For the third year in a row, Southwestern has led its athletic conference − the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) − in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s College & University Green Power Challenge. The yearly contest determines which schools in each NCAA conference use the most green power.

Southwestern beat its conference rivals by purchasing 100 percent of its electricity from a green power source – wind. Southwestern has been using 100 percent green energy since January 2010, when it signed an 18-year contract with the city of Georgetown to receive only electricity generated from wind power.

According to the EPA, Southwestern’s green power use of nearly 18 million kWh is equivalent to the electricity used by nearly 2,000 American homes annually, or the CO2 emissions of nearly 3,000 vehicles per year.

Thirty-two collegiate conferences and 76 schools competed in the 2012-2013 challenge, collectively purchasing more than 2.2 billion kWh of green power. 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 use at least 10 million kWh of green power annually.

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 electricity use. The partnership currently has more than 1,400 partner organizations including Fortune 500® companies, small and medium sized businesses, local, state, and federal governments, and colleges and universities.