The College Campus of the Future: Fueled by the 100% Renewable Energy

Media Contacts
Heather Leibowitz

New York, NY–  Today, Environment New York Research and Policy Center, touting the leadership role that colleges and universities must play in the clean energy revolution, unveiled a 10 point plan to guide campuses toward 100 percent renewable energy. Renewable Energy 101: Ten Tools for Moving your Campus to 100% Clean Energy, includes a series of factsheets highlighting 10 key tools to help colleges in New York with building a 100 percent clean, renewable energy system. 

“Colleges and universities across the country are situated to lead the charge in the transition to a 100 percent clean energy future,” said Heather Leibowitz, Director of Environment New York. “Colleges have the ability and the know-how to lead by taking bold steps to shift to clean energy and eliminate pollution from energy use. We hope that the ten point plan laid out in these fact sheets can help.” 

“Colleges and universities must provide the next generation with the skills to confront the challenges of a changing climate, so it is only fitting that they lead by example and decarbonize their facilities and operations,” said, Vincent Martinez, Chief Operating Officer at Architecture 2030. “The campus provides an ideal testing ground for achieving zero net carbon at scale, and the shift to 100% renewable energy will only enhance the resiliency of these academic institutions.”

According to a recent report by Environment New York, colleges and universities serve more than 20 million students and spend more than $15 billion per year on energy – so bold commitments to clean energy can drive big investments in solutions. At the same time, as influential institutions, actions taken by higher education institutions can set an example in hundreds of communities across America; while training the scientists, engineers, policymakers and civic leaders we need to move the nation toward sustainability.

Environment New York, in collaboration with its national network, Environment America, have campaigns for 100 percent renewable energy on dozens of campuses across the country. 

Clean energy and energy efficient technologies are growing fast and getting cheaper, making them more accessible. In the past 10 years, the United States has seen a 43-fold increase in solar power and a seven-fold increase in wind power, while the average American now uses 10 percent less energy. 

“Students are a critical voice in moving campuses to be more sustainable and transition towards 100 percent renewable energy,” said Emily Parish, Co-President of Greeks Go Green at Cornell University. “As natural leaders, students are passionate and driven about making changes on campus to tackle climate change and to promote a culture of collective action.”

“Working to achieve 100 percent renewable energy on colleges and universities allows us to train young activists, future leaders and researchers to continue advocacy on clean energy off campus and in their communities”, said Leibowitz.