EPA Recognizes St. Mary’s College of Maryland for Leading Green Power Use
St. Mary’s College of Maryland announced today that for the first time it appears on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Top 30 College & University list of the largest green power users. St. Mary’s College is using more than 17 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, which is enough to meet 85 percent of the college’s electricity use. And, according to the U.S. EPA, that 17 million kWh of green power used by St. Mary’s College offsets the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electricity use of nearly 2,000 average American homes annually.
“We are proud to be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” said St. Mary’s College President Tuajuanda Jordan. “Using green power helps St. Mary’s become more sustainable. Supporting clean sources of electricity is a sound business decision and an important choice to help reduce by-products that adversely affect the climate and the environment.”
In 2007 the college’s SGA, with input from the student body, voted to contribute an annual portion of student fees to purchase renewable energy certificates (RECs) from 3Degrees to channel funds to green power projects that mitigate the environmental impact of energy use. In addition, St. Mary’s College is generating green power from an on-site solar energy system. This demonstrates a proactive choice to support cleaner renewable energy alternatives. This green power commitment also qualifies St. Mary’s College for EPA’s Green Power Leadership Club, a distinction given to organizations that have significantly exceeded EPA’s minimum requirements.
“We congratulate St. Mary’s College of Maryland for increasing its use of green power and taking a leadership position on the environment,” said James Critchfield, director of the Green Power Partnership, a program that encourages organizations to use green power. “St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s impressive green power commitment helps to reduce carbon pollution and provides an excellent example for other organizations.”
Green power is electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, eligible biomass, and low-impact hydro. Using green power helps accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide and helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector.
Learn about St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s plan for campus climate neutrality by 2020: www.smcm.edu/sustainability/climate/