Wednesday, November 3, 2010

EPA Recognizes Top Green Power Purchasers

Looking at the top 50 list of organizations that qualified for the EPA's "top green power purchasers" from a business student's perspective, I was expecting to see exclusively major corporations. However, much to my delight you will find the Air Force, the EPA, the State of Illinois, and even the City of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools! CPS actually is ranked first in the category of top K-12 schools. When scrolling down the list, the majority of the top 50 purchasers use wind or a variety of some sort.

The City of Chicago uses 20% green energy organization-wide and has a certified third-party green power product. Chicago has won the award of Founding Green Power Partner, Partner of the Year 2002.

The top national purchaser was Intel using 51% green energy, but coming in second was Kohl's using 100% energy. Being placed second because of the amount of energy the corporation uses, Kohl's has won several awards including: Green Power Leadership Award 2007, Green Power Leadership Award 2008, Partner of the Year 2009. They use a variety of green sources Biogas, Biomass, Small-hydro, Solar, and Wind from the following providers: 3Degrees°, WM Renewable Energy°, On-site Generation, Sacramento Municipal Utility District°, City of Dover.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing its list of the top 50 organizations using the most renewable electricity. The Green Power Partnership's top purchasers use more than 12 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electricity use of more than 1 million average American homes. Green power is generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, and low-impact hydropower. 

The Intel Corporation tops the list as the Partnership's largest single purchaser of green power and was recently honored with a 2010 EPA Green Power Leadership Award for green power purchasing.  The company uses more than 1.4 billion kWh annually, equivalent to avoiding the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of nearly 125,000 average American homes. Both Kohl's Department Stores and Whole Foods Market received the 2010 EPA Green Power Partner of the Year Awards, and came in as second and third this quarter in purchasing green power. Reaching the top five for the first time, Starbucks (No. 4) more than doubled its annual green power purchase to more than 573 million kWh of green power equivalent to avoiding the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of nearly 50,000 average American homes annually. Also in the top five is the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which increased its green power purchase to 500 million kWh of green power annually. Rounding out the top 10 are the City of Houston, Dell Inc., Johnson & Johnson, the U.S. Air Force, and the City of Dallas.

EPA's Green Power Partnership works with nearly 1,300 partner organizations to voluntarily purchase green power to reduce the environmental impacts of conventional electricity use. Overall, EPA's Green Power Partners are using nearly 18 billion kWh of green power annually, equivalent to avoiding the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of more than 1.5 million average American homes.
Green power resources produce electricity with an environmental profile superior to conventional power technologies and produce no net increase to greenhouse gas emissions. Purchases of green power also help accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide.
More information on the top 50 list:
More information on EPA's Green Power Partnership:, a non-profit initiative, was created by Wood Turner of Stoneyfield. They work to score companies annually on their commitment to addressing climate change in meaningful, measurable ways. He is trained as an urban and environmental planner and has spent his career advising companies and public agencies on sustainability. He leads the goal of motivating deeper awareness among consumers — that the issue of climate change demands their attention, and that they have the power to support companies that take climate change seriously and avoid those that don't.

Along these lines,  they have created a scorecard that rates companies from 0-100 on their measured climate footprint, the reductions on their impact on global warming, their support toward legislation on climate impact, and how well the company discloses their climate actions clearly. In addition they offer:

  • Climate Counts Industry Innovators founding pilot initiative
    • + Audit and Assessment Services
    • + Verification Ratings
  • One-day workshops (single company or group)
  • Benchmarking and Corporate Trends
  • Subscription E-Newsletters and Report
  • Thought Leadership and Users Conferences

An example is a comparison of Nike and Liz Claiborne. Nike is rated as "Striding" with a score of 83 while Claiborne is "Stuck" with a score of 7.

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