Green Power Partnership
2012 Award Winners
EPA Green Power Purchaser Awards
Green Power Purchasing
City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
McDonald's USA, LLC
MOM's Organic Market
The North Face
EPA Green Power Supplier Awards
Innovative Green Power Program of the Year
Wellesley Municipal Light Plant
CRS Market Development Awards
For more information on the 2012 Market Development Award winners, please visit the Center for Resource Solutions website.
EPA Purchaser Awards
The Coca-Cola Company has a goal to grow its business but not its system-wide carbon emissions from manufacturing operations. The company is working toward reducing its absolute emissions from its manufacturing operations in Annex 1 (developed) countries by five percent by 2015, as compared to a 2004 baseline. In support of this goal, Coca-Cola Refreshments USA, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company that bottles, markets and distributes Coca-Cola's soft drinks, bottled waters, juices and other non-alcoholic beverages throughout North America, recently entered into an exclusive agreement to purchase all of the energy generated from a 6.5 megawatt combined heat-and-power system in Atlanta, Georgia.
Commercial operation of the system began in April 2012, and it is the fifth-largest system of its kind in the U.S. Fueled by landfill gas, the system supplies electricity, steam, and chilled water to Coca-Cola's Atlanta Beverage Plant and is located adjacent to the plant. The project includes a vacuum-collection system that captures methane gas from a Georgia-based landfill, Hickory Ridge, and converts it to a clean-burning fuel. The system provides much of the facility's energy needs and generates at least 48 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually. This is equivalent to eliminating the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electricity use of more than 4,000 average American homes per year.
Helping to advance the use of alternative energy is a key component of The Coca-Cola Company's Energy Efficiency and Climate Protection strategy in North America. Investing in energy efficiency projects like the landfill-gas-to-energy system creates multiple benefits. Looking ahead, Coca-Cola plans to continue to encourage its suppliers, customers, consumers and partners to operate more sustainably through activities such as sustainable sourcing, recycling, increased energy efficiency and the use of green power.
Zotos International, Inc.
Zotos International, Inc. is a professional beauty industry leader that manufactures and markets a full range of hair care, texture service, and hair color options for salons and salon professionals. The company employs 360 full-time and 400 flex-time workers at its plant in Geneva, New York. In 2012, Zotos met its goal of using 100 percent green power for its 670,000 square foot manufacturing plant in Geneva. Approximately half of the plant's electricity is generated on-site with a 3.3 megawatt (MW) wind project, which consists of two 1.65 megawatt wind turbines that generate up to approximately five million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually. Zotos purchases renewable energy certificates (RECs) sourced from wind for the remainder of its electricity needs.
According to the American Wind Energy Association, Zotos' Geneva-based wind project is the largest wind project of any manufacturer in the United States. It's also the largest industrial wind plant in New York State, as well as the first industrial wind project in Ontario County. Zotos has also installed energy-efficient lighting and mechanical systems, reduced water consumption through facility upgrades, and pioneered plant-based plastics for its bottle production. Additionally, Zotos offsets 100 percent of its Scope 1 carbon dioxide emissions, supporting reforestation and biogas projects with carbon offset purchases.
Zotos continually seeks ways to become more sustainable, and engages its customers and stakeholders in its efforts through the company's website and social media channels, as well as through a variety of marketing materials targeted to professional hair salons and beauty retailers. In addition, Zotos works with city officials in Geneva to assist the city with its own green power efforts, and actively promotes its wind power project to the press, local and state leaders, other manufacturers, and supply chain partners.
Green Power Purchasing
A college-centered research university located in Washington, D.C., American University's rigorous curriculum challenges students to combine serious theoretical study with meaningful, real-world learning experiences. Increasingly, AU is also cementing its reputation as a leader in green power use and environmental stewardship. As a 2008 signatory to the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), the university has been working to drastically reduce its emissions and foster a campus-wide dedication to sustainability.
With its 2020 carbon neutrality goal in mind, in 2011, AU completed the installation of a 532.3 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic project and procured 204 kW of onsite solar thermal power through a power purchase agreement. The photovoltaic project is the largest in D.C. and the onsite solar thermal project is one of the largest of any urban center on the East Coast. In 2006, AU joined the Green Power Partnership with a 15 percent green power commitment; today, 100 percent of the electricity the school utilizes from the grid is sourced from Green-e® certified renewable energy certificates.
The university is also pursuing the implementation of a variety of other sustainability initiatives. For example, AU's green building policy mandates that all new construction, renovation, and major replacement/repair projects achieve a minimum of LEED® Silver certification. AU is one of only three universities in the world enrolled in LEED Volume, a program through which the school intends to earn LEED certification for 25 existing campus buildings. Also, the university provides free shuttle bus services for all students, faculty, and staff to and from the closest Metro station to encourage the use of public transportation. AU installed LED lighting for pathways and a parking garage, and is currently in the permitting process for a waste-to-energy system to generate electricity and hot water from used cooking oil. The university engages its students in its environmental efforts as well – for example, through the Green Eagle program, AU students conduct outreach among their peers and carry out sustainability projects in areas such as composting and energy efficiency. Finally, AU hosted the 2012 Climate Leadership Summit, the annual conference of the ACUPCC.
Founded in 1982, Bloomberg has more than 15,000 employees in 192 locations and delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world. For Bloomberg, being sustainable means managing its business better by integrating environmental, social and economic considerations into the company's operations, products and services. Annually, Bloomberg purchases more than 208 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, equivalent to 83 percent of the company's electricity use.
Bloomberg's environmental efforts are led by its Sustainability Department, which reports directly to the company Chairman, and 13 regional volunteer "Green Squads" around the world that assist in local implementation and engagement efforts. Bloomberg met its 2013 goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 50 percent two years ahead of schedule through improvements in energy efficiency, infrastructure investment, aggressive waste reduction, and renewable energy use. In addition to purchasing green power, in May 2012 Bloomberg installed a solar array at its San Francisco office, and the company retains the associated renewable energy certificates (RECs). By the end of 2012, Bloomberg estimates that over 40 percent of all employees worldwide will be working in LEED® certified offices.
Bloomberg's commitment to the environment is evidenced by its voluntary public disclosure of its carbon emissions and numerous other environmental metrics in the second annual release of its Sustainability Report. As a financial information distributor, Bloomberg is in a unique position to influence a variety of industries. For example, through the Corporate Renewable Energy Index (CREX), Bloomberg New Energy Finance partners with wind turbine manufacturer Vestas to rank companies according to their voluntary renewable energy procurements over the past three years, a potentially significant motivator for companies to increase their green power commitments. Bloomberg also focuses employee engagement on sustainability initiatives, for example by providing home solar installation incentives for its New Jersey employees.
Bloomberg received a Green Power Purchasing Award in 2009.
City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The fifth-most populous city in the U.S., Philadelphia is uniquely poised to lead by example with its green power use. In the spring of 2009, Mayor Michael Nutter released Greenworks Philadelphia, an ambitious plan to transform the city into the greenest city in America. The Greenworks plan pledges that 20 percent of the electricity used in Philadelphia will come from alternative energy sources, and the city government is setting an example by purchasing enough renewable energy to meet this goal internally.
The City of Philadelphia is purchasing 127 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable energy certificates (RECs) sourced from wind annually, along with generating 300,000 kWh from on-site solar panels. Philadelphia's first City-owned solar array came online in mid-2011, a 250 kilowatt project at the Southeast Water Pollution Control facility. In addition, in March 2012 at the same facility, the Philadelphia Water Department installed a geothermal unit, which uses sewage as a sustainable heat source for the plant and is the first installation of its kind in the nation.
Additionally, Philadelphia recently successfully embarked on a community-wide campaign to become an EPA Green Power Community (GPC) in June 2012. Local dignitaries, including Mayor Nutter, announced the city's GPC designation and subsequent green power challenge at a press event hosted by Major League Baseball's Philadelphia Phillies, one of several Philadelphia-area Green Power Partners.
Looking ahead, the City plans to actively support a greater level of local renewable energy generation by purchasing RECs from local projects. In doing so, Philadelphia will not only support the green power market, but will be investing in local job creation, reduced grid congestion, increased fuel source diversity, and reductions in Scope 2 carbon emissions.
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Located on 195 acres in the heart of New York State's Finger Lakes Region, Hobart and William Smith (HWS) are independent liberal arts colleges distinctive for providing highly individualized educations. HWS strives to set an example of environmental stewardship and innovation for other academic institutions and surrounding communities through its impressive commitment to green power. With an annual purchase of more than 12 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable energy certificates (RECs) as well as on-site generation, HWS is setting the pace for other colleges and universities in New York as the first small liberal arts college in the state to use 100 percent wind-generated electricity.
Hobart and William Smith's Climate Action Plan, adopted in 2009, is designed to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 through physical plant emission mitigation efforts, clean energy sourcing and offset strategies. To date, HWS energy efficiency programs, led by a Climate and Energy Committee, have cut energy consumption by 10 percent—all in the past three years. The HWS Climate Action Plan has effectively linked energy savings to REC and carbon offset purchases, enabling the school's most recent investment in 100 percent green power. HWS was also named a 2011-2012 EPA College & University Green Power Challenge Conference Champion for the Liberty League – one of only two schools in the League purchasing 100 percent green power.
HWS is dedicated to student learning and leadership and has integrated its sustainability and green power initiatives into course curriculums, student orientation activities, its Green Bag Lunch Lecture Series and green power-focused student internships. The newly launched HWS Sustainable Community Development Program investigates green power investments as part of its curriculum. Looking ahead, HWS plans to partner with a local REC marketer to offer renewable energy purchase options for faculty and staff home electricity use.
Headquartered in Salem, Oregon with more than 400 employees, Kettle Foods has been making all-natural potato chips since 1982. For many years, Kettle Foods has sought ways to reduce the environmental impacts of its operations and to contribute to systems that promote the use of environmentally-sustainable choices.
In 2011, Kettle Foods purchased 20 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of wind power, a 6 million kWh increase over 2010 and equivalent to taking more than 2,700 passenger vehicles off the road for a year. Since 2006, the company has been purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs) for 100 percent of its electricity use in the U.S. Moreover, at Kettle Foods' LEED® Gold certified factory in Beloit, Wisconsin, wind power produces electricity onsite. The company has installed 18 wind turbines that produce a portion of the production facility's power.
Additional sustainability efforts by Kettle Foods include the conversion of 100 percent of the waste vegetable oil from the company's production process into biodiesel to power company cars, and the installation of 616 solar panels on its Salem headquarters in 2002. Recently the company reduced the amount of material in their potato chip bags by 20 percent, saving more than 22,000 trees annually and preventing more than 450,000 pounds of packaging from going into landfills each year. Employees at the Salem and Beloit facilities are actively engaged in local wetland and tallgrass prairie restoration projects, and five acres of native tallgrass prairie surround the Beloit facility. The company also created a trail system with interpretive signs adjacent to its Salem facility, encouraging visitors to enjoy the natural wetland area.
Kettle Foods products can be found in grocery stores across the country, Canada, Mexico and Asia, and the company reaches out to consumers about its sustainability initiatives through its product labels.
Lockheed Martin is an aerospace and global security company with customers around the world and partners in more than 50 countries. The company meets a broad range of government priorities, from strengthening global security through defense system modernization, to air, marine, and rail traffic management. Employing more than 120,000 people, Lockheed Martin's products and services have global impacts and as such, its leadership is focused on minimizing the company's environmental impacts.
The cornerstone of Lockheed Martin's environmental sustainability program is the "Go Green" program. Launched in 2008, the program established absolute targets across the company to identify and reduce 2007 levels of greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, and waste going to landfills by 25 percent by 2012. The company met its goals a year earlier than planned. A critical element of the Go Green program's success is due to Lockheed Martin's 2011 combined on-site and purchased green power use of more than 546 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) from biogas, low-impact hydropower, solar, and wind resources. This represents an increase of more than 250 million kWh from the previous year. The company's Sunnyvale, California facility recently installed a one megawatt solar photovoltaic system and, combined with the purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs), sustainable building projects, energy efficiency enhancements, and green Information Technology activities, Lockheed Martin reduced its absolute carbon emissions by seven percent by year-end 2011.
Lockheed Martin also makes significant contributions to renewable technology development. For example, company engineers are working with the U.S. Department of Energy to demonstrate innovative technologies to enable ocean thermal energy power generation, as well as integrating microgrid solutions and studying new ways to capture renewable power sources and decrease fuel dependency at Fort Bliss, Texas.
In the future, Lockheed Martin plans to continue to support the voluntary green power market through its own use of green power, its research and development efforts, and by holding events and webinars for suppliers and community leaders to encourage sustainable practices throughout its supply chains and within the local communities where the company operates.
McDonald's USA, LLC
Founded in 1955, McDonald's has grown to become one of the world's largest Quick Serve Restaurants (QSR) with more than 33,000 restaurants serving nearly 68 million people in more than 119 countries each day. McDonald's USA is among the first within the QSR segment to participate in the Green Power Partnership, earning the company the No. 11 spot on EPA's National Top 50 list in April 2012 and No. 8 on its list of Fortune 500® Partners.
A familiar name in most U.S. households, McDonald's is helping to bring renewable energy into the national spotlight. McDonald's USA has emerged as a green power leader in the QSR industry by purchasing green power equivalent to 30 percent of its electricity use at company-owned restaurants annually. The company is buying 306 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of Green-e® certified renewable energy certificates (RECs) from wind sources.
McDonald's has taken steps to promote its REC purchases to its stakeholders and the public, including in its 2012 "Global Best of Green" report. At the restaurant-level, McDonald's USA is focusing on reducing energy usage to ensure the company can continue to operate profitably and responsibly well into the future. Multiple energy efficiency initiatives and technical innovations have reduced McDonald's restaurants' energy consumption.
McDonald's also supports its franchisees' efforts to go green – the company's Energy Survey is a restaurant operations tool that quickly focuses managers and crew on the greatest opportunities to save utility costs. In addition, McDonald's is currently developing a national green power purchase program, which will enable all of McDonald's U.S. owner-operators to voluntarily match a percentage of their electricity use with RECs.
McDonald's commitment to sustainability doesn't stop at energy. The company has also made significant strides in sustainable sourcing and other areas of environmental sustainability. The company sees RECs as an opportunity to augment these efforts by supporting the development of renewable energy, using its size, scale and influence to make a significant impact.
MOM's Organic Market
Scott Nash started MOM's Organic Market in 1987 at the age of 22 with an initial investment of $100. With a mission to protect and restore the environment, MOM's has grown over twenty-five years from a home delivery service to a series of stores located throughout the greater Washington-Baltimore metro region.
In 2011, MOM's purchased more than 13.6 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable energy certificates (RECs) from wind power. This was a five million kWh increase from the prior year's purchase and equal to more than 400 percent of the company's own electricity use, providing exceptional support of the voluntary green power market. MOM's also matches employees' REC purchases and collaborates with a local clean energy supplier to provide gift cards for customers who switch to wind energy at home.
MOM's other sustainability initiatives include the company's commitment to selling only 100 percent organic produce and sustainable seafood, conserving energy with LED lighting and efficient closed-door refrigeration units, composting produce clippings and utilizing biodegradable packaging. MOM's also supports other green businesses by featuring items from manufacturers who use renewable energy to make their products.
In the coming year, MOM's plans to install solar panels at three store locations. By investing in green power, MOM's continues to show other small businesses that converting to 100 percent green power is within reach and can lead to increased brand loyalty and ultimately help the bottom line.
NYSE Euronext (NYX) is a leading global operator of financial markets and provider of innovative trading technologies. The company's exchanges in Europe and the United States trade equities, futures, options, fixed-income and exchange-traded products. With approximately 8,000 listed issues (excluding European Structured Products), NYSE Euronext's equities markets represent one-third of the world's equities trading. Since joining the Green Power Partnership in 2011, the company has consistently ranked on the EPA's National Top 50 list of green power purchasers.
With its international reach and potential for global impact, NYSE Euronext has committed to minimizing the environmental impacts of its activities and conducting sustainable business practices that are consistent with its commitment to corporate social responsibility. In 2011, NYSE Euronext purchased more than 125 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, equivalent to 100 percent of the company's total 2010 U.S.-based electricity use. NYSE Euronext plans to continue its annual purchase of 100 percent green power in future years, demonstrating a proactive choice to support cleaner energy alternatives. The company is a leader in its industry as the only global exchange to achieve carbon neutrality through its purchase of green power and carbon offsets. NYSE Euronext has been recognized for its leadership as a member of the Carbon Disclosure Project's Leadership Index (CDLI), and in 2011, 93 percent of the companies on the CDLI were listed on NYSE Euronext Exchanges.
NYSE Euronext proudly hosted the Carbon Disclosure Project's (CDP) 2012 Spring Workshop, which encouraged current and potential listed companies as well as public and non-profit partners to participate in transparent environmental reporting. The CDP also unveiled its annual S&P 500 Investors Report at the New York Stock Exchange.
In the future, NYSE Euronext will continue to promote corporate and investor sustainability efforts. NYSE Euronext is firmly committed to collaborate globally to deliver world class sustainable facilities that are a conduit for customer success.
A private, coeducational university with more than 8,000 graduate and undergraduate students, Quinnipiac University's three campuses rest in the shadow of Sleeping Giant Mountain in Hamden, Connecticut. The school is proving to be a giant among its peers with its annual purchase of close to 38 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, equivalent to 100 percent of Quinnipiac's electricity use. Quinnipiac is purchasing Green-e® certified renewable energy certificates (RECs) sourced from wind. As a result of its purchase, Quinnipiac was crowned the Northeast Conference Individual Champion in EPA's 2011-2012 College & University Green Power Challenge.
Quinnipiac's commitment to the environment is demonstrated by fresh initiatives taking place across all three campuses. At the York Hill Campus, wind turbines generate 32,000 kWh of energy annually, while roof-top photovoltaic panels gather power from the sun, saving another 250,000 kilowatt-hours. On the North Haven Campus, environmentally-friendly features include: energy-efficient heating and cooling units and lighting fixtures, low-VOC paint, Green Guard-certified carpeting and new windows with energy-saving thermal glazing. On the Mount Carmel Campus, a community garden yields fresh fruit and vegetables. And, the university's ongoing "Bobcat Bulb Swap" program allows students to trade up to six incandescent light bulbs for greener compact fluorescent models. In addition, hydration stations can be found throughout the campuses, enabling easy refilling of water bottles and reducing plastic waste.
Moving ahead, Quinnipiac looks to build on its recent successes, including its first energy reduction challenge in the residence halls, which resulted in a nine percent reduction in electricity use over the course of two weeks in spring 2012. The university plans to continue its purchase of 100 percent green power, and to increase awareness among students, faculty, and staff of their own environmental impacts.
TD Bank (TD) is one of the 10 largest banks in the United States, with more than 26,000 employees and nearly eight million customers. With more than 1,300 stores in 15 states and the District of Columbia, TD takes its responsibility to engage in sustainable business practices seriously. TD purchases renewable energy credits (RECs) for 100 percent of its electricity use in the U.S., and was first in the industry to open a net-zero energy store. TD Bank is also the largest U.S.-based bank to be carbon neutral.
Annually, TD purchases more than 261 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power and recently announced that it will reduce its carbon footprint by one metric tonne per employee by 2015. The company has also installed on-site solar generation at more 30 U.S. stores. TD continues to grow its Maine-to-Florida store network while simultaneously reducing its environmental footprint; for example, between 2008 and 2010 TD increased its real estate square footage by 11 percent while greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 11 percent. In growing this way, TD demonstrates that being environmentally responsible parallels its business success.
TD also focuses on educating customers about being energy efficient. Using tools such as the bank's interactive Kid's Zone, TD is able to teach even its youngest customers the environmental features of the store, as well as how renewable energy is used to provide electricity to each store. Furthermore, TD's LEED® certifications continue to grow with approximately 50 certified retail and corporate locations in the U.S., 89 percent of which are Platinum or Gold level.
In addition, TD works to encourage renewable energy use in the various communities in which its stores are located. For example, TD awarded $100,000 to the Preservation of Affordable Housing, a non-profit organization, to deploy a solar hot air system in a Salem, Mass., housing complex.
Looking ahead, TD plans to continue promoting and educating about its use of green power through social media, town hall meetings and annual and quarterly reports.
TD Bank received a Partner of the Year Award in 2010.
The North Face
Since its founding in 1966, The North Face has committed itself to creating technically innovative products that allow outdoor athletes to explore the world and test the limits of human potential. In order to ensure that future generations "Never Stop Exploring," The North Face recognizes the need to protect the environment and is taking on a leadership role in reducing its emissions and educating others about sustainability and mitigating climate change.
In 2011, The North Face's combined on-site and purchased green power totaled 18.1 million kilowatt-hours (kWh), a 3.1 million kWh increase from 2010. This continues The North Face's commitment to using 100 percent green power for the electricity used in the company's headquarters, all U.S.-based retail locations, its distribution center and showrooms. By investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency measures, The North Face is on track to meet its five-year goal of a 25 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from its U.S. operations by 2013. Furthermore, the company recently installed a one megawatt solar project at its Visalia, California distribution center and created its "Hot Planet, Cool Athletes" program that reaches thousands of high school students every year with an empowering, energizing multimedia presentation on climate change and sustainability.
The North Face is also actively involved in shaping the sustainability future of the outdoor retail industry through its membership and leadership in Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP), and Outdoor Industry Association and Sustainable Apparel Coalition committees. In addition, the company empowers its customers with green power information in its retail store dressing rooms and registers, and provides training to its employees on the company's commitment to operating sustainability. The North Face also encourages employees to purchase renewable energy certificates for their own electricity use.
Green Power Partner of the Year
City of Austin, Texas
Austin, Texas is the state's capital and home to nearly 800,000 residents. Carbon neutrality is core to Austin's mission: To be the most livable city in the country. Despite the financial downturn, budget cuts, and changes in city management, the City of Austin has stayed the course of strong climate action.
This year, Austin set a powerful example for local governments and corporate entities across the nation by becoming the first large U.S. city to commit to using 100 percent renewable electricity for all City-owned operations and facilities. In doing so, Austin met one of its Climate Protection Plan goals – to power all City facilities with renewable energy by 2012. In response to residential and commercial customer demand, the City-owned utility, Austin Energy, established its GreenChoice® renewable energy program in 2000, which, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, has ranked first in kilowatt-hours (kWh) sold for nine years in a row. By committing to using 100 percent green power, the city has become its own best customer for GreenChoice.
The City's efforts to reduce its carbon footprint are expansive: Austin's Climate Protection Plan calls for carbon-neutrality for all City-owned facilities, fleet, and buildings by 2020. Austin has since developed and implemented departmental climate protection plans, provided climate-action education to all City employees, and in 2010 established a new Office of Sustainability which advances local sustainability and climate action by providing leadership and coordination of environmental initiatives across local government operations and the community. Each of these aggressive goals is linked to outcomes—for example, performance evaluations of all 23 city department directors are tied in part to their departmental carbon footprints.
Hilton Worldwide is a global leader with 93 years of experience in the hospitality industry, offering an innovative approach to products, amenities, and service at its hotels and resorts in 91 countries. In the last year, Hilton Worldwide has added 213 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power to its U.S. portfolio, meeting 94 percent of its overall electric load by purchasing renewable energy certificates (RECs) from wind and low-impact hydropower sources. This represents a 239 percent increase in kWh purchased over 2010 and qualifies Hilton as the only Green Power Partner in the hospitality industry to appear on the EPA's National Top 50 list.
"Living sustainably" is one of the four pillars of Hilton's Travel with Purpose initiative and centers around measurement, analysis, and improvement of the use of natural resources. Improvements are based on LightStay, Hilton Worldwide's proprietary system that calculates and analyzes environmental impacts by measuring energy and water use, and waste and carbon emissions across 200 operational practices at more than 3,900 properties around the globe. Results include a 6.6 percent reduction in energy use in 2010 for more than 2,400 properties using LightStay, along with savings of more than $74 million in utility costs. LightStay also includes a meeting calculator to measure the energy use and carbon output of any event held at a Hilton property, which helps to inform potential REC or carbon offset purchases.
The company is focused on continual improvement of its sustainability practices, and near-term plans include doubling the number of hotels tracking their sustainability projects and sharing best practices through the LightStay system. Hilton Worldwide will continue to provide stakeholders with support in performing financial and technical feasibility analyses associated with buying green power, and engage its more than 300,000 team members at managed, owned and franchised properties, more than 100 million guests, and thousands of owners in its efforts.
Microsoft Corporation, headquartered in Redmond, Washington, is one of the world's largest technology and software companies. As part of its commitment to operating sustainably, Microsoft is purchasing more than 1.1 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, making the company the third largest green power user in the Green Power Partnership (GPP) as of July 2012. Microsoft's purchase, along with a combination of energy efficiency measures and an investment in high-quality carbon reduction projects, resulted in the company meeting its goal of reducing carbon emissions by at least 30 percent per unit of revenue below the company's 2007 baseline.
Microsoft's green power use will contribute to its recently-announced companywide commitment to achieve carbon neutrality. To achieve this aim, the company created an accountability model which aims to improve efficiencies, increase renewable energy purchases, improve data collection and reporting, and further supports Microsoft's ongoing goal of reducing its environmental impact. The company is quantifying the carbon impact of its operations and driving business decisions around energy use and air travel by setting an internal price on carbon, measuring emissions, and charging a carbon fee to the teams responsible for those emissions. Funds generated by the fee will be used to support efficiency, renewable energy and carbon offset projects.
Microsoft's commitment to carbon neutrality is another step in the company's broader commitment to environmental leadership, from reducing energy consumption in facilities and data centers, to working with partners in the supply chain, to improving the efficiency of its software products and services. An energy-smart buildings project on Microsoft's Redmond campus that uses software to make buildings more energy efficient is projected to achieve energy savings of approximately $1.5 million in fiscal year 2013 while significantly contributing to the company's environmental goals. Microsoft also tracks and discloses its emissions through the Carbon Disclosure Project. By sharing its internal strategies and lessons learned, Microsoft is helping its customers, partners and supply chain to carry a similar carbon-free vision forward.
University of Oklahoma
The University of Oklahoma (OU), located in Norman, is a regional leader and role model for other large public universities, setting a national example for green power use in states with less experience with renewable energy. In September 2008, in concert with the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), OU and the Oklahoma Gas & Electric Company (OG&E) signed a historic agreement to purchase 100 percent of the university's OG&E-supplied electricity from renewable resources by 2013. This agreement was critical in enabling the development of the 101-megawatt OU Spirit Wind Farm in Woodward, Oklahoma, which now supplies electricity to the university and to customers across the state. The infrastructure (i.e., transmission lines and substations) created by the agreement has expanded OG&E's ability to provide renewable electricity to other customers.
As the first institution in Oklahoma to sign the ACUPCC, the school played a pioneering role in pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Currently, 90 percent of OU's purchased power comes from wind, setting a standard for other large state schools and putting the school well on its way to meeting its goal of 100 percent green power. In conjunction with its green power use, OU is undertaking a myriad of energy efficiency upgrades such as installing occupancy sensors for classroom lighting and retrofitting existing buildings, as well as developing water-efficient restroom facilities and instituting a campus-wide recycling program. OU has also launched an Advanced Metering Infrastructure program to customize and manage energy demand across campus. By November 2012, all of OU's electric use will be monitored by smart meters.
At the same time, OU is reaching out to stakeholders interested in green power options through its website, press releases, and social media, and the school plans to host green energy tours both on campus and at the Spirit Wind Farm. Students, faculty, and staff are engaged in the school's sustainability work through the Crimson and Green campaign, which champions OU's efforts in energy efficiency, wind power, green roofs, recycling, and other environmental actions and encourages campus-wide participation.
Green Power Community of the Year
Beaverton, Oregon Community
As a progressive suburb city of 90,000 residents, the City of Beaverton, Oregon has established itself as a leader in supporting and purchasing green power. Annually, the city's government, businesses, institutions, and residents are collectively using more than 93 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, equivalent to 5.3 percent of electricity use community-wide. Alone, the Beaverton government purchases 100 percent green power for its buildings' energy use and for 58 percent of the city's overall operations – including for water pumping and streetlights. Beaverton also has a comprehensive Sustainability Strategy which guides the city in its efforts to reduce energy consumption, increase energy efficiency, and purchase or produce green power for the energy that it uses.
Beaverton's green power leadership is a collective effort. The government has emphasized the educational aspects of on-site generation with the installation of a 17.6 kW solar system on the City Library in 2012. The system is highly visible to residents and includes an educational kiosk in the library foyer. Additionally, the city has a solar demonstration gazebo, known as the "Hot House," which provides electricity for nearby electric vehicle charging stations and serves as a community booth at the Beaverton Farmers Market. The city also coordinated the Solar Beaverton program which provides residents with a no-obligation solar site assessment and home energy review. The program influenced over 258 solar system installations among residents, lowered the purchase price of a complete residential solar system by up to 80 percent and educated the community about renewable energy.
The city plans to build off of its 2009 greenhouse gas inventory with a follow-up community carbon footprint analysis in 2012. Beaverton works closely with its local utility to offer coupons from local businesses for residents who purchase renewable energy. Reaching beyond its own borders, Beaverton will also share the benefits of its green power efforts with other local governments through its partnership organization, Partners for a Sustainable Washington County Community. Beaverton has received extensive recognition for its sustainability initiatives, most recently as the winner of the 2012 U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Award.
Oak Park, Illinois Community
Established in 1902, the Village of Oak Park, Illinois sits 10 miles west of downtown Chicago and is home to more than 50,000 residents. The hometown of architect Frank Lloyd Wright and author Ernest Hemingway, Oak Park is recognized as a regional leader in green power use both for its Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program and for installing the third largest municipal solar array in Illinois. In 2011, Oak Park set a national precedent with its CCA program by aggregating the community electricity load and purchasing green power from an alternate electricity supplier while still receiving transmission and distribution service from its existing provider.
Oak Park is the first municipality in Illinois to choose a 100 percent green power portfolio standard for its residents and small business operators who participate in the community's CCA program. The program boasts an impressive 95 percent participation rate. Through the CCA program, Oak Park purchases wind renewable energy certificates (RECs) that will reduce local emissions by approximately 171,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year by adding more than 191 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of wind energy to the local grid. The RECs are offered to aggregation members at a rate 25 percent less than the cost of the conventional utility product. The CCA program supports Oak Park's sustainability plan, created after signing the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement in 2007.
The success of the Oak Park program has generated interest from across Illinois and the country. More than 200 Illinois municipalities have created aggregation programs for their residents, some of which also have chosen renewable energy portfolios. Oak Park also began offsetting its own electric use with a 99-kilowatt solar panel array on its municipal parking garage, installed in March 2012and providing approximately 30 percent of the garage's electricity needs. In addition, Oak Park is working with several state, federal and international entities to create electric smart grid demonstrations on residential and commercial buildings.
With its groundbreaking CCA program, expansion of on-site renewable generation and unprecedented level of resident and business participation in the use of green power, the Village of Oak Park is a community to emulate.
Sustained Excellence in Green Power
As the world's largest manufacturer of semiconductors, Intel's electricity consumption accounts for more than 70 percent of the company's Scope 1 and 2 carbon footprint. To reduce its indirect emissions, Intel continues to be the nation's largest voluntary purchaser of green power, a ranking held since 2008. And in 2012, Intel increased both its purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs), and its development of on-site solar projects. This year, Intel increased its REC purchase 12 percent to nearly 2.8 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh), equal to nearly 90 percent of its U.S. electricity use.
In addition to its REC purchases, Intel hosts 15 solar arrays on nine corporate campuses in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon, Israel, and Vietnam, which together supply approximately five million kWh annually for Intel facilities. Additional facilities are in the final evaluation or initial construction phase. In combination with a robust energy conservation and efficiency program, reduced perfluorocompound emissions, and technological advances in product design, Intel achieved a 60 percent reduction in absolute greenhouse gas emissions below 2007 levels.
Intel focuses on employee engagement as an important way to reduce the company's environmental impacts and help promote sustainable thinking. A portion of each employee's variable compensation is tied to company performance against environmental metrics, which include reducing Intel's carbon footprint. Annually, the Intel Environmental Excellence Awards recognize employee efforts to reduce environmental impacts, including a team that developed a plan to reuse and optimize networking systems in Intel's office environments that cut energy costs by more than $22 million. The company also developed "The Blue Guide to Being Green," which offers more than 70 tools for planning low-impact events worldwide, and is piloting initial electric vehicle charging stations at several campuses.
Intel also encourages its suppliers to reduce their environmental impacts, presenting information through conferences, presentations, webinars and seminars. The company shares its green power and sustainability leadership through a variety of media and on the company's internal and external websites.
Intel received Partner of the Year Awards in 2008, 2009, and 2011, and a Green Power Purchaser Award in 2010.
Kohl's Department Stores
With more than 1,100 stores in 49 states, Kohl's continues to demonstrate its commitment to sustainable business practices through its use of green power and dedication to reducing the environmental impacts of its operations. This year marks the third consecutive year that Kohl's has been using 100 percent renewable energy to meet all of its electricity use, purchasing more than 1.5 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable energy certificates (RECs) in 2012 alone.
A focus of Kohl's environmental efforts is to achieve sustainable operations, and the company has set several targets in pursuit of this goal. Kohl's aims to use 100 percent renewable energy for all of its facilities, achieve net zero carbon emissions beginning in 2010 through 2012, and host and activate 200 solar arrays on building rooftops by the year 2015. Kohl's has met its target of using 100 percent green power for its electricity use and is on track to achieve its other targets.
Additionally, in 2011, Kohl's expanded its green power portfolio to include on-site wind power, installing wind turbines at its Corpus Christi, Texas store and Findlay, Ohio distribution center. In 2011, Kohl's also activated its first fully-owned solar arrays on two store rooftops in Arizona. Together, these rooftops host 3,322 solar panels and generate 1.3 million kWh of electricity annually. As of April 2012, Kohl's boasts an impressive 124 solar locations, a 17-location increase since April 2011.
Kohl's has topped the Green Power Partnership's Top 20 Retail list since July 2009, signifying the largest green power users among retail partners within the Partnership. Kohl's leads the industry by example, acting as a resource for other retailers interested in sustainability through its membership in the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.
Stakeholder engagement and increasing the sustainability of its supply chain round out Kohl's key environmental strategies. Kohl's stakeholders are defined as its customers, associates and partners, and the company encourages vendors and suppliers to develop their own sustainability plans as part of their partnership with Kohl's.
Kohl's received a Green Power Purchasing Award in 2007, an On-site Generation Award in 2008, and Partner of the Year Awards in 2009, 2010, and 2011.
Staples was founded in 1986 and today employs 90,000 associates in more than 26 countries. Staples' commitment to using green power has grown steadily since the company first began using green power a decade ago. From using two percent green power in 2002, Staples' purchase has grown to more than 516 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable energy certificates (RECs) in 2012, along with deploying green power on-site. This purchase represents a 51 percent increase over the company's 2011 REC purchase. In total, 78 percent of Staples' electricity use comes from renewable energy sources.
Staples' currently hosts 36 solar arrays on its properties and has generated 35 million kWh from its solar installations since 2005, equivalent to the amount of electricity used by 1,800 average American homes per year. Staples has also completed a 385 kilowatt fuel cell installation at its Ontario, California distribution center, which supplies 90 percent of the base electrical requirements for the center, along with three 200 kilowatt fuel cells at its Rialto, California distribution site. In addition to expanding its on-site generation, Staples increased its fleet of all-electric delivery trucks from 41 to 53 in the last year.
Staples engages its customers, associates, and stakeholders on its use of green power and other sustainability initiatives through its recently revamped "Staples Soul" website, in-store information, press releases, and social media. Employee outreach includes events such as Staples' "Bring Your Green to Work" day, which provides tips to employees on how they can save energy at work and at home. Sharing knowledge of green power with students is also important to Staples, and in conjunction with the Edison Electric Institute, Staples employees volunteer for national "Wake Up Kids" events which teach elementary, middle, and high school students about the importance of using renewable energy.
As Staples continues to pursue its goal of achieving zero carbon emissions in its operations, green power will be a major contributing factor. And with its worldwide reach, Staples will continue to advocate for its stakeholders to use green power as well.
Staples received Partner of the Year Awards in 2004, 2007, and 2011, and a Green Power Purchasing Award in 2006.
Whole Foods Market
In 1980, Whole Foods Market was founded with one small store in Austin, Texas. Today, Whole Foods Market is an established leader in natural and organic food sales, with more than 325 stores in North America and the United Kingdom. Whole Foods Market was the first Fortune 500® company to purchase wind power for 100 percent of its electricity use across its U. S. operations, and in 2012 the company purchased over 800 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of wind-powered renewable energy certificates (RECs). Whole Foods Market is among the largest users of green power in the Green Power Partnership and since joining the partnership in 2004, has consistently placed on EPA's National Top 50 Purchasers list.
In addition to its REC purchases, Whole Foods Market also hosts or owns solar arrays at 16 store locations and one distribution center and has contracted for twenty more systems. This year, the solar array at the distribution center in Cheshire, Connecticut was expanded from 120 kW to 268 kW. The Brentwood, California store uses solar energy for 24 percent of its electricity needs, and the Edgewater, New Jersey store hosts an impressive array of 14,000 square feet of solar panels. The company has also incorporated fuel cell technology at four of its retail locations – three 400 kW units and one 200 kW unit. In addition, Whole Foods Market recently became the first company in the U.S. to generate its electricity needs on-site using recycled cooking oil at its Everett, Massachusetts-based commissary kitchen.
Getting the word out about the importance and benefits of using green power remains a key focus of Whole Foods Market's customer, Team Member, and stakeholder outreach efforts. In 2012, the company released its first-ever "Green Mission Report," providing a broad and in-depth look at its green efforts, including support of the green power market. Whole Foods Market's 65,000+ Team Members carry out the company's green mission on a daily basis with individual environmental responsibilities including wise energy use. Most stores also have a "Green Mission" team, and several of Whole Foods Market's regions devote part-time or full-time positions for Green Mission Specialists to educate Team Members and promote the company's environmental goals.
Whole Foods Market received Green Power Purchasing Awards in 2004 and 2005, and Partner of the Year Awards in 2006, 2007, and 2010.
EPA Green Power Supplier Awards
Green Power Supplier of the Year
Renewable Choice Energy
Founded in 2001, Colorado-based Renewable Choice Energy is a renewable energy and carbon measurement, management, and offset firm, and for more than a decade has been a top green power supplier. In April 2012, Renewable Choice was the top renewable energy provider to members of the Green Power Partnership in terms of number of partners supplied. The company's "American Wind" RECs support wind farms across the country, and its "Clean Source" RECs are from a portfolio of projects including wind farms, biomass facilities, small hydro-electric installations, solar arrays and geothermal plants.
Renewable Choice's mission is to create a more sustainable future by engaging organizations to support the generation of renewable energy and the development of carbon reduction projects. In 2011 alone, Renewable Choice clients helped prevent more than five billion pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere, which has an impact similar to planting over 58.5 million tree seedlings and growing them for ten years. Renewable Choice is also a leading global provider of greenhouse gas (GHG) measurement services and energy efficiency solutions. A free carbon calculator is also available on the company website, along with webinars, blogs, press release support, and other content.
In addition to customizable REC portfolios, Renewable Choice has pioneered a number of innovative products in partnership with retailers. For example, working with Whole Foods Market, Renewable Choice was the first to offer a point-of-purchase residential green power product in the "Wind Power Card." The "Green Your Phone" offering lets customers buy RECs to offset the energy needed to manufacture and use their mobile phone for two years.
The company works with Fortune 500® companies, educational institutions, small businesses, municipalities, and consulting firms to deliver simple, scalable solutions to the energy and sustainability management landscape.
Sterling Planet delivers clean energy and carbon mitigation solutions to multinational businesses, universities, government agencies, utilities and individual consumers. Since 2000, the Atlanta-based company has sold tens of billions of renewable energy kilowatt-hours in the form of certified RECs from wind, solar and a broad range of other resources. In April 2012, Sterling Planet topped the list of renewable energy providers to members of the EPA Green Power Partnership in volume of renewable energy kilowatt-hours provided, with more than 5 billion kWh delivered annually. Beyond RECs, Sterling Planet also markets energy efficiency certificates and carbon offsets.
The company's client list includes over 2500 business customers, among them the nation's foremost voluntary green power purchasers. Sterling Planet also serves 79 colleges and universities, 391 government agencies and thousands of residential customers nationwide. Sterling Planet has formed partnerships with 166 utilities across the country, delivering RECs in both the voluntary and compliance renewable energy markets.
Sterling Planet supports all renewable technology types and has provided financial assistance to owners of 11 small-hydro projects, helping them earn Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) certification. Sterling Planet is also developing its own new renewable projects and providing a mechanism for clients to invest in these and other projects led by development partners. More than 280 megawatts of new renewable energy capacity is in the development pipeline at sites nationwide.
Sterling Planet's mission is to "improve lives today, while working to sustain Earth for future generations."The company has partnered with various nonprofit organizations – Solar Light for Africa, Sierra Leone International Mission School and Philos Energy, International – in donating solar panels, related hardware and staff resources to bring electricity and opportunity to Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda. In the U.S., Sterling Planet joins with nonprofit organizations such as the Clean Air Council and Chesapeake Bay Foundation to develop green reinvestment funds for various projects that also advance sustainable energy.
Innovative Green Power Program of the Year
Wellesley Municipal Light Plant
In 2009, Wellesley, Massachusetts' Wellesley Municipal Light Plant (WMLP) began its "Power to Choose" program, which allows customers to select green power over conventional electricity options. Through 2011, Wellesley's customer participation rate grew to six percent— equivalent to one percent of the town's total electricity consumption. In 2011, building on this highest participation rate among public power systems in the state, WMLP embarked on a campaign to increase green power use even further.
Meeting weekly and working with a large group of volunteers, the WMLP increased the amount of kilowatt-hours (kWh) purchased by almost 400 percent in only five months. In December 2011, WMLP's voluntary participants were purchasing two million kWh of green power. By the end of May 2012, customers were purchasing 9.8 million kWhs and the customer participation rate grew from six to 11.5 percent. Growth was fueled by the involvement of the town's three local colleges—Wellesley College, Babson College, and Mass Bay Community College—all of which became Green Power Partners.
WMLP's outreach techniques include working with Parent-Teacher Organizations in local schools to sign up families for the program and supplying "Power to Choose" lawn signs and magnetic bumper stickers for participants. Babson College students developed media campaign ideas for WMLP including a renewable energy curriculum for elementary school students. The "Sustainable Wellesley" volunteer team continues to increase community participation by going door-to-door, sharing environmental tips on its website and e-Newsletter, and holding outreach events at local schools.
WMLP's campaign has been a huge success, and the plant worked with Sustainable Wellesley and the Town of Wellesley to become the first community in Massachusetts, and second in New England, to receive the EPA Green Power Community (GPC) designation – a model for other small communities.