For the second consecutive year, Duquesne University has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the 2008-2009 Individual Conference Champion for purchasing more green power than any other school in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
Duquesne University beat its conference rivals by purchasing nearly 13 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, representing 28 percent of the school’s annual electricity usage. Duquesne is buying renewable energy certificates from Direct Energy and Community Energy,which helps to reduce the environmental impacts associated with the campus’ purchased electricity use.
EPA estimates that Duquesne University’s green power purchase is the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power more than 1,200 average American homes each year or has the equivalent impact of reducing the carbon dioxide emissions of more than 1,600 passenger cars annually.
“We are honored to be recognized, once again, for our commitment to a more sustainable campus,” said Dr. Charles J. Dougherty, president of Duquesne University. “Being a responsible steward of natural resources is one of the ways that Duquesne demonstrates its global mission. We are building upon a foundation of long-established, environmentally conscious efforts that benefit the University, our community and the planet.”
Besides purchasing renewable energy and generating much of its own electricity for power, heating and cooling, Duquesne also has a proactive green cleaning program, a goal to observe LEED principles in new construction and major renovation projects, growing recycling and green purchasing initiatives. In the academic sphere, Duquesne has an award-winning Sustainability MBA program, as well as a community-minded Center for Environmental Research and Education.
“Each year our college and university Green Power Partners raise the bar for clean, renewable energy use,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “By taking action on its campus, Duquesne University is helping to move our nation into a clean energy future.”
Duquesne was part of the 2008-2009 challenge that involved 22 collegiate conferences and 44 schools that collectively purchased more than 1 billion kWh of green power. EPA will extend the College & University Green Power Challenge for a fourth year, to conclude in spring of 2010. The challenge is open to all U.S. colleges, universities, and conferences. 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 EPA’s minimum conference purchase requirement.
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 carbon dioxide emissions, a greenhouse gas linked to global climate change. Purchases of green power help accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide.
About the U.S. EPA’s Green Power Partnership
EPA’s Green Power Partnership encourages organizations to purchase green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use. The Green Power Partnership currently has more than 1,000 partners 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, trade associations, as well as colleges and universities. For additional information, please visit www.epa.gov/greenpower.
For more information about EPA’s College and University Green Power Challenge, visit the Challenge Web site at www.epa.gov/grnpower/initiatives/cu_challenge.htm.