• Southwestern University to be recognized as a leader in green energy for the eighth year in a row
    Southwestern University to be recognized as a leader in green energy for the eighth year in a row

Southwestern University has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an Individual Conference Champion of the 2017–18 College & University Green Power Challenge for using more green power than any other school in the Southern Collegiate Athletic 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 Conference Champion Award recognizes the school that uses the most green power in a qualifying conference.

Southwestern University beat our conference rivals by using more than 18 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, representing 100 percent of the school’s annual electricity use. Southwestern University is procuring a utility green power product from the City of Georgetown. 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 U.S. EPA, Southwestern’s green power use of more than 18 million kWh is equivalent to the electricity use of nearly 2,000 average American homes annually.

Professor of Environmental Studies Joshua Long acknowledges the significance of the EPA’s recognition.

“We are honored to have received this award for the 8th straight year,” Long said. “This award reflects just one aspect of our commitment to ensuring that Southwestern continues to be the most sustainable university in Texas.”

This commitment is deeply ingrained in Southwestern’s academic and campus life. The Environmental Studies Program challenges students to investigate complex natural systems and answer provocative and urgent questions about humankind’s relationship to the environment. The Program provides multiple avenues for student engagement, including capstone projects, multiple organizations like SEAK (Students for Environmental Activism and Knowledge), the Community Garden, the student-driven field studies program, Ecolab, as well as Southwestern’s implementation of STARS, a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Associate Vice President for Facilities Management Mike Miller was also thrilled with this honor.

“It is a great honor for Southwestern University to be recognized as a leader in green energy for the eighth year in a row,” said Miller. “Working through the City of Georgetown, the students, faculty, and staff of Southwestern University continue their commitment to sustainability.”

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. For more information, visit: www.epa.gov/greenpower/college-and-university-challenge.