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Jan. 25: EPA Recognizes Carnegie Mellon Among Nation's Top 50 Green Power Purchasers


Carnegie Mellon University                  
Jocelyn Duffy                               

Alison Dennis

EPA Recognizes Carnegie Mellon Among
Nation's Top 50 Green Power Purchasers

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University has increased its ranking to No. 41 on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Top 50 List of green power purchasers. The top 50 represents leaders from a wide variety of organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, local, state and federal governments, and colleges and universities. In addition to appearing on the National Top 50 List, Carnegie Mellon also ranks second on the EPA's Top 20 College & University List.
This improved ranking reflects the university's increased purchase of green energy and further demonstrates Carnegie Mellon's commitment to protecting the environment and building upon its existing partnership with the U.S. EPA's Green Power Partnership. Carnegie Mellon is purchasing nearly 87 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, which is enough green power to meet 75 percent of the organization's purchased electricity use. Carnegie Mellon is buying renewable energy certificates (RECs) from Community Energy.
Today, the EPA updated each of its National Top Partner lists, highlighting some of America's largest green power purchasers. Each list highlights EPA Green Power Partners that have completed the largest annual voluntary purchases through Jan. 5, 2010. The EPA updates its Top Partner Lists quarterly at
"Carnegie Mellon is committed to creating a sustainable environment through our research, education and actions," said Carnegie Mellon President Jared L. Cohon. "Nine years ago, we made what was, at the time, the largest purchase of wind-generated electricity in America. This represented 5 percent of the university's total use of electricity. Each year we have increased that pledge and are now purchasing 75 percent of our energy from renewable sources. I am honored that the EPA has recognized our efforts."
This increased purchase also qualifies Carnegie Mellon for the EPA's Green Power Leadership Club, a distinction given to organizations that have significantly exceeded the EPA's minimum purchase requirements. Green Power Leadership Club members must purchase 10 times the partnership's minimum requirement organization-wide.
Green power is electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydro. These resources generate electricity with a net zero increase in carbon dioxide emissions, while offering a superior environmental profile compared to traditional power generation sources. Green power purchases also support the development of new renewable energy generation sources nationwide.
"EPA's Green Power Partners are raising the bar for clean, renewable energy use," said EPA Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy. "By using green power, Carnegie Mellon University is doing its part to fight climate change and proving every day that sound environmental practices can also be economically sound."
According to the U.S. EPA, Carnegie Mellon's green power purchase of nearly 87 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of nearly 12,000 passenger vehicles per year, or the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power more than 8,000 average American homes annually.
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.