Conference Champ in Green Power
Santa Clara University named 2015-16 West Coast Conference winner in the EPA College & University Green Power Challenge
Santa Clara University is using more green power than any other school in the West Coast Conference, making it the 2015–16 Individual Conference Champion in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) College & University Green Power Challenge.
“At Santa Clara University, we are always looking for ways to get the campus closer to climate neutrality,” said Cara Uy, Santa Clara University’s sustainability coordinator. “We utilize Silicon Valley Power’s Green Power Program to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and to contribute to the national culture of investing in renewable energy.”
Since April 2006, EPA’s Green Power Partnership has tracked and recognized the collegiate athletic conferences with the highest combined green power use within the program. The Individual Conference Champion Award recognizes the school that uses the most green power in a qualifying conference.
SCU beat its conference rivals by using nearly 23 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, representing 83 percent of the school’s annual electricity usage. SCU procures a utility green power product from Silicon Valley Power and also generates green power from on-site renewable energy systems using solar resources, supporting cleaner renewable energy alternatives.
“The EPA applauds Santa Clara University for its commitment to using green power and for taking a leadership position on the environment,” said James Critchfield, manager of the Green Power Partnership. “Santa Clara University is helping to reduce carbon pollution and provides an excellent example for other higher educational institutions to invest in environmental progress.”
According to the EPA, Santa Clara University's green power use of nearly 23 million kWh is equivalent to the electricity use of nearly 2,100 average American homes annually.
Forty-one collegiate conferences and 94 schools competed in the 2015–16 challenge, collectively using nearly 2.5 billion kWh of green power. EPA will restart the 11th season of the College and University Green Power Challenge in the fall of 2016 and conclude in the spring of 2017.
Green power is zero-emissions electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, eligible biogas, biomass, and low-impact hydro. Using green power helps accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide and helps users reduce their carbon footprints.
Santa Clara University is committed to achieving climate neutrality by 2020. The University’s strategy is to first reduce energy usage and target individual behavior, generate on-site renewables, then purchase offsets if necessary.
For the past several years SCU has been awarded for its sustainability practices and has consistently been a part of the Princeton Review’s Top Green College list and Sierra Magazine’s Top 50 Cool Schools. Other accolades include an Acterra Business Environmental Award in 2014, a STARS Gold rating in the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), and being listed as No. 11 in BestColleges.com’s America's Greenest Universities and No. 3 on College Raptor’s 25 Greenest College Campuses in the U.S. For a full listing of awards click here.
About EPA’s Green Power Partnership
The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to use green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with electricity use. The Partnership currently has nearly 1,400 Partner organizations voluntarily using 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, and colleges and universities. For additional information, please visit https://www.epa.gov/greenpower.
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