our use of green power,” said Emerson College President Jacqueline Liebergott. “We’re actively committed to sustainability on campus and wherever we can make an impact. Colleges and universities have a special obligation in this regard. We not only educate our community about issues like green power but can lead by example.”
Additional sustainability highlights on the Emerson College campus include a comprehensive recycling program; a LEED–certified student center; and today, the college kicks off a trayless initiative in its dining hall, which will be ongoing indefinitely. By going trayless, it’s estimated that there will be a reduction in food waste by as much as 30 percent as well as a decrease in water usage.
About EPA’s Green Power Partnership
The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to buy green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with purchased electricity use. The Partnership currently has more than 1,300 Partner organizations voluntarily purchasing billions of kilowatt-hours of green power annually. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500® companies, small- and medium-sized businesses, local, state, and federal governments, and colleges and universities.