EPA Names Duquesne Conference Champion in Green Power Challenge
For the fourth consecutive year, Duquesne University has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the Individual Conference Champion for using more green power than any other school in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
As the 2010-2011 Individual Conference Champion, Duquesne edged out its A-10 competitors by purchasing nearly 13 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, which represents approximately 28 percent of its annual electricity usage. The University purchases renewable energy certificates from Direct Energy and Community Energy, which help to reduce the environmental impact associated with electricity use on campus.
According to the U.S. EPA, Duquesne University’s green power use of nearly 13 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.
“We remain committed to the continual implementation of sustainable principles in the management and development of our campus,” said Duquesne President Charles J. Dougherty. “We are honored to be the leader in setting this example among our Atlantic 10 colleagues and continue to work toward a greener campus and a greener world.”
In addition to its renewable energy purchases, Duquesne is currently building a new residence hall that is being constructed according to Silver LEED certification standards. Des Places Hall, slated to be open and house upperclassmen for the fall 2012 semester, will include various sustainable technologies from drought-tolerant landscaping to the use of locally manufactured materials. According to the building’s designers, WTW Architects, estimates based upon construction standards show sustainable efforts will save at lease 22 percent in energy use.
The University also has implemented composting, thanks to a partnership with Agrecycle, Pennsylvania’s largest composting company. Since March, food waste from campus dining locations has been reintroduced into the soil as organic matter rich in nutrients, minerals and beneficial microorganisms.
“We’re glad to see the competition heating up as more and more colleges and universities join the Green Power Challenge,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “This year’s schools used more than 1.5 billion kilowatt hours of green power, cutting harmful emissions from our air, protecting health and driving demand in the clean energy market.”
Duquesne participated in the 2010-2011 challenge in which 31 collegiate conferences and 69 schools competed and collectively purchased nearly 1.6 billion kWh of green power. The EPA will extend the College & University Green Power Challenge for a sixth year, to conclude in spring of 2012.
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.
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.
Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic research universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. The University is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review for its rich academic programs in nine schools of study for nearly 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and by the Washington Monthly for service and contributing to students' social mobility. Duquesne is a member of the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for its contributions to Pittsburgh and communities around the globe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges acknowledge Duquesne's commitment to sustainability.