Eight U.S. Colleges Win National Award for Their Innovations in Reducing Global Warming

Winning colleges will be featured in the Chill Out: Campus Solutions to Global Warming webcast on April 16

04-16-2008 // Jennifer Fournelle

RESTON, VA -- Eight colleges and universities from across America have won national recognition in the National Wildlife Federation's Chill Out: Campus Solutions to Global Warming nationwide competition. This award program honors the U.S. schools that are ahead of their time in addressing global warming and being highly creative in doing so. The eight winning schools were chosen from a nationwide pool of entries.

The winners include: a new model carbon trading system, extreme energy efficiency measures, an energy efficiency and renewable energy plan that leads to carbon neutrality, the use of forest land for carbon storage, and ways to reduce the global warming impact of commuting students.

"Every one of our Chill Out winners deserves an Oscar for the example they have set,"" says Julian Keniry, Director of Campus and Community Leadership for the National Wildlife Federation. ""Campuses nationwide are demonstrating that we can combat global warming, protect habitat, and save money at the same time. These campuses are actually doing what the science says should be done to reduce the threat of global warming."

Earlier this year, Focus the Nation brought together one million young adults on 1,100 campuses throughout the country to discuss solutions to global warming. National Wildlife Federation's Chill Out Competition takes that discussion to the next level by showcasing campuses that have stepped up and implemented real solutions for reducing carbon dioxide emissions, the root cause of global warming.

Butte College in Oroville, California has been named the Grand Prize Winner in the Chill Out competition. Butte College, a two-year community college, is on the track to be carbon neutral by 2015 and is employing energy efficiency measures in all campus facilities. The College boasts a broad array of comprehensive global warming pollution reduction initiatives, including a Sustainability Studies certificate program and degree program that will be in place by the fall of 2008. The College also runs the largest community college transportation system in California, recycles more than 75 percent of its operations waste stream, and has a solar panel that accounts for 28% of the campus electricity use.

Both Cascadia Community College and the University of Washington, Bothell won the Habitat Restoration, Waste Reduction, Educational Awareness and More award. The College and the University are co-located on a single campus in Washington created to increase higher education access on the eastside of Seattle. The campus contains an expansive stretch of restored urban wetlands and incorporates an array of sustainable initiatives.

The University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri won the Energy Efficiency award for its intelligent and creative energy plan. The University of Missouri has achieved zero global warming pollution emissions growth while also expanding the University. Since the inception of its energy conservation program in 1990, total campus energy use has been reduced by 19 percent while campus space has grown by nearly 60 percent.

The Berkshire School in Sheffield, Massachusetts won the Innovative and Experimental Solutions award. Berkshire School has implemented a global warming pollution emissions trading system between dorms to both help reduce global warming pollution and educate the student body. This innovative and exciting approach provides students with economic incentives for achieving reductions in pollution. The program will also reduce the School's electricity use by more than 32,000 kilowatts during the 2007-2008 academic year.

The University of Montana, in Missoula, Montana won the Transportation award. The University's transit system is run by the student body. Since its inception, the student-run organization has increased student ridership and reduced its global warming pollution emissions. In 2006-2007, the program reduced carbon emissions by roughly 170 tons.

Berea College and Daemen College won Video awards for their green initiatives and programs.

Berea College in Berea, Kentucky created a video entitled "Doing the Green Thing." The video includes footage of Berea College's 8,400 acre, sustainably managed forest that offsets the College's carbon emissions. The video also showcases an educational farm that demonstrates sustainable farming techniques and provides local food.

Daemen College in Amherst, New York created a video entitled "The Little College that Could." The video showcases a new green building with a geothermal system, an eco-trail that provides natural habitat for students to study and wildlife to enjoy, energy audits performed by the student body, and a large recycling initiative on campus.

For these impressive efforts, the National Wildlife Federation will be featuring the winning colleges in the Chill Out: Campus Solutions to Global Warming webcast on April 16, broadcast live from George Washington University in Washington DC at 7pm EST. The webcast will be part of global warming events scheduled on over 175 college campuses throughout the nation. The colleges will also receive a grant from the National Wildlife Federation to continue exploring innovating global warming solutions.

Visit www.campuschillout.org to register for, and view, the webcast. More than 200 campuses are registered to be a part of this exciting event, representing 44 states, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Iran, Syria, India and Canada.

The National Wildlife Federation's Campus Ecology Program has been an integral part of the campus greening movement since 1989. The nation's 4,100 colleges and universities educate more than 15 million students in any given year making these schools important laboratories for creativity and innovation--keys to tackling a monumental crisis like global warming.

The National Wildlife Federation is America's conservation organization protecting wildlife for our children's future. www.nwf.org.

Contact: Jennifer Fournelle 703 438-6002 (office), 571 332-2156 (mobile)