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Oklahoma State University

OSU nabs top 10 finish in national campus conservation competition

Wed, May 20, 2015

Oklahoma State University finished in the top 10 of the 5th annual Campus Conservation Nationals, a nationwide competition among colleges and universities to conserve electricity and water.

From March 30 to April 19 residents living in the Villages C, D, E, F, Human Sciences and College of Agricultural  Sciences and Natural Resources ranked in the top 10 in the electricity category by saving 53,664 kilowatt-hours, resulting in $3,756 of savings and the avoidance of 92,624 pounds of CO2 emissions. OSU competed against 125 colleges and universities. This year’s CCN competition saved 1.9 million KWH of electricity and 394,000 gallons of water, a total savings of $290,000 nationwide.

Village C, D, and CASNR won the energy reduction competition on campus by lowering their consumption by 20.4 percent. Residents received T-shirts and recognition for their efforts.

“OSU is proud of how our employees and students work together to conserve energy,” said James Rosner, director of OSU energy services. “Because of the dedication OSU has to making the campus more “green," we have significantly reduced the university's footprint on the environment through educational programs and behavioral changes.”  

OSU joined the ranks of more than 100 institutions nationwide that participated in Campus Conservation Nationals, and was the first college in Oklahoma to participate.  For this year’s competition, residents organized in their suite-style community and online to demonstrate sustainable behavior and prove that the buildings they live in do not need extensive renovations to be greener. OSU residents living in Villages C, D, E, F, Human Sciences and CASNR, showcased how changes in their behavior can make a difference in the way buildings consume electricity. Residents achieved their results by turning off lights in bathrooms and common spaces at night, turning off lights in unoccupied spaced, taking stairs instead of the elevator, unplugging electronics when not in use, washing clothes with cold water, turning computers on power save mode, and other efforts.

CCN is hosted by the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council, Lucid, the Alliance to Save Energy and the National Wildlife Federation. OSU used Lucid’s Building Dashboard® to compare performance, share winning strategies, and track standings during the competition. Final standings can be seen on OSU’s Building Dashboard: [http://buildingdashboard.net/okstate/#/okstate

“Campus Conservation Nationals creates a unique opportunity for students across the continent to mobilize and reduce their resource consumption," said Hannah Debelius, USGBC Students program manager at the Center for Green Schools at USGBC.  "Students are taking an active role in leadership and personal behavior change to mitigate the effects of climate change and promote sustainability, and it all starts on their campuses."

“It’s amazing to watch the influence of CCN continue to grow,” said Chelsea Hodge, Director of Programs at Lucid. “Every year, more and more students and staff prove through CCN that they are committed to using behavior change tools to achieve short and long term reductions in their campuses’ carbon footprints.”

CCN offers valuable educational opportunities, such as enabling students to teach themselves conservation behaviors, as well as environmental and economic benefits. Above all, CCN empowers the future generation of energy and environmental leaders and fosters a culture of conservation within campus communities.

“CCN teaches that small behavior changes can make a big impact on the environment," noted Kristy Jones, Campus Ecology senior manager at the National Wildlife Federation. "These behavior changes can easily be replicated at home, at work, and as students move into their careers after graduation.” 

To learn more about Campus Conservation Nationals, sign-up to host a competition on your campus next year, or follow leading schools, visit www.competetoreduce.org or follow CCN on Facebook and Twitter.