For Immediate Release Contact: Gail Towns or Tara Strickland
Georgian Court Green Purchase Sends Powerful Message
University Turns to Biomass, Wind for Electricity
Lakewood, N.J., Aug. 27, 2009—Georgian Court University again is turning to green power for all of its electricity. The university recently purchased more than 5.6 million kilowatt-hours of biomass and wind energy—the equivalent of avoiding greenhouse gas emissions from 745 passenger vehicles for a whole year.
“For two years in a row, we’ve offset 100 percent of our electricity usage,” says Andrew P. Christ, PE, assistant vice president for operations at GCU. “It shows that we’re making a true commitment. We’re in this for the long run.”
The university is working with Eneractive Solutions, an Asbury Park, NJ, firm that provides virtual energy management services to GCU. They assisted the university in procuring renewable energy certificates from 3Degrees Inc., a San Francisco-based group that helps organizations fund clean energy and carbon reduction projects.
GCU’s purchase of Green-e Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) reflects 5 million kWh of biomass energy—created with organic waste—and 665,280 kWh of wind energy from national wind farms. The purchase mirrors the university’s historic mission to be environmentally conscious, says Mr. Christ.
“From the very beginning, GCU has been about sustainability,” he says. “The campus was repurposed from what was once the country estate of a wealthy homeowner to become Georgian Court University as we know it. There’s nothing more sustainable than the reuse of a building or a facility.”
Georgian Court, which is a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Leadership Club, is the first college or university in New Jersey to offset 100 percent of its electricity with renewable energy. According to EPA calculations, GCU’s credits this year avoid an estimated 4,069 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. That’s like eliminating the pollution from:
- About 461,816 gallons of gasoline or 9,462 barrels of oil; or
- The use of 169,525 propane tanks used in backyard barbecues; or
- Burning 21.2 railroad cars filled with coal; or
- A year’s worth of electricity for 564 American homes.
The purchase of RECs is only one way Georgian Court works to protect the environment. President Rosemary E. Jeffries, RSM, Ph.D., is a signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, and is leading GCU’s many efforts to become carbon-neutral.
The university has migrated to green cleaning chemicals, purchased a hybrid vehicle for college use, and incorporated sustainable building design on campus. Energy efficiency and conservation projects are underway, and environmental awareness among students is growing. GCU also is a leader in recycling and reducing waste among colleges in the United States and Canada.
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 over 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 90 Woodbridge Center Drive in Woodbridge, at Coastal Communiversity in Wall, and at Cumberland County College in Vineland.
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