EPA recognizes Syracuse University as top green power purchaser among colleges and universities
EPA recognizes Syracuse University as top green power purchaser among colleges and universitiesFebruary 13, 2006Sara Millersemortim@syr.edu
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized Syracuse University as its fourth leading partner on the EPA list of Top 10 College and University Green Power Partners. SU is being recognized for its voluntary purchase of 22,000 megawatt-hours (MWh), or enough green power to cover 20 percent of its electricity needs. SU purchases this green power in the form of low-impact hydro and wind-generated electricity from Suez Energy Resources NA.
According to the EPA’s estimates, SU’s purchase of green power is equivalent to removing more than 2,600 cars from the road for one year or planting more than 4,100 acres of trees, or equal to the electricity needed, on average, to power 2,056 homes for one year.
The EPA released the list of the nation’s top 10 college and university green power purchasers Feb. 13. The EPA ranks SU after only the University of Pennsylvania, Western Washington University and the University of Utah. Other top 10 higher education partners include Duke University, Penn State, Harvard University, Evergreen State College, Oberlin College and the University of Buffalo. This is the first time that the EPA has released a list of the top 10 colleges and universities in the Green Power Partnership. This list is available athttp://www.epa.gov/greenpower/.
This top 10 list highlights institutions of higher education within the Green Power Partnership that have completed the largest annual voluntary green power purchases through Jan. 18, 2006. “Green power” is defined by the partnership as electricity products that are partially or entirely generated from environmentally preferable resources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas and low-impact biomass and hydro resources.
“Our green power purchase demonstrates our commitment to sustainability and is consistent with the University’s environmental priorities,” says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. “As the lead partner in the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems, we are always examining new ways to create a more sustainable University community.”
These renewable energy sources are cleaner than traditional sources of electricity that produce carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas linked to global climate change. Green power purchases support the development of new renewable energy capacity.
“Syracuse University is providing an excellent example for its students, faculty, employees and community by purchasing green power,” says Blaine Collison, program director of the EPA’s Green Power Partnership. “The University’s actions are helping drive the development of new renewable energy sources. As more renewable energy power plants are developed, the overall air emissions associated with electricity generation will be reduced.”
In April 2005, SU made the commitment to begin purchasing a minimum of 20 percent of its electricity in the form of renewable energy, effective as of July 1, 2005. This decision came after Chancellor Cantor expressed her commitment to renewable energy and Senior Vice President for Business, Finance and Administrative Services Louis G. Marcoccia met with a group of administrators and a group of concerned individuals, including students. In July 2005, the EPA recognized SU with a place on its Top 25 Green Power Partners, which highlights both companies and organizations nationwide that are partners in EPA’s Green Power Partnership. These companies and organizations have completed the largest known voluntary renewable energy purchases in the United States.
“Using green power is helping to improve our environmental performance, increase demand for renewable resources, and send a message that using cleaner sources of electricity is a sound business decision and important choice,” says Marcoccia.
The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary EPA program that seeks to increase the use of green power among leading U.S. organizations. Partners in the program switch to green power for a portion of their electricity needs in return for EPA technical assistance and recognition. The Green Power Partnership currently has more than 600 partners, including Fortune 500 companies, states, federal agencies, trade associations and universities.
For more information on EPA’s Top 10 college and university partners list, visithttp://www.epa.gov/greenpower/partners/top10ed.htm. For a full listing of the more than 600 EPA Green Power Partners and information about buying green power, visit the Partnership’s website athttp://www.epa.gov/greenpower/.