April 17, 2013
University Recognized as Top Green Power Purchaser in Landmark Conference
CUA Also Included in Princeton Guide to Green Schools
|Brian Alexander surveys solar panels on Flather Hall.
The Catholic University of America was recognized April 17 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a 2012-2013 Individual Conference Champion of the College & University Green Power Challenge for using more green power than any other school in the Landmark Conference.
Catholic University beat its conference rivals by purchasing 43 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, representing 100 percent of the school’s annual electricity usage. CUA purchases a utility green power product from Hess Energy Marketing, which helps to reduce the environmental impacts associated with the campus’ electricity use.
“With so many older buildings on campus, some built as early as 1889, our eco-friendly options are somewhat limited,” says Brian Alexander, director of energy and environmental systems at CUA. “By purchasing green power from Hess, we are getting the biggest bang for our buck.”
According to the EPA, the University’s green power use of 43 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electricity use of nearly 5,000 American homes annually, or the CO2 emissions of more than 6,000 vehicles per year.
Green power is electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass, and low-impact hydropower. Purchases of green power help accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector.
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. 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 use at least 10 million kWh of green power annually.
Thanks to its use of green power and other sustainable activities, CUA was also recognized this month as one of the 322 most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. and Canada, according to The Princeton Review. CUA is included in the fourth annual edition of the Princeton Review’s free downloadable book, “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges."
The Princeton Review chose the schools for this guide based on a 50-question survey it conducted in 2012 of administrators at hundreds of four-year colleges. Princeton Review analyzed data from the survey about the schools' course offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation to measure their commitment to the environment and to sustainability.
“The fact that the Princeton Review chose to recognize CUA proves that we are multi-dimensional in our sustainability efforts,” Alexander says. “We are not only operating as green as possible, but we also offering more than 50 classes related to environmental stewardship.”