BUFFALO, N.Y. – The University at Buffalo is the 11th
largest green power user among U.S. colleges and universities,
according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The ranking, up from 14th last year, shows that UB is making
strides toward achieving its goal of becoming climate neutral by
“We’re thrilled to be recognized by the EPA for our
commitment to foster a more sustainable environment in Western New
York and beyond,” said Ryan McPherson, UB’s chief
sustainability officer. “As this year’s list shows, UB
is committed to growing in an environmentally responsible
UB bought more than 44 million kilowatt-hours of green power, or
20 percent of the university’s annual electricity usage, for
the 2011-2012 academic year. That number rose to 77 million
kilowatt-hours this year, which is about 35 percent of UB’s
The jump is mostly the result of buying from the EPA renewable
energy certificates that subsidize clean energy projects such as
electricity-generating wind turbines and power plants fueled by
biomass, said John Russo, UB’s utilities manager.
UB’s Solar Strand, which functions as an outdoor
classroom, a piece of art and demonstration project for research,
also helped. The strand’s 3,200 photovoltaic panels produced
nearly 1 million kilowatt-hours since UB flipped the switch a year
In 2007, UB was one of the first 150 institutions of higher
learning to pledge to reduce or offset all of its greenhouse gas
emissions by signing the American College and University
Presidents’ Climate Commitment. The pact, signed by more than
650 institutes of higher learning, requires signatories to
inventory their carbon emissions and create a plan to make each
campus climate neutral.
UB is taking other steps, in addition to producing its own power
and buying renewable energy certificates, to achieve this goal.
Examples include, but are not limited to, launching a bicycle
sharing program, composting food waste, constructing eco-friendly
new buildings and retro-fitting existing buildings with high
efficiency equipment, as well as recycling and hosting drug and
electronic disposal drop-offs.
For more information on UB’s commitment to creating a more
sustainable campus and world, visit: www.buffalo.edu/sustainability.