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EPA Recognizes Drexel as Top Green Power Purchaser among the Colonial Conference Schools

PHILADELPHIA, April 20, 2011

Drexel University was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the 2010-2011 Individual Conference Champion for using more green power than any other school in the Colonial 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.

Drexel beat its conference rivals by purchasing more than 84 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, representing 100 percent of the school’s annual electricity usage. Drexel purchases renewable energy certificates from Community Energy, which helps to reduce the environmental impacts associated with the campus’ electricity use.

According to the U.S. EPA, Drexel University’s green power use of more than 84 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electricity use of more than 7,000 average American homes annually, or the CO2 emissions of nearly 12,000 passenger vehicles per year.

Thirty-one collegiate conferences and 69 schools competed in the 2010-2011 challenge, collectively purchasing nearly 1.6 billion kWh of green power. EPA will extend the College & University Green Power Challenge for a sixth year, to conclude in spring of 2012. 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.

This year, Drexel, for the first time, was included in the EPA’s National Top 50 list of the largest green power purchasers. Drexel President John A. Fry recently signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment validating Drexel’s pledge to eliminate its carbon footprint, promote research and educational efforts, and equip the University to contribute in stabilizing the earth’s climate. As part of the Drexel Green Initiative, the University was also recognized by PennFuture, a leading Pennsylvania environmental advocacy organization, for becoming the first institution in the country to deploy Viridity Energy’s VPower System™, an energy monitoring system at its University City Main Campus.

Drexel’s new buildings are constructed according to green standards. The Constantine N. Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building, scheduled for completion in 2011, will become the first academic building in the country to include a biowall or living biofilter for energy efficiency and improved air quality. The design is environmentally sensitive and will become Drexel's first Silver LEED certified building from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Additional sustainability efforts include using biodiesel fuel for shuttle buses, purchasing hybrid and battery-powered vehicles, a free bike share program, water consumption reduction across campus, implementing a multitude of energy-saving controls and lighting efficiency measures, using ice thermal energy for cooling and wide-ranging recycling efforts.

About Drexel University
Founded in 1891 in Philadelphia, Drexel is the nation’s 14th largest private university and is ranked second among national universities in the U.S. News list of “Up-and-Comers.”  Drexel is widely recognized for its focus on experiential learning through its co-operative education program, technology and use-inspired research.

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 purchased 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 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

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News media contacts:
Niki Gianakaris, director, Drexel News Bureau
215-895-6741, 215-778-7752 (cell), ngianakaris@drexel.edu

Melissa Donnelly, EPA
202-343-9546 or donnelly.melissa@epa.gov