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Sustainability

Southwestern Wins its Conference in the EPA’s Green Power Challenge for the Second Year in a Row

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Yearly contest determines which schools in each NCAA conference use the most green power

Southwestern is proving to be a powerhouse in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) – at least when it comes to green power.

For the second year in a row, Southwestern has led the SCAC in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s College & University Green Power Challenge. The yearly contest determines which schools in each NCAA conference use the most green power.

Southwestern beat its conference rivals by purchasing nearly 18 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, representing 100 percent of the school’s annual electricity usage. Southwestern has been using 100 percent green energy since January 2010, when it signed an 18-year contract with the city of Georgetown to receive only electricity generated from wind power.

Southwestern’s closest green power rival in the SCAC – Centre College – used 4.1 million kWh of green power.

According to the EPA, Southwestern’s green power use of nearly 18 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electricity use of nearly 2,000 average American homes annually or the CO2 emissions of more than 2,000 passenger vehicles per year.

Thirty collegiate conferences and 73 schools competed in the 2011-2012 challenge, collectively purchasing more than 1.8 billion kWh of green power. Green power is electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydro. Purchases of green power help accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector.

The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to buy green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with electricity use. The Partnership currently has more than 1,300 Partner organizations, including Fortune 500® companies; small and medium sized businesses; local, state, and federal governments; and colleges and universities. For more information on the program, visit www.epa.gov/greenpower.