Evergreen recognized by EPA as Top Green Power Purchaser

May 7, 2012

Evergreen is Individual Conference Champion for EPA’s 2011-2012 College & University Green Power Challenge

Olympia, WA — The Evergreen State College announced today that it was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the 2011-2012 Individual Conference Champion for using more green power than any other school in the Cascade Collegiate Conference.

Since April 2006, EPA’s Green Power Partnership has tracked and recognized the collegiate athletic conferences with the highest combined green power purchases in the nation. The Individual Conference Champion Award recognizes the school that has made the largest individual purchase of green power within a qualifying conference.

The Evergreen State College beat its conference rivals by using more than 14 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, representing 100 percent of the school’s annual electricity usage. The Evergreen State College purchases utility green power products from Puget Sound Energy and Tacoma Power, helping to reduce the environmental impacts associated with the campus’ electricity use.

According to the U.S. EPA, The Evergreen State College’s green power use of more than 14 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electricity use of more than 1,000 average American homes annually, or the CO2 emissions of nearly 2,000 passenger vehicles per year. The Cascade Collegiate Conference’s collective green power purchase of more than 25 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of more than 2,000 average American homes, or the annual CO2 emissions of more than 3,000 passenger vehicles.

“EPA applauds The Evergreen State College as the Cascade Collegiate Conference Champion in this year’s College and University Green Power Challenge,” said Blaine Collison, Director of EPA’s Green Power Partnership. “By purchasing 100 percent renewable electricity, Evergreen is reducing harmful carbon pollution and showing that small schools can make a big difference for the environment.”

Thirty collegiate conferences and 73 schools competed in the 2011-2012 challenge, collectively purchasing more than 1.8 billion kWh of green power. EPA will extend the College & University Green Power Challenge for a seventh year, to conclude in spring of 2013. EPA’s Green Power Challenge is open to all U.S. colleges, universities, and conferences. In order to qualify, a collegiate athletic conference must include at least one school that qualifies as a Green Power Partner, and the conference must collectively purchase at least 10 million kWh of green power. For more information, visit: http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/initiatives/cu_challenge.htm.

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.

From edible forest gardens to a salmon-safe certified organic farm to campus housing options in which students consciously choose a different way to relate to their natural world, Evergreen provides students with the opportunity to embark on new ways of thinking. Purchasing Green Power is an important part of Evergreen’s commitment to sustainability.

About The Evergreen State College

The Evergreen State College is a nationally recognized public liberal arts college known for its distinctive interdisciplinary curriculum, high level of student/faculty engagement and emphasis on putting learning into action.

About EPA’s Green Power Partnership

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 voluntarily purchasing 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 http://www.epa.gov/greenpower.

For more information about EPA’s College and University Green Power Challenge, visit the Challenge website at http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/initiatives/cu_challenge.htm.