EPA Recognizes Syracuse University for Largest Green Power Use in ACC

Syracuse University announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized it as a Conference Champion in the 2017-18 College and University Green Power Challenge. Syracuse University currently uses more green power than any other school in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Since April 2006, EPA’s Green Power Partnership has tracked and recognized the collegiate athletic conferences with the highest combined green power use within the program. The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that helps increase green power use among U.S. organizations to advance the American market for green power and development of those sources as a way to reduce air pollution and other environmental impacts associated with electricity use. The Conference Champion Award recognizes the school that uses the most green power in a qualifying conference.

Syracuse University beat its conference rivals by using 41 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, representing 35 percent of the school’s annual electricity use. Syracuse University is procuring renewable energy certificates (RECs) from Schneider Electric. This commitment to green power demonstrates a sustainable choice that helps to reduce the negative health impacts of air emissions including those related to ozone, fine particles, acid rain and regional haze.

According to the EPA, Syracuse’s green power use of 41 million kWh is equivalent to the electricity use of nearly 4,000 average American homes annually.
In the 2017-18 challenge, the 38 collegiate conferences and 109 schools competing collectively used nearly 3.6 billion kWh of green power. EPA’s Green Power Challenge is open to any collegiate athletic conference in the United States. To qualify, a collegiate athletic conference must include at least two schools that qualify as Green Power Partners, and the conference must collectively use at least 10 million kWh of green power.

EPA will restart the 13th season of the College and University Green Power Challenge in fall 2018 and conclude it in spring 2019. “Being recognized by the EPA’s Green Power Partnership as the 2017-2018 ACC Conference Champion is an achievement that highlights the University’s commitment to enhancing sustainability and energy conservation on campus while continuing to reduce our carbon footprint,” says Nathan Prior, director of Energy Systems and Sustainability Management.

Syracuse University signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment in 2007, declaring it as one of the largest private universities committed to zero net greenhouse gas emissions. The commitment is being fulfilled through the University’s Climate Action Plan (CAP), an institutional blue print for Syracuse University to become climate neutral by 2040.

Released in September 2009, the CAP consists of five overlapping sustainable components focused on energy conservation through existing technologies; energy efficiency through emerging technologies; creation of energy from renewable sources; enhancing sustainability practices among students, faculty and staff; and limited use of energy offsets, as needed, that benefit local residents and businesses.