GODFREY — Lewis and Clark Community College announced Tuesday it was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a 2014-2015 Individual Conference Champion of the College & University Green Power Challenge for using more green power than any other school in the NJCAA/Region 24.
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.
Lewis and Clark Community College beat its conference rivals by using nearly 13 million kilowatt-hours of green power, representing 92 percent of the school’s annual electricity usage. Lewis and Clark Community College is buying a utility green power product from Homefield Energy. In addition, Lewis and Clark Community 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.
According to the U.S. EPA, the 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.
“EPA applauds Lewis and Clark Community College’s accomplishment as the Individual Conference Champion in the College and University Green Power Challenge,” said James Critchfield, director of EPA’s Green Power Partnership. “By choosing to use green power, Lewis and Clark Community College is cutting its carbon footprint and setting an example for others to follow.”
Thirty-nine collegiate conferences and 90 schools competed in the 2014-2015 challenge, collectively using nearly 2.4 billion kWh of green power. EPA will extend the College & University Green Power Challenge for a 10th year, to conclude in spring of 2016. EPA’s Green Power Challenge is open to all U.S. colleges, universities, and conferences. 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. For information, visit www.epa.gov/greenpower/initiatives/cu_challenge.htm.
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.
“The headline goal of our Climate Action Plan here at Lewis and Clark Community College is to achieve campus carbon neutrality by 2058,” said Nate Keener, director of sustainability for Lewis and Clark Community College. “That goal means we need to offset or eliminate all of our CO2 emissions in just over 40 years. Electricity consumption accounts for a large portion of our CO2 emissions. 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. We’re proud to have earned this award 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 has long been a leader in sustainability efforts, earning 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 various other efforts to reduce their emissions and “Go Green.” 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 printer cartridges. The college also works to mitigate stormwater impacts with pervious paver lots and roads, 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 www.lc.edu/green.