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Report Card 2007

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Climate Change & Energy


The Climate Change & Energy category focuses on initiatives to improve energy efficiency and conservation, and on efforts to obtain energy from renewable sources. This may include conservation campaigns that encourage college community members to monitor their energy consumption; retrofits of appliances or power plants to make use of energy-efficient technology; conducting a carbon emissions inventory and committing to emissions reduction goals; and making use of renewable energy, either through direct purchases of renewable energy credits or through on-site installation of clean energy resources. Points are also given to colleges that have made renewable energy investments with the potential to benefit the community beyond campus, such as public-private partnerships for off-campus development of renewable energy projects.


Leading by Example

The Climate Change & Energy "A" List is a group of 21 schools that earned "A" grades. Below is a sample of three very different institutions that all earned "A" grades. These summaries are based on data from each school’s profile page.


The University of British Columbia ’s ECOTrek program, the largest water and energy retrofit in any Canadian university, was finalized in 2006 and has tallied energy savings that represent a reduction of 15,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. The program is saving the University $2.5 million (Canadian Dollars) annually as a result of a 20 percent reduction in energy use. Since 1990, carbon dioxide emissions per square meter of building have been reduced by 30 percent.


  The University of Pennsylvania is one of the largest nongovernmental purchasers of wind power in the nation, buying 112,000 megawatts of wind energy, or 29 percent of their total energy needs. The 10-year contract that the University signed will enable the construction of a new 12-turbine, 20-megawatt wind farm in Pennsylvania.


The Tufts Climate Initiative at  Tufts University won the Environmental Protection Agency Climate Protection Award in 2005. The University changed its utilities contract in 2006 to include small-hydro and natural gas, reducing its carbon emissions to 21 percent below the New England average. Conservation efforts through the facilities department have involved lighting retrofits and motion sensors in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Lights program, improved steam trap efficiency, and new washing machines. Students are given the option to purchase green power.



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