UP joins nationwide competition to reduce electricity and water, the only college in Portland to take part
College students from more than 150 schools across the country are competing to reduce energy and water consumption, and University of Portland students are joining them. For a three-week period from Feb. 15 to March 7, all nine dorms at the University will take part in Campus Conservation Nationals (CCN) 2012, a nationwide electricity and water use reduction competition among colleges and universities. University of Portland is the only college in Portland and one of only two in Oregon that are taking part in this national program.
UP’s progress during the competition can be tracked at www.buildingdashboard.net/up. Individual dorm and national gigawatt goals can be monitored, and participating students can make specific commitments and suggestions for the competition.
CCN is organized by the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council through its USGBC Students Program and in partnership with Lucid, Alliance to Save Energy and the National Wildlife Federation. Students at University of Portland and across the country will compete to achieve the greatest reductions in their residence halls over a three-week period.
Participating in CCN is just the latest in the University’s ongoing sustainability efforts: the University was the first college on the West Coast to discontinue the sale of disposable plastic water bottles on campus; has several LEED-certified buildings on campus, including the award-winning LEED Platinum Shiley Hall and LEED Gold Fields and Schoenfeldt Halls; has witnessed record use of alternative transportation options; has enacted a Climate Action Plan with the goal of being completely carbon neutral by 2040; and has reduced food waste by 70 percent in its dining facilities.
The University’s participation in CCN is led by Meredith Dickinson of the Moreau Center for Service and Leadership.
During the 2012 challenge, participating schools can choose to compete against buildings on their own campus or against a select group of peer institutions, with savings from all participants accumulating to reach a national challenge goal of saving one gigawatt-hour.
During the CCN 2010 pilot, 40 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada participated in a similar competition, during which they were able to reduce electricity consumption by 508,000 kilowatt-hours. This competition saved $50,200 from campus costs and averted 816,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The 2012 challenge will build on that success and encourage students to brainstorm innovative solutions for how their school can save energy and cut costs.
“CCN 2012 will reach close to 250,000 students living in participating buildings, making this the largest ever energy and water competition of its kind,” said Andrew deCoriolis, director of engagement at Lucid. “This competition shows that students can be empowered to make smarter resource use decisions. Changes in students’ behavior impact resource use now but also affect their daily lives, helping to build a lasting culture of conservation."
Using Lucid’s Building Dashboard®, participating schools will be able to instantly compare performance, share winning strategies and track standings among the leading schools and buildings. With generous sponsorship from United Technologies Corp, founding sponsor of the Center for Green Schools at USGBC, Sloan, Sterling Planet and Constellation Energy, CCN is an opportunity to organize students and staff to make immediate and lasting impacts on a school’s carbon emissions and campus culture.
CCN offers valuable educational opportunities, such as enabling students to teach themselves conservation behaviors, as well as environmental and economic benefits. Above all, CCN is designed to empower the future generation of energy and environmental leaders and foster a culture of conservation within campus communities. To learn more about the competition, join the network or follow leading schools, visit www.CompeteToReduce.org.