For the third consecutive year, Duquesne University has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the Individual Conference Champion for using more green power than any other school in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
Duquesne University purchased nearly 13 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, representing 28 percent of the school’s annual electricity usage, to beat its conference rivals. Duquesne purchases renewable energy certificates from Direct Energy and Community Energy, which helps to reduce the environmental impacts associated with the campus’s electricity use.
EPA estimates that Duquesne’s green power purchase is equivalent to the amount of electricity needed to power more than 1,000 average American homes each year or has the equivalent impact of reducing the carbon dioxide emissions of more than 2,000 passenger cars annually.
“It is an honor to be acknowledged again for our sustainability efforts. Respect for the environment is integral to our strategic plan and shapes both academic and business decisions,” said Duquesne President Charles J. Dougherty. “Being a responsible steward of natural resources is one of the ways that Duquesne demonstrates its global mission.”
Besides purchasing renewable energy and generating much of its own electricity for power, heating and cooling, in the last two years, Duquesne has earned a Gold certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Commercial Interiors and a LEED Silver rating for new construction. Additionally, the University operates a proactive green cleaning program and has grown its recycling and green purchasing initiatives. In the academic sphere, Duquesne has an award-winning MBA Sustainability program, as well as a community-minded Center for Environmental Research and Education, which is preparing to conduct the third campus greenhouse gas emissions inventory.
“This is a college playoff where everyone wins,” said Gina McCarthy, EPA assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation.”Renewable energy is a slam dunk not just for Duquesne University but for clean air, our health and our climate.”
Duquesne was part of the 2009-2010 challenge involving 26 collegiate conferences and 54 schools that collectively purchased more than 1.2 billion kWh of green power. EPA will extend the College & University Green Power Challenge for a fifth year, to conclude in spring of 2011.
Green power is generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, biomass and water. Green power is considered cleaner than conventional sources of electricity and has lower carbon dioxide emissions, a greenhouse gas linked to global climate change.
For more information about EPA’s College and University Green Power Challenge, visit the Challenge Web site at http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/initiatives/cu_challenge.htm.