Evergreen top-ten college in nation for green power

February 10, 2006

EPA, Washington State Senate honor Evergreen's commitment

OLYMPIA , Wash. -- The Evergreen State College and the hard work of students have been recognized with two distinct honors in the past week for the college's commitment to renewable energy.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the list of the nation's top-ten college and university green power purchasers today - and The Evergreen State College is eighth in the nation with the amount of green power purchased. All of the electricity used at the main campus in Olympia , as well as the Tacoma campus is green, translating to enough energy for more than 1500 homes per year, according to the EPA.

Green energy is non-polluting and is renewable. Common sources of green energy include geothermal power, wind power - which is the type Evergreen purchases - and solar and tidal power. About one million homes in the U.S. purchase green energy.

"The Evergreen State College is providing an excellent example for its students, faculty, employees, and community by purchasing green power," said Blaine Collison, program director of the EPA's Green Power Partnership. "The College'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."

Evergreen senior Brad Bishop was a leader in the campus effort to bring 100 percent green energy to Evergreen. He says that the project enabled students to use something much more than textbooks as a learning tool - the college's physical environment.

"This project was not just about supporting green energy, it was an opportunity to take it on, and use the college's setting and be innovative," Bishop says. He is also the co-chair of the Campus Clean Energy Committee.

Evergreen president Thomas L. "Les" Purce said "our commitment to green power is very much in line with our educational and environmental values. It's a significant honor to be named as one of the nation's top-ten institutions for renewable energy - I'm proud of the work that our students have done."

Evergreen was also honored by the state senate last week with a resolution recognizing the work of students, staff and faculty with renewable energy, the college's 100 percent commitment to green power, and the Power Player Award that Evergreen received from Puget Sound Energy and Seattle City Light.

"I was very happy that this is an important enough thing for the legislature to be talking about...this issue is becoming more popular and I hope that the legislature will spur further development," says Bishop, who was at the senate during the ceremony.

The EPA's Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program to increase the use of green power in the U.S. Partners in the program switch to green power for all or a portion of their electricity needs in return for EPA technical assistance and recognition.  The Green Power Partnership has more than 600 partners, including Fortune 500 companies, states, federal agencies, trade associations, and colleges and universities.