AlumniNews Service RSS

EPA Recognizes Gonzaga As a ‘Green Power Partner’ for Sustainable Energy Purchases

The majority of the energy Gonzaga bought in 2011 was generated by wind turbines. Photo by Linda Lillard.

GU Bought More than 5 Million Kilowatt-Hours
of Clean, Renewable Energy in 2011

SPOKANE, Wash. – Recognizing that 18 percent of the electricity Gonzaga University purchased in 2011 was clean and renewable energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has named Gonzaga an “EPA Green Power Partner.” The University bought more than 5 million kilowatt-hours of clean, renewable energy in 2011.

“We are proud to be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” said Brian G. Henning, associate professor of philosophy and a co-chair of Gonzaga’s Advisory Council on Stewardship and Sustainability. “Using green power helps our organization become more sustainable, while also sending a message to others across the U.S. that supporting clean sources of electricity is a sound business decision and an important choice in reducing climate risk.”

Henning thanked all members of the University community who have contributed to advance Gonzaga’s sustainability, especially Plant Services Director Ken Sammons for formally involving the University in Avista’s green energy program.

Gonzaga’s green power use in 2011 is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of nearly 700 passenger vehicles per year. Green power is electricity generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass, and low-impact hydroelectric. Purchases of green power help accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector. Gonzaga’s power purchases have been primarily from wind.

Blaine Collison, director of the Green Power Partnership, said the EPA applauds Gonzaga’s use of renewable energy.

“Complementing Gonzaga’s many sustainability initiatives across its operations, the school’s green power use reduces carbon pollution and provides an excellent example for other colleges and universities seeking to further their environmental commitments,” Collison said.

Henning and Monica Bartlett, assistant professor of psychology, launched the Advisory Council in 2008 (and have served as co-chairs ever since) to advance Gonzaga’s efforts to address its Jesuit mission that calls for responsible environmental stewardship. The Advisory Council, comprised of faculty, students and staff, has been working collaboratively within the University community to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, incorporate discussions of sustainability into the curricula, and advocate research and development of energy-efficient living.

The Council has completed its draft of the first Gonzaga University Climate Action Plan, which includes recommendations to optimally manage energy, transportation and waste while boosting conservation and sustainability efforts and awareness.

In 2010, Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, reflecting Gonzaga’s dedication to environmental stewardship as part of its Jesuit identity.

Gonzaga Executive Vice President Earl F. Martin said the University is called by its Jesuit, Catholic and humanistic mission to be a good steward of the natural resources it uses.

“Making green power a part of our overall energy solution allows us to live up to that mission, and it provides us with means of modeling our commitment to environmental protection and sustainability in a visible and impactful manner,” Martin said. 

For more information, please contact Professor Henning at (509) 313-5885 or via email.

Comments are closed.