GODFREY — Lewis and Clark Community College was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the Individual Conference Champion of the 2015-16 College & University Green Power Challenge for using more green power than any other school in the NJCAA/Region 24.
The college beat its conference rivals by using nearly 13 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, representing 100 percent of the school’s annual electricity usage.
According to the U.S. EPA, Lewis and Clark Community College’s green power use of nearly 13 million kWh is equivalent to the electricity use of more than 1,000 average American homes annually.
“The EPA applauds Lewis and Clark for its commitment to using green power and for taking a leadership position on the environment,” said James Critchfield, manager of the Green Power Partnership. “Lewis and Clark Community College is helping to reduce carbon pollution and provides an excellent example for other higher educational institutions to invest in environmental progress.”
L&C is also procuring a utility green power product from Homefield Energy. In addition, the college is generating green power from an on-site renewable energy system using solar resources. This demonstrates a proactive choice to switch away from traditional sources of electricity generation and support cleaner renewable energy alternatives.
Since April 2006, EPA’s Green Power Partnership has tracked and recognized the collegiate athletic conferences with the highest combined green power use in the nation. The Individual Conference Champion Award recognizes the school that has the largest individual use of green power within a qualifying conference.
In the 2015-16 challenge, the 41 collegiate conferences and 94 schools competing collectively used nearly 2.5 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 one school that qualifies as a Green Power Partner, and the conference must collectively use at least 10 million kWh of green power. EPA will restart the 11th season of the College & University Green Power Challenge in the fall of 2016 and conclude in the spring of 2017.
Green power is zero-emissions electricity generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, eligible biogas, biomass and low-impact hydro. Using green power helps accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide and helps users reduce their carbon footprints.
“Electricity consumption accounts for a large portion of our CO2 emissions,” L&C Director of Sustainability Nate Keener said. “Every year, it’s either the number one or number two source of those emissions for our campus. The source of our electricity makes a big difference in our CO2 emission profile, so it was important to us that we get our electricity from a sustainable source. We’re proud to have earned this award for the second year in a row for our purchase and use of green power, and look forward to continuing to work with the EPA’s Green Power Partnership.”
Lewis and Clark Community College earned the Governor’s Sustainability Award in 2011 and 2013 and the Governor’s Coordinating Council’s Gold Compact Award in 2012.
In addition to purchasing green power and installing renewable energy systems, Lewis and Clark is involved in other efforts to reduce emissions. The college has installed three electric vehicle charge stations at its Godfrey campus and National Great Rivers Research and Education Center Jerry F. Costello Field Station in East Alton, and led a statewide EV Rally in 2014 to promote electric vehicles. It has a recycling and composting program, as well as a student-led initiative to recycle all the college’s printer cartridges.
The college also works to mitigate stormwater impacts with pervious paver lots and roadways, as well as native planted rain gardens and bioswales. Lewis and Clark aims to educate the student population and public with sustainability-oriented programs, courses and outreach events and activities. Learn more at lc.edu/green.
For information about the Green Power Partnership, visit epa.gov/greenpower. For information about EPA’s College and University Green Power Challenge, visit epa.gov/greenpower/college-and-university-challenge.