Drexel Green

A Commitment Towards a More Sustainable Community

Moss Dragon Earth Day Block Party Farmer's Market Spring Blossoms on Korman Center Walk Tulips outside of the Law Building Students in front of Handschumacher Dining Center The Biowall in the Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building Drexel Park Flowers at Drexel Earth Day Celebrations Fitness Quad at the Drexel Recreation Center, Recycling Rainwater Race Street Walkway and Northside Dining Terrace Green Roof at the Millennium Residence Hall Rush Building Alumni Garden Autumn Leaves on Arch Street

Drexel Green Facts

100% WIND POWER In 2002, Drexel became one of the first universities to purchase wind generated energy. In 2006, Drexel entered into a contract with PECO Wind, to purchase wind energy directly linked to the Exelon-Community Energy Wind Farms located in the PJM Interconnection, supplying Drexel with 4,000.8 MWH per year, which translated into approximately 7.92% of Drexel's total annual electric use. In 2008, Drexel entered into a contract with Community Energy, Inc. to purchase energy linked to the PJM Interconnection, which translated into 12.9% of Drexel’s total annual use; the University increased its purchase to 30% of its total annual electric usage the following year. In 2010, Drexel entered into a new agreement with Community Energy to purchase Renewable Energy Certificates equal to 100% of the University’s total energy use (84,268 MWH). And in 2013, Drexel expanded its renewable energy leadership with a new purchase commitment through Community Energy that includes 96,582MWh of PRAXIS Green Power (a combination of renewable energy certificates and an online learning platform), as well as solar renewable energy from the Keystone Solar Project located in Lancaster, Pa. Drexel is a member of the EPA’s elite Green Power Leadership Club, ranks No. 7 among colleges and universities nationally and ranks No. 1 among the Colonial Athletic Association for its purchase of renewable energy.

CLIMATE COMMITMENT Drexel has signed the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment to reduce its carbon footprint by 80% by the year 2050. With the purchase of 100% wind energy, Drexel reduced its operations carbon footprint by 81% in January 2011, exceeding the Climate Commitment goal 39 years early.


BIOWALL Drexel is the first university to house a living biowall. The 75-foot high wall of plants in the Constantine N. Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building serves as a natural air filter, coolant, and humidifier, as well as a research tool for students, professors, and researchers in the building.

BUILDING AUTOMATION SYSTEMS Seventy-five percent of Drexel's buildings utilize Building Automation Systems (BAS) to control mechanical equipment, occupancy and lighting schedules, and temperature control.

CAMPUS ENERGY EFFICIENCY FUND Drexel is the first university to participate in Pennsylvania’s Campus Energy Efficiency Fund, an innovative financing opportunity to help institutions cut utility costs through job-creating energy efficiency improvements. Drexel – working with the project engineering team from Transcend Equity Development Corporation – will undertake upgrades at six buildings on campus. The improvements are expected to reduce Drexel’s annual energy consumption more than 7%, which will save between $500,000 and $600,000 annually, with no negative impact to the institution’s balance sheet.

EFFICIENT LIGHTING In addition to installing efficient lighting fixtures, computer control systems are being installed to turn lighting off after hours or when it is not needed, and stand-alone room lighting occupancy sensors are being used in newer construction and in renovations to conserve lighting energy. Drexel is currently striving to implement "dimming ballasts" and "daylight harvesting" lights, which automatically dim or turn off in areas where natural light is adequate.

EXTERNAL INDUCTIVE LIGHTING Many exterior lamps on campus have also been replaced with fixtures that use inductive bulbs that use less energy and have longer usage expectancy than comparable conventional lamps.

GREEN FLEETS Public Safety uses environmentally friendly battery-powered Chariots and Segways and uses bikes to patrol the campus rather than traditional fuel-motor vehicles. Drexel University also has six hybrid vehicles as part of the university fleet, including all Public Safety security vehicles (non-police), and is committed to purchasing more as vehicles need to be replaced.

HIGH-EFFICIENCY LAUNDRY MACHINES All residence halls have laundry machines that are energy efficient and reduce water consumption.

RESTRICTED FLOW SHOWERHEAD All shower facilities in residence halls and athletics facilities have been retrofitted with water-saving showerheads, saving almost 10% of water usage.

WATER-SAVING IRRIGATION Across campus, the Rain Bird irrigation system measures the moisture in the soil to activate zoned sprinklers without the use of automatic timers, cutting irrigation water usage by 40%.


CO2 EMMISSIONS AVOIDANCE Through University energy conservation activities, more than 1,802,087 pounds of CO grid- emissions are avoided annually from reducing use of 1,201,391 kWh of electricity on campus via building automation computers and equipment upgrades/replacement. From Wind Generated Electricity, 5,348,305 pounds of CO2 grid-emissions are avoided annually by purchasing the output of a single wind turbine or 1.5 Mega Watts. Combined, 7,150,392 pounds of CO2 emissions are avoided annually, with a substantial amount of SO2 and NOx emissions avoided as well.

DIRECT DIGITAL CONTROLS Drexel became one of the first universities to implement Direct Digital Controls (DDC) in renovations and new building construction. Lights, fans, pumps, air conditioners, boilers, heating valves, exhaust fans, heat recovery systems and some lab equipment are controlled by DDC systems. Today, Drexel incorporates Variable Frequency Drives (VFD) for mechanical equipment in new construction projects. VFDs reduce energy consumption by varying the power required to run electric motors.

FOSSIL FUEL AVOIDANCE Between purchasing wind energy and using advanced building controls, Drexel typically saves annually 3,134,341 kWh of electricity, which equates to 1,136 barrels of oil saved (18 barrels of crude oil for every 10,000 kWh) or 297 tons of coal saved (4.7 tons of coal for every 10,000 kWh).

GREEN CLEANING PRODUCTS About 75% of cleaning products used by University Facilities are considered environmentally friendly.

SMART GRID TECHNOLOGY Drexel was the first institution to deploy Viridity’s VPower System, a smart-grid energy monitoring system that provides real-time measurements of the University’s power usage.

SOLAR TECHNOLOGY 19 Big Belly solar-powered trash compactors and recycling units reduce the University’s carbon footprint and encourage recycling.


COMPOSTING The recycling program operates a composting center to aid in the removal of cut grass, leaves and tree limbs from the waste stream. About 20-30 tons of compost are made each year at Vidas Athletic Complex.

FOOD WASTE RECYCLING All Drexel dining locations recycle 100% of cooking oils to be made into biofuel.

LOCAL PRODUCE AND DAIRY Ten local farms provide fresh seasonal produce for Campus Dining and 100% of milk is from Pennsylvania dairy cows.

ORGANIC LANDSCAPING 30% of campus grounds are maintained organically.

RECYCLED MATERIALS Drexel recycles mixed paper, glass, plastic, aluminum, cardboard, scrap metal and hazardous-type materials such as fluorescent lamps, motor oil, printer toner cartridges, paint, industrial batteries, computers, electrical equipment, and tires.

RECYCLED TONNAGE Annually, Drexel recycles approximately 300 tons of waste. Nearly 25% of the University's waste stream is now being recycled.


BROWNFIELD REDEVELOPMENT A former 2.5-acre industrial site was redeveloped into open green space with more than 45 trees now known as Drexel Park.

RECYCLED PURCHASING More than 20% of office supplies ordered are made from recycled materials.

RECYCLED SYNTHETIC TURF MATERIAL Vidas Field and Buckley Recreation Field are made with 100% recycled rubber in-fill.

MORE FACTS… For more facts and figures about Drexel’s Green Initiatives and building practices, see our interactive Drexel Green Campus Map.