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Santa Clara University Recognized as Individual Conference Winner

Monday, Apr. 20, 2009

SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 20, 2009 -- Santa Clara University was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the 2008-09 Individual Conference Champion for purchasing more green power than any other school in the West Coast Conference.

SCU beat its conference rivals by purchasing more than 11 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of wind power, representing 37 percent of the school's annual electricity usage. That's enough to power more than 1,100 average American homes each year. It's also the equivalent impact of reducing the CO2 emissions of nearly 1,500 passenger cars annually.

"We have made great strides to reduce our energy demand via conservation and retrofits, and supporting renewable energy generation is a great way to help us reach climate neutrality," said Lindsey Cromwell, SCU's sustainability coordinator.

Since April 2006, EPA's Green Power Partnership has tracked and recognized the collegiate athletic conferences with the highest combined green power purchases in the nation. The Individual Conference Champion Award recognizes the school that has made the largest individual purchase of green power within a qualifying conference.

"Our college and university Green Power Partners raise the bar every year for clean, renewable-energy use," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. "By taking action on their campus, Santa Clara University is helping to move our nation into a clean energy future."

SCU adopted a sustainability policy in 2004, which devotes the university to sustainability through stewardship, education, and outreach. Some of the recent initiatives include:

  • Testing new exterior building paint that's designed to reduce cooling costs by 21 percent.
  • Conserving water via over 200 water-free urinals throughout campus (each conserve 40,000 gallons of water annually). 
  • Conserving water in our residence halls. 95 percent of residence hall showers have low-flow shower-heads, sinks, and toilets, as well as front-loading washing machines.
  • Reducing waste through a recycling program. In 2008, SCU diverted 30 percent of its total waste, and over 700 electronic materials were donated for reuse or recycling.
  • Designing solar-powered homes. SCU was one of 20 schools in the 2007 Solar Decathlon. Over 100 SCU students designed, built, and operated a 650 square foot, solar-powered home. SCU won 3rd place and is building an 800 square foot home for the 2009 competition that takes place in Washington, D.C.
  • Encouraging students to do research. The Sustainable Living Undergraduate Research Project (SLURP) provides undergraduates opportunities to conduct year-long studies of sustainability as it relates to residence life.

About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California's Silicon Valley, offers its 8,758 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master's and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master's universities, California's oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice.

About the U.S. EPA's Green Power Partnership

EPA's Green Power Partnership encourages organizations to purchase green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use. The Green Power Partnership currently has more than 1,000 partners voluntarily purchasing billions of kilowatt hours of green power annually. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500 companies, small and medium sized businesses, local, state, and federal governments, trade associations, as well as colleges and universities.


EPA’s Green Power Challenge
SCU’s Sustainability Policy and Efforts
SCU’s Sustainability Photos
Solar Decathlon
Team California
Video of construction day 1
Photos of construction day 1
Video of SCU’s 2007 Solar Decathlon House
Video of SCU winning 3rd place at the 2007 Solar Decathlon
2007 SCU Solar Decathlon Team

Media Contact
Connie Kim Coutain
408-554-5126 (office)
408-829-4836 (cell)

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