Jul 8, 2014

Top 10 American Universities Using Green Power

Top 10
3 min
Universities around the world are often the drivers of green innovation and sustainability. In the U.S., the EPA releases a quarterly report of the t...

Universities around the world are often the drivers of green innovation and sustainability. In the U.S., the EPA releases a quarterly report of the top 30 universities utilizing green power based on number of kWh used anually. With the next report due out July 28, let's take a look at where the current top 10 stands. 

10. Apollo Group, Inc. (University of Phoenix)
Apollo Group, best known for its University of Phoenix, is committed to sustainable practices for its various campus, using 92,906,000 kWh of green power annually. It also offers several degrees in the realm of sustainability, including an MBA with a concentration in energy management. 

9. University of Utah
The University of Utah is hoping to reduce its use of fossil fuels through the use of renewable energy sources. Currently, the university utilizes 85,926,100 of green power, making up 28 percent of its total energy. The university has numerous initiatives to keep the number growing, though, and hopes to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. 

8. Drexel University
Drexel’s green initiatives follow five key principles: efficiency, recycling, reduction, re-use, and education. It hopes to incorporate sustainable principles into all aspects of campus life and promote clean technology and energy. It’s already well on its way, too, as the 96,678,000 kWh of solar and wind energy is enough to meet 100 percent of the university’s energy needs. 

7. Northwestern University
While Northwestern already uses 96,720,800 kWh of green power annually, it’s certainly looking to the future. It joined the EPA’s Green Power Partnership in 2006 and has continued to purchased more renewable energy ever since. Currently on deck are a $40 million investment in energy efficient programs and the deployment of closed-loop geothermal heating and cooling systems—which are carbon free—for two buildings on campus. 

6. Oklahoma State University
OSU is already beating its own goals it had set for itself. At the start of January 2013, the university began purchasing 110 million kWh of wind energy, which would account for roughly 67 percent of the university’s total energy usage. However, the actual figures at the end of 2013 totaled around 72 percent. At the last report, OSU utilizes 100,360,039 kWh of green energy annually. 

5. Georgetown University
Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown University hopes to cut its carbon footprint in half by 2020. By not only utilizing 113,751,000 kWh of green power annually, but also enacting educational and research-based initiatives, the university has already reduced its carbon footprint by 19.8 percent since 2006. 

4. Carnegie Mellon University
A founding Green Power Partner, Carnegie Mellon University utilizes 115,637,466 kWh of green energy annually. With the purchase of these renewable energy certificates from wind power sources, the university now receives 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. 

3. The Ohio State University
Located in Columbus, Ohio, The Ohio State University utilizes 133,631,369 kWh of green energy annually, again coming from wind. Though only 23 percent of the school’s power is green, it was the EPA’s Partner of the Year for 2013 for its Green Power Partnership. 

2. University of Oklahoma
Another university that runs mainly on wind power, the University of Oklahoma produces 134,898,600 kWh of energy annually. The university set a target to have 100 percent of its purchased power come from wind power by 2013 and met the goal in January of that year. With 85 percent of the university’s energy coming from green sources, the campus community looks to increase that number over the next few years. 

1. University of Pennsylvania
Though only 51 percent of its power comes from renewable sources, the University of Pennsylvania produces more sustainable energy than any other university in the country at 200,183,000 kWh. The campus utilizes primarily wind energy and on top of the high production, has reduced peak energy demand up to 18 percent over the past few years. 

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Mar 20, 2020

Top 10 ways to prepare for COVID-19

Georgia Wilson
3 min
Energy Digital sets out Gartner’s Top 10 ways organisations can prepare for a pandemic, via effective operational risk management
Energy Digital sets out Gartner’s To...

Energy Digital sets out Gartner’s Top 10 ways organisations can prepare for a pandemic, via effective operational risk management. 

As the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to develop, many businesses are left uncertain as to whether their risk mitigation plan is sufficient. 

In a recent webinar conducted by the research and advisory firm just 12% of 1,500 people believe that their business is highly prepared for the impact of COVID-19, while 56% believed themselves to be somewhat prepared, and 11% believed themselves to be very unprepared. 

“Most organizations have done some pandemic planning but still have many unanswered questions about whether they have done everything they can to manage risks,” says Jim Mello, Senior Director, Advisory, Gartner. 

Establish a preparedness framework

Establish a team that represents all critical business functions. These people will report directly to executive management and are responsible for prioritising the importance of business activities and organise them in tiers for response and recovery.

Monitor the situation

It is important to ensure that organisations monitor the rate in which the infection is spreading and its severity. Many rely on the World Health Organisation for information.

Revise finance

Be sure to revise revenue forecasts and communicate with investors, as well as suppliers in regards to any potential finance issues. It is important to ensure that the business has the working capital to ride it out. 

Ways to ensure this include: working capital checks, seeking loans or government-sponsored financial relief.

Extend personal hygiene and cleaning protocols

It is important to comply with any changes to workplace regulations. In addition, it is important to establish protocols for staff returning from infected areas, as well as extending existing hygiene activities.

Review HR 

Ensure close monitoring of absenteeism rates for signs of problems. It is important to identify critical staff in order to make sure the company can continue to function in their absence and be prepared for up to 40% absentee rates.

In addition to reviewing HR policies and procedures, it is important to maintain a level of sensitivity when it comes to engaging with employees and workplace preferences. 


Establish a communication programme

People can feel out of the loop quickly. Establish a spokesperson appropriate for the situation who can maintain lines of communication. In addition, organisations should establish pre-approved messages and scripts for various stakeholders.

Review the impact on the operation

Although this may seem overwhelming, the team established to represent all critical business functions should identify key areas to consider. It is important to maintain a connection with the reality on the ground in countries affected.

Key questions to consider: is transport functioning? Have holidays been extended? Where can operation continue and where do they need to stop?

Review IT 

IT business functions tend to be relatively well-prepared for business continuity. However, it is important to assess the supply chain for critical equipment and keep extra inventory if required.

In addition, organisations should keep in mind remote data centre management and cloud options for critical systems as well as enabling remote working programs and rescheduling any non-essential IT work prioritising key applications. 

Review pandemic plans to identify any gaps in response

Conduct a preparedness exercise by validating roles and responsibilities as well as recovery requirements and procedures, in order to identify any gaps in the recover capabilities and resource needs.

Review after-action

Following the establishment of a pandemic plan, identify three lessons learned, key observations or improvements for the exercise. After establishing these organisations should priorities the short and long term follow up actions.

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