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Georgian Court University Recognized by EPA as Top Green Power Purchaser in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference in 2010–2011

University Named Individual Conference Champion for EPA’s 2010–2011 College & University Green Power Challenge

Lakewood, N.J., Apr. 18, 2011—Georgian Court University announced today that it was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the 2010–2011 Individual Conference Champion for using more green power than any other school in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC).

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.

Georgian Court University beat its conference rivals by purchasing more than 6 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, representing 110% percent of the school’s annual electricity usage. Georgian Court University purchases a utility green power product from NextEra Energy Resources, which helps to reduce the environmental impacts associated with the campus’ electricity use.

According to the U.S. EPA, Georgian Court University’s green power use of more than 6 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electricity use of more than 500 average American homes annually, or the CO2 emissions of nearly 900 passenger vehicles per year. The CACC’s collective green power purchase of more than 10 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of more than 900 average American homes or the annual CO2 emissions of nearly 1,500 passenger vehicles.

“We’re glad to see the competition heating up as more and more colleges and universities join the Green Power Challenge,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “This year’s schools used more than 1.5 billion kilowatt hours of green power, cutting harmful emissions from our air, protecting health, and driving demand in the clean energy market.”

Sixty-nine schools competed in the 2010–2011 challenge, collectively purchasing more nearly 1.6 billion kWh of green power. EPA will extend the College & University Green Power Challenge for a sixth year, to conclude in spring of 2012. EPA’s Green Power Challenge is open to all U.S. colleges, universities, and conferences. In order to qualify, a collegiate athletic conference must include at least one school that qualifies as a Green Power Partner, and the conference must collectively purchase at least 10 million kWh of green power. For more information, visit: http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/initiatives/cu_challenge.htm.

Green power is electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass, and low-impact hydro.  Purchases of green power help accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector.

“We are grateful for the recognition and hope that more and more schools, businesses, and institutions will find ways to responsibly use resources because it really is the right thing to do,” says Rosemary E. Jeffries, RSM, Ph.D., GCU president. “Georgian Court University is proud of our collective effort to become a more sustainable campus through the leadership of a special committee of staff, students, and faculty.”

Georgian Court became the first institution of higher education in New Jersey to purchase all of its electricity from renewable resources in 2008. In December 2010, Georgian Court completed construction of a solar array consisting of 1,639 solar panels that produce 400 kWh of energy, which is capable of providing 15 percent of the energy needed for the Arts and Science Center, library complex, and the LEED Gold-certified Wellness Center.

Georgian Court launches a new minor in sustainability in Fall 2011, giving students an academic opportunity to focus on contemporary economics, globalization and sustainability, and environmental science.

The university is also helping its students become more aware of preserving the earth’s resources. GCU finished in the top three in New Jersey and in the top 60 nationally in the Waste Minimization category of the nationwide Recyclemania competition in 2009 and 2010. The university also placed high in the Targeted Material-Food Service Organics category in 2010 by finishing 9th out of 127 participating colleges and universities, and 2nd out of 6 participating New Jersey colleges and universities. The U.S. EPA recognized the university efforts commitment to waste reduction in 2008 with an official commendation as a “WasteWise Partner.”

About Georgian Court University
Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court serves nearly 3,000 students of all faiths and backgrounds in a residential Women's College and a coeducational University College with undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court's main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, now named a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at its site at One Woodbridge Center in Woodbridge, at Coastal Communiversity in Wall, and at Cumberland County College in Vineland.

About EPA’s Green Power Partnership
The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to buy green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with purchased electricity use. The Partnership currently has more than 1,300 Partner organizations 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, and colleges and universities. For additional information, please visit www.epa.gov/greenpower.

For more information about EPA’s College and University Green Power Challenge, visit the Challenge Web site at http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/initiatives/cu_challenge.htm.

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