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Environment America: Emerson #3 in Renewable Electricity Use

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Photo/Derek Palmer

Emerson was ranked third among colleges and universities across the country for our use of renewable energy by Environment America, an advocacy network of 29 state environmental groups with supporters in all 50 states.

Emerson gets 123 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, placing it third among the 127 colleges and universities that reported data to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership. The College came in right behind Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York, at 125 percent, and Georgetown University at 130 percent.

“Colleges and universities play an important role in environmental sustainability; we can set examples for our students, our towns, and the world,” said Laurel Greenberg, a Visual and Media Arts affiliated faculty member speaking on behalf of Emerson’s Sustainability Committee.

“We can help advance the movement towards carbon neutrality, which is so important in battling climate change. The Sustainability Committee at Emerson is so pleased to have our small urban college be recognized for our efforts in this area.”

Of the 127 reporting institutions, according to the report, 42 meet 100 percent or more of their electricity needs either with renewable energy generated by the institution or purchased through power purchase agreements (PPAs) or renewable energy certificates (RECs). Seventy-six institutions are getting at least half of their power from renewables.

A school may obtain more than 100 percent of its energy for a variety of reasons, Environment America said: changes in electricity use relative to their contract amounts, purchasing additional renewable energy to help cover emissions related to things like electric grid losses or from their supply chain; or purchasing renewables through long-term contracts at levels that anticipate campus growth.

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