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UofL earns award, top ranking for green efforts

by Denise Fitzpatrick, communications and marketing last modified Aug 20, 2012 02:55 PM

The University of Louisville is gaining national recognition for its efforts to save energy, reduce carbon emissions and use sustainable practices.

UofL has won a Sterling Planet Award and 200 megawatt-hours of renewable energy credits for saving energy last spring through a contest called Campus Conservation Nationals (CCN) and also is on a Sierra Club green schools top-50 ranking.

The university finished in the top 10 of 100 colleges and universities that took part in the spring CCN contest, said Justin Mog, assistant to the provost for sustainability initiatives.

Over a three-week period in March and April, students in nine campus residence halls reduced their energy use by an average of nearly 12 percent, saving $2,689 and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 79,000 pounds, Mog said.

University Tower Apartments led the energy savings with 36.4 percent, while Kurz Hall saved 20.5 percent and Louisville Hall saved 12.2 percent.

Sterling Planet, a company based in Norcross, Ga., sells renewable energy to businesses, government agencies, utilities, utility customers, colleges and universities.

UofL also made the Sierra Club list of the 50 greenest schools in the nation.

The university placed 48th in the club’s 2012 “Cool Schools” survey and was the only Kentucky college or university to make the list.

Participating schools completed a website questionnaire in May about their sustainability practices. The Sierra Club received 96 responses from qualified schools. After the surveys were scored, an independent researcher ranked them.

UofL Provost Shirley Willihnganz formed a Sustainability Council in 2008 to improve the university’s commitment to preserving the environment. Since then, UofL has earned a silver rating in the national Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) and has adopted a plan to reduce its carbon emissions to zero by 2050.

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