Jocelyn Duffy, Carnegie Mellon University
Allison Dennis, U.S. EPA
Carnegie Mellon Named Conference Champion in
EPA's College & University Green Power Challenge
PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the 2009-2010 Individual Conference Champion for using more green power than any other school in the University Athletic Association (UAA).
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.
Carnegie Mellon beat its conference rivals by purchasing nearly 87 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, representing 75 percent of the school's annual electricity usage. Carnegie Mellon purchases renewable energy certificates from Community Energy, which helps to reduce the environmental impacts associated with the campus's electricity use.
The EPA estimates that Carnegie Mellon's purchase of nearly 87 million kWh of green power is equivalent to the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electricity use of nearly 8,000 average American homes each year or has the equivalent impact of reducing the CO2 emissions of nearly 12,000 passenger cars annually. The UAA's collective green power purchase of more than 92 million kWh of green power is equivalent to the CO2 emissions of nearly 13,000 cars. Other members of the UAA include the University of Rochester, Brandeis University, Case Western Reserve University, Emory University, New York University, the University of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis.
Twenty-six collegiate conferences and 54 schools competed in the 2009-2010 challenge, collectively purchasing nearly 1.2 billion kWh of green power. The EPA will extend the College & University Green Power Challenge for a fifth year, to conclude in spring 2011. The 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 meet the EPA's minimum conference purchase requirement. For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/initiatives/cu_challenge.htm.
Green power is generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydro. Green power is considered cleaner than conventional sources of electricity and has lower CO2 emissions, a greenhouse gas linked to global climate change. Purchases of green power help accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide.
Carnegie Mellon is committed to the study of environmental sciences and the deployment of sustainable practices, making environmental research and practices a university-wide priority. Among its accomplishments, Carnegie Mellon is home to the first green dormitory in the United States, has eight LEED certified building projects with more under construction and presented the first course in green chemistry. Research at the university seeks to find answers to some of the most pressing problems facing the environment through projects in a wide array of fields, including CO2 sequestration, green chemistry, alternative energy and sustainable design. For more information, visit http://www.cmu.edu/environment/.