The U.S Environmental Protection Agency has crowned the Ivy League as the overall champion conference of EPA's College & University Green Power Challenge for 2006-2007. The Ivy League beat out 15 other collegiate athletic conferences and New York University won individual school honors for purchasing more green power, 118 million kilowatt-hours (kWh), than any other school in the competition.
"EPA applauds this year's College & University Green Power Conference Champions for their leadership in green power purchasing," said Bill Wehrum, EPA's acting assistant administrator for Air and Radiation."EPA hopes this year's competition inspires schools around the nation to participate in the 2007-2008 EPA College & University Green Power Challenge. Buying green power is a great way to demonstrate that what's good for the environment is also good for higher education."
Since April 2006, EPA's Green Power Partnership has ranked conferences by the quantity of green power purchased by their respective colleges and universities. These conferences must have schools that qualify as EPA Green Power Partners and make a collective green power purchase of at least 10 million kWh conference-wide in order to be eligible for the challenge. The 33 schools and 16 conferences taking part in this year's challenge are buying more than 750 million kWh of green power. EPA estimates that this amount of green power is equal to the electricity needed to power more than 60,000 average American homes each year.
Leading the Ivy League was the University of Pennsylvania followed by Harvard and Yale. The collective total purchase of these three schools ranked the Ivy League first among all conferences, with a total of more than 140 million kWh of green power purchased.
EPA also recognized 16 individual conference champions with the largest green power purchases within their respective conferences. The conference champions are: University of Pennsylvania, New York University, Pennsylvania State University, Duke University, University of California at Santa Cruz, Connecticut College, Western Washington University, University of Utah, University of Central Oklahoma, Syracuse University, University of Washington, The Evergreen State College, Oberlin College, University at Buffalo, University of Colorado, Boulder, and Rowan University.
Green power is produced from eligible renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydro. Green power is considered cleaner than conventional sources of electricity, has a superior environmental profile to conventional power, and does not contribute additional carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere. Buying green power has proven to be an excellent strategy for colleges and universities across the country to reduce the environmental impact of their purchased electricity, while allowing them to tie environmental action to the educational mission of the school.
EPA's Green Power Partnership encourages organizations to buy green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with fossil fuel-based electricity use. The partnership comprises of a diverse set of organizations including Fortune 500 companies, small and medium businesses, government institutions as well as colleges and universities.
The champions were announced today at the 2nd Annual Smart and Sustainable Campus Conference in College Park, Md., which EPA co-sponsors. This annual event is designed to encourage smart growth and sustainability among colleges and universities nationwide.