University Recognized as Largest Green Power User in MAAC

For the year 2016-2017, Monmouth University was recognized as the top green power user in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

This was the 11th season of the College and University Green Power Challenge and 98 schools actively participated in the competition.

“The University continues to work towards improving our sustainability efforts and continues to be recognized both regionally and nationally,” said Patricia Swannack, the University’s Vice President for Administrative Services.

According to Swannack, she is ultimately responsible for the choices the campus makes to ‘go green’.

“Monmouth University was the first private institution of higher education in New Jersey to enter into a voluntary Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the (EPA), documenting our commitment as an environmental steward and pledging to reduce our carbon footprint,” Swannack added. In addition, the University was the only institution of higher education east of the Mississippi to install a solar system in 2006.

Green power is used to initially help the environment and uses electricity that is generated from renewable sources. These form of sources include wind, solar, biomass and much more to conserve the use of energy.

Deanna Dantas, a junior business administration student, stated that she takes every advantage of going green at school. “I use the recycle bins that are placed out because they have a lot of them all over campus. We should encourage others, our friends and especially the underclassmen since they are new to campus. Monmouth should continue to sty the largest green power user by perhaps looking into solar power or creating an event to help recycle items, for example bottle caps.”

The university used twelve million kilowatt-hours of green power which signified nearly 56 percent of the school’s yearly energy usage.

Moreover, Monmouth will be acquiring a utility green power substance from ConEdison Solutions and has established a Sustainability Advisory Council (SAC) to build awareness of the environment through education and research.

SAC will be recommending changes for the university to make to preserve the sustainability of campus. Students and faculty are invited to come participate as this organization embraces members of the Monmouth community.

“I do believe that Monmouth desereves to be recognized,” said Tiffany Medley, Ph.D., a lecturer in the University’s biology department who specializes in environmental policy and teaches a course on global sustainability. “There are many ‘green’ efforts on campus that go unnoticed.”

Medley highlighted the campus’s use of solar panels, the removal of paper towel dispensers, and using windows to maximize natural light in new construction projects, such as Pozycki Hall and Edison Hall.

She also pointed out that food from the dining hall is shared with the community through a food recovery network, and ideas have been circulated that include the removal of Styrofoam to-go containers, the installation of water bottle filling stations in the dorm buildings, and a bike sharing program.

Swannack also explained that going green saves the University money in the long run, pointing to cost-free or low-cost transportation options for students, such as the ZipCar and Long Branch EZ-Ride Shuttle partnerships, as well as a bike-sharing program, which is currently under discussion.

“We always strive to obtain the lowest costs for products and services, while keeping sustain-ability in mind,” Swannack said.

The EPA claimed that Monmouth’s use of green power is equal to the use of approximately 1,100 American homes every year.

Along with being the largest green power user, Monmouth was signified as one of the country’s most responsible universities in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 361 Green Colleges.

“Our sustainability efforts are accomplished through the cooperation of multiple divisions and departments within the University including administrators, faculty, staff, and students,” said Swannack.