Monday, April 22, 2013

Top North American education institutions named for reducing carbon pollution

U.S. schools working to reduce $22 billion building-operations and energy spend
MILWAUKEE, April 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Johnson Controls, the global leader in delivering solutions that increase energy efficiency in buildings, celebrates Earth Day by releasing its Top Earth Day Champions in Education list to highlight higher education institutions and kindergarten through 12 (K12) grade school districts in North America that saved the carbon equivalent of 91,800 acres of forest through energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at their facilities.
"Students across North America are celebrating Earth Day with special events and lesson plans," said Dave Myers, president of Johnson Controls Building Efficiency. "Today we celebrate the leaders in K-12 and higher education who teach by example, reducing their facilities' carbon pollution and creating better learning environments for students and staff -- all with a strong financial payback for their communities."
Here are the 2013 Top Earth Day Champions in Education and the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide emissions they are saving annually through projects with Johnson Controls.
Higher Education Earth Carbon Reduction 
Day Champions (metric tons) Equivalent Forest Acres* 
University of Massachusetts Amherst (Amherst, Mass.) 41,270 33,828 
Missouri State University (Springfield, Mo.) 16,066 13,169 
Lone Star College (Houston, Texas) 12,376 10,144 
Youngstown State University (Youngstown, Ohio) 10,723 8,789 
Tulane University (New Orleans, La.) 7,654 6,274 
Carbon Reduction K12 Earth Day Champions (metric tons) 
Equivalent Forest Acres* 
Lester B. Pearson School Board (Montreal, Quebec) 6,117 5,014 
Central Bucks School District (Doylestown, Pa.) 5,639 4,622 
Calgary Board of Education (Calgary, Alberta) 4,920 4,033 
Buffalo City Schools (Buffalo, N.Y.) 3,615 2,963 
Half Hollow Hills School District (Syosset, N.Y.) 3,575 2,930
*Computed with the United States Environmental Protection Agency Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator
The champions earned a spot on the list by making their educational facilities more efficient using a variety of measures, including utilizing building management systems to optimize energy and operational efficiency, installing renewable energy technology, using more efficient lighting, and updating heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.
Carbon pollution from building energy use is predicted to grow faster than any other sector in the next 25 years, according to the U.S. Green Building Council, making building efficiency critically important for the protection of the environment.
According to the U.S. National Center of Education Statistics (NCES), colleges and universities annually spend more than $14 billion in operations and maintenance of buildings and grounds, and up to $7 billion on energy and utilities.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) reports that K-12 schools spend more than $8 billion annually on energy, making energy the second highest operating expenditure for schools after personnel. The DOE projects that, on average, green schools save $100,000 per year on operating costs -- enough to buy 200 new computers or purchase 5,000 textbooks.
Johnson Controls' energy performance contracting projects have saved nearly 19 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to that saved by 15.5 million acres of forests, and generated savings of $7 billion in North America since 2000. With performance contracting, savings in energy consumption from facility upgrades pay for the project over the term of the contract. If the savings are not realized, Johnson Controls pays the difference between the value of the measured and verified consumption and the guaranteed consumption under the contract.