Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) March 27, 2014
Sterling Planet, the nation’s leading retail renewable energy provider, announced today that 28 schools have become charter members of the Green Schools Purchasing Consortium, an initiative of the Green Schools Alliance (GSA), and have agreed to purchase an aggregated total of nearly 25 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy for 2014. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this volume compares to the annual electricity use of 2,142 average U.S. homes and has an environmental benefit comparable to taking nearly 3,400 cars off the road for a year.
By matching a share of their electricity consumption with Sterling Planet’s Green-e Energy certified renewable energy certificates (RECs), the U.S.-located charter members have also qualified to join the EPA’s Green Power Partnership, which supported the formation of the (GSA) consortium. This voluntary program encourages organizations to use green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use.
Sterling Planet is providing participating schools with a blend of RECs from wind, biomass and landfill-gas-to-energy projects located nationwide. Through demand aggregation, Sterling Planet is able to offer U.S. schools in the consortium more attractive, affordable pricing than would otherwise be available to individual schools. For schools located outside the United States, Sterling Planet offers Green-e Climate certified carbon offsets that verify a specific quantity of greenhouse gas emission reduction.
“The EPA Green Power Partnership is pleased to see U.S. schools step forward and make the early commitment to procure renewable energy in an amount that meets the Partnership’s benchmarks for green power use,” said Blaine Collison, Program Director for EPA’s Green Power Partnership. “These charter members are providing an exceptional demonstration of the power of working together to expand our clean energy economy and protect our environment. We hope that their example will help inspire more schools to make the same green power choice.”
The charter members of the Green Schools Renewable Energy Purchasing Consortium include public and private schools in 11 states, many purchasing renewable energy for the first time, motivated to action by affordability, benefits and the overall value of consortium membership.
Lycee Francais de New York is a charter member of the consortium and has been a founding member of the Green Schools Alliance since 2009. “As schools strive to reduce their carbon footprints in a meaningful way, the choice of purchasing renewable energy makes perfect sense,” said Terrence Kennedy, Director of Facilities at Lycee. “Creating a consortium, guided by schools, willing to come together to lower the price of RECs makes that choice both financially and environmentally sound."
Another long-standing GSA supporter joining the new consortium is Berkshire School, located in Massachusetts. “Berkshire School is a founding member of GSA and has been purchasing RECs since 2007, when we first joined the GSA as part of our effort to implement energy efficiency and support renewable energy on campus,” says Frank Barros, Director of the Center for Sustainability, Berkshire School. “When this exciting consortium opportunity developed, we immediately jumped on board as a charter member to make a statement about the positive collective impact that our schools can make when we stand together as the Green Schools Alliance.”
This choice of renewable energy is available to all schools, regardless of whether the local utility offers a green pricing program, and a REC purchase provides the same environmental benefit as utility-supplied green power. A public school in New Orleans, LA, joined the consortium to affordably exercise that choice. “Thanks to this REC offer from the consortium, we have a viable option for our school,” says Dr. Timothy Rusnak, CEO/Principal at Benjamin Franklin High School in New Orleans. “We’re excited to join other schools in the consortium who are also paying a small price for an investment in a clean energy future for our students."
The charter membership phase is only the beginning, says GSA President Margaret Watson. “We hope that all schools, public and private, GSA member and non-member alike, across the US and worldwide, will continue to join the consortium and make a statement that renewable energy is a priority for schools and is the future. By aggregating our purchasing power, we can support one another and create the greatest demand and lowest price for renewable energy.”
The 28 charter member schools of the Green Schools Purchasing Consortium are as follows: Benjamin Franklin High School, New Orleans, LA; Berkshire School, Sheffield, MA; Brearley School, New York, NY; British International School of New York, NY; College Preparatory School, Oakland, CA; Crossroads School of Arts and Sciences, Santa Monica, CA; Friends Academy, Locust Valley, NY; Friends Seminary, New York, NY; Hewitt School, New York, NY; Horace Mann School, John Dorr Nature Laboratory, Washington, CT; Kansas City Academy, Kansas City, MO; Kent Place School, Summit, NJ; La Scuola d’Italia, New York, NY; Lovett School, Atlanta, GA; Lycee Francais, New York, NY; Marin Country Day School, Corte Madera, CA; Miss Porter’s School, Farmington, CT; Nightingale-Bamford School, New York, NY; Park School, Snyder, NY; Phillips Academy, Andover, MA; Pine Crest School, Boca Raton, FL; Princeton Day School, Princeton, NJ; Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton, CA; Saint David’s School, New York, NY; Spectrum Charter School, Monroeville, PA; Town School, New York, NY; Waldorf School of Baltimore, Baltimore, MD; and Waldorf School of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.
To join the consortium, schools are asked to contact Sterling Planet at greenschools(at)sterlingplanet(dot)com or visit the Green Schools Alliance website at http://www.greenschoolsalliance.org/content/green-power-program.
About Green Schools Alliance:
The GSA connects and empowers schools worldwide to lead the transformation to global environmental sustainability. Uniquely created by schools for schools, GSA is a global network of schools represented by sustainability coordinators – faculty, staff and students – working together to solve climate and conservation challenges. Since 2007, the GSA peer-to-peer network has grown to include more than 3,000 schools in 42 U. S. states and 36 countries.
GSA schools work together to solve climate and conservation challenges, share and implement best practices in sustainability, and inspire the next generation for 21st century leadership. GSA schools integrate education and action locally by participating in sustainability programs and, globally, through an online peer-to-peer community and resource exchange that promotes connections among schools, communities and the environments that sustain them. To learn more about the Green Schools Alliance, visit http://www.greenschoolsalliance.org.
About Sterling Planet:
Named EPA Green Power Supplier of the Year for 2013 and 2012, Sterling Planet delivers innovative energy solutions that benefit the environment. Since 2000, the Atlanta-based company has offered business and residential customers renewable energy certificates as an easy, affordable way to reduce the impact of everyday electricity use. The comprehensive portfolio of solutions has since grown to include carbon offsets, White Tags® energy efficiency certificates, green power project development, green partnerships with electricity and natural gas providers, and a Sterling Analytics IT platform that companies of all types are using for sustainable energy, water and carbon management. Sterling Planet’s four cornerstone activities – analyzing, greening, energizing and building – promote environmental, social and economic sustainability.