The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized Philadelphia University as an Individual Conference Champion of the 2015-16 College & University Green Power Challenge for using more green power than any other school in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.
Since 2006, EPA’s Green Power Partnership has tracked the collegiate athletic conferences with the highest combined green power use within the program. The Individual Conference Champion Award honors the school that uses the most green power in a qualifying conference.
PhilaU beat its conference rivals by using nearly 16 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, representing 100 percent of the school’s annual electricity usage. The University procures utility green power products from WGL Energy and Direct Energy, which the agency says “demonstrates a proactive choice to switch away from traditional sources of electricity generation and support cleaner renewable energy alternatives.”
“As a University that has many majors directly related to sustainability, it is important to demonstrate sustainability as an operational commitment,” said J. Thomas Becker, PhilaU’s associate vice president for operations.
PhilaU is a signatory to the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment and has embarked on a climate action plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2035, he said.
“The wedge diagram of programs to do that strategizes a preference toward electrical power over fossil fuels, but that only makes sense if the energy used to create that power is from renewable sources,” Becker explained. “We have been tracking ahead of our interim goals, and this award confirms we have acted decisively on our commitments. We have become a leader among universities in green power and in the reduction of our carbon footprint.”
PhilaU’s green power use of nearly 16 million kWh is equivalent to the electricity use of more than 1,400 average American homes annually, according to the EPA.