2013 Past Award Winners
EPA Green Power Purchaser Awards
Partner of the Year
Green Power Purchasing
- Accredo Packaging, Inc.
- Dell Inc.
- The North Face
- U. S. Department of Energy
- UW Credit Union
- Western Pennsylvania Energy Consortium
- Apple Inc.
- County of Santa Clara, CA
- Kaiser Permanente
- Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations, LLC
Sustained Excellence in Green Power
Green Power Community of the Year
EPA Green Power Supplier Awards
Green Power Supplier of the Year
CRS Market Development Awards
EPA Purchaser Awards
Partner of the Year
Cisco Systems, Inc.
Founded in 1984, Cisco Systems, Inc. is a worldwide leader in networking with a mission to transform how people connect, communicate and collaborate. The company seeks to build environmental sustainability into each of its business functions and processes. The use of green power plays an important role in doing so and in reducing Cisco's environmental footprint.
Electricity represents more than 85 percent of Cisco's Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and as a result, green power is instrumental to the company's GHG management strategy. Cisco uses more than 459 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of green power annually for its U.S. operations, amounting to 44 percent of the company's U.S. electricity consumption. Cisco also recently announced a new set of environmental sustainability targets, one of which is to reduce their net, consumption-weighted, electricity emission factor to 50 percent of the latest International Energy Agency (IEA) world average emission factor by end of 2017. Another target is to use electricity from renewable sources for at least 25 percent of electricity consumed every year through FY2017.
Cisco's global presence enables it to play an important role in promoting green power and environmental sustainability within the IT industry. Through its environmental sustainability strategy, the company is able to lead by example by reducing GHG emissions throughout its own operations, and by encouraging its vendors, business partners, and supply chain to do the same. Cisco reports to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and has succeeded in getting between 80 and 100 percent of its primary suppliers (depending on type) to report to the CDP. Beginning in July 2013, Cisco now also asks suppliers to report how much green power they use in its Supplier Business Scorecard.
Going forward, Cisco will continue to communicate the meaningful role that green power plays in its sustainability strategy as well as within the IT industry at large. The company plans to build employee enthusiasm and momentum for green power by leveraging the "Cisco Green" online community to disseminate information and identify green power champions within the organization.
Cisco Systems, Inc. received a Partner of the Year Award in 2008.
Founded in 1789, Georgetown University is the oldest Catholic and Jesuit university in the United States. As the fifth largest user of green power among colleges and universities in EPA's Green Power Partnership, Georgetown University demonstrates that even the most historic institutions can be forward-looking on energy. Georgetown is committed to cutting its carbon footprint in half by 2020 from 2006 levels, and has already reduced emissions over 20 percent through a combination of demand reduction, efficiency, and use of cleaner fuels.
Georgetown purchases more than 113 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable energy certificates (RECs) annually, equal to 109 percent of its electricity use on its Main, Medical and East campuses. This purchase led to Georgetown being recognized as the largest single green power user in the Big East Conference in EPA's 2012-2013 College & University Green Power Challenge.
The university demonstrates its green power leadership in a number of ways on campus and in the Washington, DC community. In the spring of 2013, Georgetown launched a new on-site renewable energy project through a collaborative student-staff initiative, installing 18 kW of solar panels on a block of historic university-owned row houses—the first campus project of its kind in DC. In total, the project is expected to provide 19,711 kWh each year and reduce more than 600,000 pounds of carbon pollution over the 20-year life of the project. Under the framework of the DC Mayor's College and University Sustainability Pledge (CUSP), Georgetown is also engaging with the DC Department of Environment to ensure that the university's experiences installing solar power on historic buildings can serve as a useful model to others.
In addition, Georgetown is a green power leader in higher education on a global scale. As such, it has come together with universities from around the world to sign the International Sustainable Campus Charter, pledging to integrate sustainability into buildings, operations, and planning and to develop the campus as a "Living Laboratory" to teach students about sustainability. In support of this pledge, Georgetown will continue to facilitate feasibility studies to support student-led initiatives, such as installing piezoelectric tiles to harness energy from foot traffic.
Microsoft is one of the world's largest technology and software companies, employing approximately 97,000 people globally. Microsoft's business and operations strategies include ambitious environmental goals. As part of its overall sustainability strategy, Microsoft set a goal to reduce its carbon emissions in 2012 by least 30 percent per unit of revenue below the company's 2007 baseline. The company met this goal through increased energy efficiency initiatives and investments in high-quality, externally-verified renewable energy and carbon reduction projects.
In early 2012, Microsoft purchased renewable energy credits (RECs) for the first time, totaling more than 1 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power. In 2013, Microsoft upped its use of renewable energy nearly 73 percent to 1,935,637,485 kWh annually, an increase of more than 815 million kWh from 2012. This increase placed Microsoft second on EPA's Green Power Partnership National Top 50 and Top 20 Tech and Telecom lists, as of April 2013. The company's green power use also includes the generation of solar power from a 480 kW on-site system at its Mountain View, California campus. In total, the company is purchasing U.S. green power equivalent to 80 percent of its U.S. electricity needs.
Microsoft believes an internal plan to foster greater accountability among the company's business units will have a lasting effect. With this in mind, Microsoft instituted a company-wide commitment to achieve carbon neutrality for its data centers, software development labs, offices, and employee air travel beginning in fiscal year 2013 (July 2012–June 2013). The carbon neutrality commitment includes an internal carbon price, which incentivizes energy efficiency and the purchase of renewable energy. By internalizing the cost of carbon pollution through financial measures, the fee encourages employees to reduce emissions while raising funds for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
In the future, Microsoft intends to continue to share information about its sustainability programs through its "Microsoft Green" environmental blog and post detailed information on its website and in sustainability reports as it continues meet its carbon neutrality corporate policy.
Microsoft received a Partner of the Year Award in 2012.
The Ohio State University
The Ohio State University, located in Columbus, Ohio, enrolls nearly 57,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Ohio State's green power commitment is the largest of any Ohio-based Green Power Partner and the second largest among public universities. Contributing substantially to the Big Ten Conference's finish at the top of the 2012-2013 EPA College & University Green Power Challenge, Ohio State's annual green power use of 141 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) meets nearly 25 percent of the university's electricity needs.
Ohio State made a public declaration to work toward climate neutrality by signing the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment in 2008 and adopting a Climate Action Plan (CAP) in 2011. Guided by the CAP, Ohio State has implemented a number of operational changes, laying the foundation for successful greenhouse gas mitigation. The university's Green Build and Energy Policy, calling for all new construction and major renovation to meet LEED® Silver standards, reduces demand for fossil fuels. Understanding the role renewable energy technology will play in a climate neutral future, Ohio State is completing a 450-well geothermal system to heat and cool residence halls.
A 20-year wind power purchase agreement to buy 50 megawatts of wind power generation capacity annually from Blue Creek Wind Farm in northwestern Ohio demonstrates the school's exceptional support of the development of new clean energy resources in the U.S. Following two years of negotiations, Ohio State's purchase, one of the largest single green power purchases by any university in the country, represents 16 percent of the wind farm's total generating capacity. The long-term commitment helps to guarantee the supplier's financial viability and accelerate the development of a planned expansion in Ohio.
As an institution of higher education, Ohio State fosters an environment where green power use is not only a component of the university's operations, but also part of its service to education. As such, university researchers will benefit from unprecedented access to data from the Blue Creek Wind Farm for studies ranging from rotor blade and wind energy markets, to soil preservation and noise optimization. Energize Ohio, an OSU Extension Signature Program, brings free educational materials, workshops, and webinars on the basics of renewable energy and project development, energy policy, and the energy industry to all 88 counties in the state, helping to further the development of renewable energy in Ohio.
Green Power Purchasing
Accredo Packaging, Inc.
Accredo Packaging, Inc. has established itself as a leading flexible packaging manufacturer with a strong commitment to sustainability. Located in Sugar Land, Texas, the company provides products to the pre-packaged foods and consumer products markets in North America. Accredo's 350,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility is powered by 100 percent wind-generated electricity and is the first flexible packaging manufacturing facility in the U.S. to be granted LEED® Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Since beginning production in 2009, sustainable practices and development have been at the center of Accredo Packaging's mission, and the company has worked to foster a culture dedicated to reducing its carbon footprint with a focus on using renewable energy. Accredo has lived up to this mission by increasing its green power purchasing year after year. In 2012, the company purchased nearly 21 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of wind power, an increase of nearly 8 million kWh over the previous year. This purchase is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity use of more than 1,600 average American homes each year. Some of the drivers behind Accredo's green power use include branding the company as a leader in sustainable energy use, thus providing a marketing advantage, while increasing employee wellness and productivity.
Accredo Packaging remains committed to reducing the environmental impacts of its packaging and extruded film production, while offering competitively-priced products to its customers. Future plans include an expansion of its production facilities, with construction on a second site to be built to meet LEED requirements and to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy. Accredo will also continue to communicate its renewable energy commitment on its packaging, via press releases and its website, and at trade conferences and customer presentations.
Dell Inc. is one of the world's largest information technology and services companies and employs more than 110,000 people globally. Dell strives to find practical, efficient ways to do business, build products and create solutions that make the least possible environmental impact. To address its electricity consumption, the most significant contribution to Dell's environmental footprint, the company focuses on a two-fold strategy: increase green power use and improve efficiency.
Dell has an extensive history of green power purchasing. From an initial commitment of 900,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 2003, Dell has increased its purchases to more than 217 million kWh for its U.S. operations in 2013, or 48 percent of its U.S. electricity use. The company's purchases cover facilities in Texas, Oklahoma and Illinois. In addition to purchasing green power, Dell has installed 100 kW of on-site solar panels at its Round Rock, Texas headquarters. Dell also purchases renewable electricity at several facilities in Europe, and recently installed solar panels at a large campus in India.
Dell joined the EPA Green Power Partnership in December 2007, and has consistently ranked on the Partnership's National Top 50, Fortune 500® Partners, and Top 20 Tech & Telecom lists each year. In concert with its green energy purchases, Dell has implemented energy conservation projects including building upgrades, power management strategies and IT solutions. Internally, team members participate in environmental initiatives through the company's Planet employee resource group. In addition, as part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Workplace Charging Challenge, Dell has committed to install additional on-site electric vehicle charging stations as another avenue to promote green power use.
Pearson, a leading learning company, combines 150 years of experience in publishing with the latest learning technology and online support. Pearson's courses and resources are available in print, online and through multi-lingual packages.
Pearson is a leader in green power purchasing and as of April 2013, ranked No. 37 on EPA's National Top 50 list. Pearson was the first global media company to commit to becoming climate neutral, achieving this goal every year since 2009, and has since continued to reduce its environmental impacts including through green power purchases.
Pearson's operations in the United States are powered by 100 percent renewable sources. Pearson purchases 200 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable energy certificates (RECs) annually, prioritizing wind power from facilities located near its facilities.
Pearson also gives preference to suppliers that share its environmental commitments and take steps to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions. The company is investing in hybrid vehicles for its corporate sales fleet and installing electric vehicle charging stations, as well as implementing energy efficiency measures.
Pearson looks for ways to share its commitment to green power purchasing with schools and students. Pearson purchases Brighter Schools Solar RECs from 3Degrees, which are sourced from U.S. public schools with solar photovoltaic panel installations. The Pearson Foundation also ran the New Jersey Go Green! campaign, an innovative program that challenged students in the state to create public service announcements about the importance of renewable energy.
Pearson received a Green Power Purchasing Award in 2010.
Powdr, one of the largest ski resort companies in North America, operates nine mountain resorts and four action sport camps/training facilities geographically located across the U.S. The company demonstrates its commitment to environmental protection, sustainable development, and social engagement by purchasing green power to cover its company-wide electricity use. In the last five years, Powdr's green power purchases have increased by 40 percent to more than 80 million kilowatt hours (kWh) annually, placing it in the top 20 on the EPA Green Power Partnership's list of 100% Green Power Users in April 2013.
Powdr Resorts have avoided 195,000 tons of carbon pollution through wind power purchases since 2006, accounting for a 49 percent reduction in the company's overall carbon footprint. In addition to buying green power, Powdr has implemented energy conservation projects that will reduce its electricity use by approximately one million kWh, by using more efficient snowmaking equipment, HVAC equipment, lighting, and appliances, among other efforts. Powdr also supports renewable energy projects at many of its resorts, including two 1.2 kW wind turbines at Copper Mountain, Colorado; a 22.6 kW 99-panel solar array at Mt. Bachelor in Bend, Oregon; and a 12 kW wind turbine and 5.7 kW solar array, along with a solar thermal installation, at Park City Mountain Resort in Utah.
Powdr communicates its commitment to green power as a means to encourage its stakeholders and guests to adopt their own sustainable practices. These communications pathways include an Environmental Kiosk and EcoZone at Park City Mountain Resort – both interactive exhibits that educate guests about the resort's efforts, wind turbine signage at Copper Mountain and signs in prominent locations on buildings, chairlifts and trail maps throughout Powdr's properties. With a full-time Chief Sustainability Officer on board, the company plans to expand its sustainability programs and educational initiatives throughout its resorts.
Powdr received a Green Power Purchasing Award in 2008.
The North Face
The North Face is a leader in the outdoor apparel industry, creating technically-innovative clothing and equipment geared towards physically and socially active consumers. Since its founding in 1966, The North Face has been dedicated to protecting the planet by producing environmentally friendly products, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, eliminating waste, and engaging communities. To help reach its environmental goals, The North Face is committed to the use of green power and to educating others about the importance of sustainability.
Green power purchasing is an important component of The North Face's sustainability strategy. Since 2008, The North Face has used 100 percent green power at its over 50 retail stores in the U.S., its U.S. headquarters in Alameda, California, its distribution center in Visalia, California, and its company showroom in New York. The North Face's purchased and on-site green power use totals more than 22 million kilowatt hours (kWh), an increase of 2.7 million kWh over the previous year. This increase includes a 950 kW solar installation at the new headquarters building in Alameda, designed to provide 100 percent of the building's electricity needs. The facility, completed in July 2012, is designed to meet LEED® Gold standards and also hosts four electric vehicle charging stations that provide free green power to employees.
The North Face encourages employees to use renewable energy and promotes its green power use to customers via signage at cash registers and in dressing rooms. In addition, the company reaches out to the community through educational programs and projects. The "Hot Planet/Cool Athletes" program and Endurance Challenges help educate and inspire children and adults on ways each can live more actively and sustainably. By the end of 2013, the program will visit 52 high schools and deliver this message to 20,000 students.
The North Face received a Green Power Purchasing Award in 2012.
U.S. Department of Energy
For the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), a major focus of its mission involves taking a leadership role in increasing the use of green power. DOE supports scientific research in renewable energy technologies and uses green power in nearly every aspect of its operations. Annually, DOE uses more than 698 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, an increase of more than 400 million kWh over the previous year. This includes more than 584 million kWh of renewable energy certificates (RECs) and 111 million kWh of on-site generation. In total, the Department's green power use represents 13.8 percent of its overall electricity use.
DOE's annual Strategic Sustainability Platform Plan requires the Department to develop strategies to meet green power usage and purchase goals. A standout example of these strategies, implemented in the past year, is the installment of a $795 million biomass-fueled cogeneration facility at DOE's Savannah River Site in Aiken, South Carolina. The new 20-megawatt (MW) biomass plant will generate an estimated $944 million in savings in fuel costs and operations and maintenance costs over the next 20 years. It was funded through the single largest renewable energy savings performance contract in U.S. history.
The Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory Research Support Facility is also a showcase for energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. This 360,000 square foot LEED® Platinum building produces nearly 2.5 MW of green power annually from its rooftop solar photovoltaic array.
True to its mandate, DOE will continue to look for ways to fund on-site renewable energy projects to meet its renewable energy goals. At the same time, it will promote the success of these technologies to external audiences through its website and social media outlets and internal Federal government audiences through Department-wide and interagency forums.
UW Credit Union
UW Credit Union, based in Madison, Wisconsin, is a leading provider of a full range of financial services to more than 181,000 members. It is the fourth largest credit union in Wisconsin, operating 22 branches throughout the state and employing more than 400 people. UW Credit Union is dedicated to reducing the environmental impacts of its operations, which is the impetus for its sustainability efforts, including purchasing green power. As a result, it is the first credit union in the country to qualify for EPA's Green Power Leadership Club.
In 2008, UW Credit Union officially committed to and began implementing environmentally-friendly initiatives. From 2008 through 2012, the company purchased renewable energy credits (RECs) to cover 100 percent of the electricity used at its corporate headquarters, or 42 percent of its company-wide electricity use. In January 2013, the credit union expanded its green power commitment by purchasing more than 2.7 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of RECs from Midwest wind projects, equivalent to 100 percent of the electricity used by its entire community branch network. By using green power and following LEED® certification guidelines for all new construction and remodeling projects, UW Credit Union has reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 78 percent from 2008 levels while continuing to expand its business.
As a well-known organization in the Madison area and throughout Wisconsin, UW Credit Union embraces the responsibility of being a leader in the communities it serves. Its commitment to purchasing 100 percent green power has served as a means to build awareness in the community about the advantages of renewable energy while reducing the company's overall carbon footprint. Going forward, the credit union will continue to seek to inspire and educate its employees, members, and other organizations, including its University of Wisconsin partners, about the importance of using green power.
Western Pennsylvania Energy Consortium
The Western Pennsylvania Energy Consortium was established by the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County in 2007 to realize financial savings by aggregating electricity purchases for city authorities and local municipalities in the region, including the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pittsburgh Water & Sewer, The Sports and Exhibition Authority, Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium, and Carlow University. Its objective is to reduce energy costs for all of its members, which include 16 municipalities, nine authorities, and one university. By aggregating these large accounts, the Consortium members have seen cost savings of close to 20 percent per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for green power, compared to traditional electricity sources.
In 2008 the Consortium purchased more than 11 million kWh of renewable energy; in 2013, purchases totaled more than 42 million kWh, equal to 25 percent of members' overall electricity use. One of the Consortium's showcase endeavors is to help the City of Pittsburgh fulfill its goal to reduce carbon emissions to 20 percent of 2003 levels by 2023. The Consortium staff also meet with smaller municipalities throughout the County regarding the environmental benefits and cost savings resulting from aggregated purchasing. Due to its success, the Consortium has provided guidance to a wide variety of other Pennsylvania organizations looking to increase their own green power purchases.
Through these collaborative efforts, the Consortium demonstrates a successful model of cities and counties jointly pursuing green power while saving taxpayer dollars. Purchasing green power not only cuts the region's carbon footprint, but also helps to create a demand for renewable energy in the region, which will continue to grow the clean energy economy of Western Pennsylvania.
The Western Pennsylvania Energy Consortium received a Green Power Purchasing Award in 2009.
Apple Inc., one of the largest information technology companies in the world, became an organization-wide Green Power Partner in 2013, increasing its green power use from 2012 by more than 285 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) to an annual total of more than 537 million kWh. Apple is pursuing a net zero energy strategy for its data centers, corporate facilities, and retail stores worldwide, and currently has achieved 85 percent green power for all its U.S. consumption. An important component of the strategy is creating new, Apple-owned renewable energy projects – utility-scale if necessary – located near the company's centers of energy demand.
Apple supplies all of its data centers with 100 percent renewable energy though its own projects or through grid-purchased renewable energy. For its largest data center, in Maiden, North Carolina, it has committed to more than 60 percent Apple-owned generation and achieves this by having constructed the nation’s largest end user-owned, solar photovoltaic array — a 20-megawatt (MW) facility on 100 acres of land — and a 10-MW fuel cell installation supplied by directed biogas, the largest non-utility fuel cell installation operating anywhere in the country. These projects produce 125 million kWh of green power a year. A second 20-MW solar photovoltaic array is installed and will be operational in October, increasing total green power generation at the data center to 167 million kWh a year, which is substantially beyond their 60 percent goal.
Many of Apple's other facilities also operate on 100 percent renewable energy from a combination of green power purchases and Apple-owned renewable projects, including its data center in Newark, California; its two newest data centers in Reno, Nevada and Prineville, Oregon; and corporate facilities in Cupertino, California; Elk Grove, California; Austin, Texas; and several overseas facilities.
By developing its own on-site projects, Apple ensures that it provides renewable energy that supports the company’s load and provides power to the local grid, and that this energy comes from new projects that would not have been built without Apple's involvement.
In the future, as its facilities and data centers grow, Apple plans to increase its green power use to keep pace with growth and pursue its goal of using 100 percent clean, renewable energy.
County of Santa Clara, CA
Santa Clara County, the sixth largest county in California by population, is committed to using on-site green power and to accelerating renewable energy adoption by the public sector. The County's 6.4 megawatts (MW) of on-site solar photovoltaic (PV) systems generate 11,412,175 kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually, which represents 9 percent of its total annual electricity consumption. In 2012, Santa Clara County installed 5.7 MW of solar PV, saving the County $642,000 in utility costs during the initial 12 months of operation. This was $290,000 more than was projected.
The County has also served as the lead agency in a regional, collaborative procurement effort that included six other public agencies. As the lead agency, the County managed the procurement and contract negotiation process and advised participating agencies on project financing options, utility rebates, electricity pricing and strategies for managing the projects. As a result, 11.4 MW of solar power was installed at 22 sites. The County's approach was unique in its extensive pre-procurement planning that included creating a County-wide site inventory, conducting interviews with developers and financiers, and drafting a model power purchase agreement (PPA) for use by other agencies. Sonoma and Alameda counties in California have followed Santa Clara's lead, pursuing their own regional collaborative procurements.
The County continues to lead by example with regards to green power by showing that it is possible to develop comprehensive renewable energy projects that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and utility costs without investing upfront capital funds. In Q4 2013, the County will be installing 2.4 MW of solar PV on eight new County sites, as well as 2.8 MWs of fuel cells at four sites using PPAs. The new projects will generate 28 million kWh of electricity annually, save the County $15.7 million over the 20-year contract term and reduce GHG emissions by more than 104,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.
Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente is recognized as one of the country's leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans, with nearly 9.1 million members, 175,668 employees and 17,167 physicians in more than 600 locations. Kaiser Permanente believes that environmental health is critical to human health and is a leader in the healthcare sector in its use of on-site green power.
In February 2012, Kaiser Permanente committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2020 compared to 2008 levels. To support that pledge, the organization adopted a national sustainable energy policy and launched an ambitious strategy to reduce its carbon footprint, including expanding its use of green power. Developing on-site generation plays a significant role in reducing the organization's carbon emissions and meeting its 2020 goal.
Since September 2010, Kaiser Permanente has installed solar panels at 11 of its hospitals and other buildings in California. With a generation capacity of 11 megawatts, the panels provide clean, renewable energy to these sites, which include six medical centers, five medical offices, and one distribution center. In 2012, the arrays generated 17 million kilowatt-hours of (kWh) electricity – seven percent of the facilities' overall use. Kaiser Permanente's clean energy generation is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity use of more than 1,700 average American homes each year. In addition to its on-site use, Kaiser Permanente purchases more than 42 million kWh of renewable energy certificates (RECs) annually.
Kaiser Permanente's corporate sustainable energy strategy is also an economic success story. Through incentives and contracting partnerships, the organization is able to fund these on-site projects at no cost, and pays the same rate or less for the green power than it would pay for electricity from the grid. Future on-site projects are planned for Kaiser Permanente's Monalua Medical Center and seven medical offices in Hawaii.
Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations, LLC
Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations, LLC is a 1,400-acre automobile assembly plant located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Volkswagen Chattanooga embodies Volkswagen's "Think Blue." campaign, which outlines goals for creating environmentally friendly products using sustainable and efficient production processes, and encouraging eco-conscious behavior. Volkswagen has set a goal to reduce the environmental impact of all Volkswagen plants by 25 percent by 2018 from a 2010 baseline, which applies to energy consumption, waste volumes, volatile organic compound emissions, water consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. In pursuit of these corporate environmental and energy objectives, Volkswagen Chattanooga is committed to the use of green power.
With the official opening of the 33-acre Volkswagen Chattanooga Solar Park adjacent to its automotive manufacturing plant in January 2013, Volkswagen Chattanooga began generating 13.1 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of on-site green power annually. The 9.6 megawatt photovoltaic array consists of 33,600 solar modules and is the largest system of its kind in the North American automotive industry and in the state of Tennessee. The system's generation accounts for approximately 12 percent of the plant's electricity use, which is equivalent to avoiding the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of more than 1,300 average American homes per year. Prior to opening the Solar Park, the Chattanooga plant became the first auto plant in the world to receive LEED® Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2012.
In addition to helping to meet its CO2 emissions reduction goals, Volkswagen Chattanooga is also using its Solar Park to educate others on the benefits of using green power through tours for customers and visitors, internal communications, and publication of a sustainability report. Looking ahead, Volkswagen plans to continue to pursue its other sustainability initiatives, including maximizing fuel efficiency in vehicles, increasing efficiency during production, and promoting recycling.
Sustained Excellence in Green Power
Intel Corporation, the world's largest semiconductor manufacturer, develops computing technologies, products, and initiatives with a goal to continually advance the way people work and live. Demonstrating its commitment to green power and sustainability, Intel continues to be the nation's largest voluntary purchaser of green power, a ranking held since 2008. In 2013, Intel increased its purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs) to meet 100 percent of the electricity used at its U.S. locations, up from 88 percent in 2012. This purchase totaled approximately 3.1 million kilowatt-hours (kWh). These RECs represent diverse technologies, including wind, solar, geothermal, low-impact hydro, and biomass resources. In addition, Intel now has 18 solar facilities on their property with a combined capacity of approximately 7 megawatts. These systems generate nearly 10 million kWh of electricity annually – a portion of which (850,000 kWh) counts toward Intel's green power usage through the retention of the RECs.
To promote sustainability across the company, Intel engages its employees in environmental initiatives. A portion of each employee's variable compensation is tied to company performance against environmental metrics, which include reducing Intel's carbon footprint. Each year, the Intel Environmental Excellence Awards recognize employee efforts to reduce environmental impacts.
Intel also encourages its suppliers to reduce their environmental impacts, providing information via conferences, presentations, webinars, and seminars. To demonstrate the importance of supplier engagement, Intel has implemented supplier sustainability criteria and reporting. Further, the company purchases additional RECs to match the electricity use of events, such as its Supplier Day, Intel Manufacturing Excellence Conference, and the Intel Developer Forum. To increase awareness of green power externally, Intel continues to release environmental statements, announcements, and reports to the media.
Intel's use of green power is intended to provide leadership and spur market growth, making renewable energy less expensive and more accessible over the long term and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Since 2008, Intel has invested more than $175 million in the renewable energy, smart grid, and energy-efficiency sectors and plans to continue taking a leadership position in these areas for years to come.
Intel received a Sustained Excellence Award in 2012, Partner of the Year Awards in 2008, 2009, and 2011, and a Green Power Purchasing Award in 2010.
Kohl's Department Stores
Kohl's Department Stores has made an impressive commitment to green power and continues to display its dedication, year after year, at its more than 1,150 stores in 49 states. Kohl's demonstrates its commitment to protecting the environment by seeking solutions in three strategic areas: sustainable operations, supply chain, and stakeholder engagement.
Under its sustainable operations strategy, Kohl's has met its goal to operate using 100 percent renewable energy and achieve net zero emissions for three years—2010, 2011, and 2012 – via on-site generation and purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs). Since 2009, Kohl's has topped EPA's Green Power Partnership Top 20 Retail list, and in 2013, Kohl's purchased 1.5 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of RECs.
Kohl's also generates and uses more than 36 million kWh of green power annually from on-site solar and wind projects. As of August 2013, Kohl's has more than 140 solar locations rated at a total capacity of 40 megawatts (MW) – a 14-location increase since April 2012. Kohl's 20-year solar power purchase agreement with SunEdison for its solar locations is a testament to its long-term outlook and dedication to using green power. At the end of 2012, Kohl's activated its largest solar location to date at its E-Commerce Fulfillment Center in Edgewood, Maryland. The array includes 8,360 solar panels and generates more than three million kWh per year. As a result of these and other solar initiatives, the company is on track to meet its goal of having 200 active solar locations by 2015.
Under its supply chain strategy, in 2012, Kohl's hosted a roundtable for its top vendors on sustainability practices. Through its Sustainability Assessment process, Kohl's encourages its vendors to manage their energy use, embrace both efficiency and renewable energy and includes green power and energy efficiency as items on its Vendor Scorecards.
As part of its stakeholder engagement strategy, Kohl's uses its newly updated sustainability website, Kohlsgreen.com, to share its efforts, goals and accomplishments. By showcasing its sustainability efforts, including green power, via store screensavers, brochures, overhead announcements, window decals and more, Kohl's continually reminds customers and associates of its environmental initiatives.
Kohl's received a Sustained Excellence Award in 2012, Partner of the Year Awards in 2009, 2010, and 2011, an On-site Generation Award in 2008, and a Green Power Purchasing Award in 2007.
Staples is the world's largest office products company and second largest Internet retailer. Staples' vision is to generate business and environmental benefits for the company, its customers, and the community by leading the way in sustainable business practices. The company's commitment to green power has grown steadily and significantly since 2002, when it joined the Green Power Partnership. In early 2013, Staples increased its company-wide green power use from 80 percent to just over 100 percent through a combination of green power purchases and on-site generation. Staples is using more than 635 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually, an increase of approximately 119 kWh from 2012.
One of Staples' core sustainability pillars is to maximize energy efficiency and use renewable energy, which the company helps to fulfill by purchasing Green-e certified renewable energy certificates (RECs) and utility green power products. Currently, Staples has 34 solar arrays in the U.S., with nearly 11 megawatts of installed solar capacity generating more than 50 million kWh of renewable energy since 2007. Staples uses more than 518,000 kWh of solar power from these facilities annually by retaining the RECs. In addition, the company reduces its carbon footprint by deploying innovative technologies throughout its more than 1,800 stores, distribution centers, and warehouses nationwide.
Another core sustainability pillar for Staples is to become a sustainability leader in the global community. Staples strives to meet this goal by sharing its green power initiatives and best practices internally and externally through its "Staples Soul" web portal, on its new Staples Energy Online website, outreach to its property management companies about on-site green technologies, through speaking engagements at conferences and peer meetings, and via press releases. In addition, in conjunction with Edison Electric Institute, Staples volunteers for national "Wake Up Kids" events, which have educated more than 2,000 K-12 students on the benefits of green power.
Staples received a Sustained Excellence Award in 2012, Partner of the Year Awards in 2004, 2007, and 2011, and a Green Power Purchasing Award in 2006.
Green Power Community of the Year
Cincinnati, OH Community
Cincinnati, Ohio, a community of close to 300,000 residents, has focused on increasing the use of green power among its residents and businesses, with a call for more renewable energy use at the core of the city's "Green Cincinnati Action Plan." Collectively, the community's businesses, institutions, and residents are using 407,526,758 kilowatt-hours of green power annually, accounting for 14 percent of the city's total electricity use and making it the sixth largest EPA Green Power Community in the nation.
In June 2012, Cincinnati became the first major city in the U.S. to offer 100 percent green power as part of a community choice aggregation (CCA) program, which allows the city to pool the electricity demand of its residential, business, and municipal accounts in order to purchase power on their behalf and negotiate a lower price. Over 50,000 residential properties and small businesses are participating in the program. A portion of the community's green power use comes from local sources, including solar renewable energy certificates generated from the Cincinnati Zoo's Solar Canopy project. The average eligible household is expected to save approximately $133 per year on its electricity bills through the aggregation.
By working with regional environmental groups like Green Umbrella, Green Energy Ohio, and Ohio Citizen Action, Cincinnati is spreading the message that using green power makes financial and environmental sense for a large midwestern city. Cincinnati is also working to pass Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) legislation, which would provide a means of financing energy efficiency upgrades or renewable energy installations for commercial buildings.
Green power will continue to be a key aspect of Cincinnati's plan for a more sustainable future. In 2008, the city established greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals of eight percent within four years, 40 percent within 20 years, and 84 percent by 2050 compared to 2006 levels. The city met its first reduction target by reducing emissions by two percent a year for the past five years.
Mercer Island, WA Community
An island community of 22,000 residents, Mercer Island, Washington is recognized as a leader in the support and use of green power – a key aspect of the community's stewardship of its island environment. In 2009, Mercer Island established the Green Ribbon Commission (GRC), a public-private partnership dedicated to reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As a part of this effort, the city government and GRC have implemented innovative strategies to encourage the use of green power throughout the community, with seven percent of residents and businesses currently choosing to use green power.
In 2012, the GRC, led by the Mayor, city staff, and a team of volunteers, led the "Mercer Island Gets Green" challenge. Throughout the year, residents and business owners were encouraged to become "local energy heroes" by increasing their adoption of renewable energy. At the end of 2012, participation had increased by 55 percent, with more than 750 homes and businesses purchasing more than 5.81 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power. Their efforts qualified Mercer Island as the first city in the Seattle area to become an EPA Green Power Community. By exceeding their goal in the 2012 challenge, the city also received a $30,000 grant from Puget Sound Energy (PSE) to fund a solar photovoltaic system at the Community Center.
Mercer Island was also chosen to pilot PSE's first interschool bonus challenge, a partnership brokered by the City of Mercer Island and the Mercer Island School District, in which PSE worked with local schools to educate residents about renewable energy and invite them to participate in the community challenge. In return, islanders could designate a local school, when enrolling, to receive a small donation. Throughout the year-long campaign, 180 residents enrolled to purchase green power, and in return, participating schools received over $2,000 to fund environmental programs.
The Mercer Island community will continue to work toward its City Council-adopted goal of reducing GHG emissions by 80 percent or more below 2005 levels by 2050. Mercer Island's strategic planning and strong collaborative efforts of city government, residents, businesses, and schools have greatly supported the development of renewable energy and make it a community to emulate.
EPA Green Power Supplier Awards
Green Power Supplier of the Year
Based in San Francisco, California, with multiple locations across the country, 3Degrees is dedicated to reducing the magnitude of climate change by accelerating the world's transition to a low-carbon, renewable energy economy. The company provides customized green power products to utilities and Renewable Energy Certificates and carbon offsets to hundreds of Fortune 500® companies, green building firms and other organizations working to make their operations more sustainable. 3Degrees serves nearly 500 businesses and through its utility partners, 170,000 green power customers.
In 2012, 3Degrees increased its voluntary REC deliveries by 86 percent over 2011 sales by providing more than 8.4 billion kilowatt-hours from 400 facilities to its customers. It supplied 34,000 megawatt-hours of solar RECs from 220 facilities including 34 school solar projects, and delivered RECs from the nation's first grid-tied ocean power facility, Maine Tidal Energy Project, which went online September 2012. As of April 2013, 3Degrees is the top provider of RECs to 15 companies on EPA's Green Power Partnership National Top 50 list.
Through its 12 utility partners, 3Degrees' green power programs reach nearly 10 percent of the U.S. population across 16 states. These programs engage and educate potential customers through social media, call centers, community outreach, and extensive door-to-door efforts which have led to the enrollment of 38,000 customers in voluntary green power programs. 3Degrees worked with local governments in Mercer Island, Washington, and Creve Coeur, Missouri, to issue green power challenges, resulting in both communities becoming EPA Green Power Communities. 3Degrees' utility partners are ranked on all six National Renewable Energy Laboratory Green Power Leader Top 10 lists for 2012.
Dominion Virginia Power
Dominion Virginia Power (DVP) is a subsidiary of Dominion, one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy. In 2009, DVP launched Dominion Green Power®, a voluntary green power program. Available to DVP's 2.3 million residential and non-residential customers in Virginia, this Green-e certified program has supported more than 593,000 megawatt hours of renewable energy to date. The program has more than 19,000 participants and has experienced positive growth each year. Notably, in 2012, the Dominion Green Power program conducted an enhanced education and outreach program that increased the number of kilowatt-hours sold by 101 percent, approaching 0.5 percent of DVP's overall retail electricity sales. As of December 2012, DVP ranks No. 8 on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Top Ten Utility Green Power Programs lists in terms of renewable energy sales, and No. 10 in terms of total number of customer participants.
In 2011, Dominion Green Power integrated Virginia-based solar RECs into its renewable energy portfolio, which helped spur the first REC market for small-scale solar projects in Virginia. Roughly five percent of its 2012 green power supply originated in Virginia, and the program continues to add new Virginia-based green power to its portfolio.
DVP engages in a diverse suite of customer outreach efforts to promote its green power program. The company has spent more than 850 hours at over 250 events and gathering places, reaching an estimated 10,000+ customers. The company also offers green power to all customers establishing new electric service or transferring their service, enrolling an average of 300 new participants per month through call center efforts.
In addition to its broad customer outreach, in 2012, Dominion Green Power kicked off a community challenge and Virginia-based community partnership efforts. As a result, the City of Falls Church is poised to become Virginia's first EPA Green Power Community, and the Richmond (VA) Kickers became the first professional soccer organization to join the EPA Green Power Partnership.
Founded in 2000, Sterling Planet was the first company to offer renewable energy certificates (RECs) to retail clients nationwide. The company has since delivered tens of billions of renewable energy kilowatt-hours (kWh) in voluntary and compliance markets, offering comprehensive, carbon mitigation solutions for organizations of all types. The company's 2012 sales were close to 10.6 billion kWh, a 128 percent increase over 2011 figures. And as of April 2013, Sterling Planet is the top renewable energy provider to members of the EPA Green Power Partnership in terms of volume of renewable energy kWh provided.
Sterling Planet supports existing renewable power projects through agreements with more than 800 generators and is bringing new generating capacity into service. Sterling Planet is currently developing two biomass projects with a combined generating capacity of 67 megawatts that will supply electricity to Georgia Power Company. The company's 240 kW solar installation is already online, providing green power to the Georgia utility.
In 2013, Sterling Planet expanded its capabilities with new strategic alliances. The company now offers Sterling Analytics, an IT platform for comprehensive energy, water and carbon management. Solutions for utilities and other companies with on-site solar and wind installations include real-time monitoring and analysis to optimize performance. Sterling Planet is also joining with commercial customers to offer their employees and other stakeholders a sustainable energy choice.
Sterling Planet continues to serve a broad spectrum of REC purchasers and bring renewable energy into mainstream use and awareness. By matching electricity use at headline sporting events with RECs, for example, Sterling Planet has helped increase the average American's awareness of renewable energy as a viable, affordable option. Over the past year, Sterling Planet has supplied RECs to mitigate the environmental impacts of the NBA Finals, the NCAA Final Four, the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup, the U.S. Open Tennis Championships and other professional or collegiate sporting events.
Sterling Planet received an EPA Green Power Supplier of the Year Award in 2012.