1,000 points of light

SCU soars in sustainability.

The first day of spring is always cause for celebration. Especially when we’re talking green—power that is, along with energy and money saved. Which is what brought to campus city of Santa Clara Mayor Patricia M. Mahan J.D. ’80, Silicon Valley Leadership Group Energy Programs Director Justin Bradley, and California Assemblyman Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys). They joined reps from Silicon Valley Power (SVP) and SCU on March 21 to celebrate how the University has become a community benchmark for sustainable energy, and to discuss Levine’s proposed legislation to ban the sale of incandescent light bulbs in California by 2012.

SCU students have received more than 1,000 compact fluorescent bulbs from SVP, leading to savings of more than 60,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually. And the University’s participation in SVP’s 100 percent renewable wind and solar program—over 1,600 megawatt-hours annually—is one of the largest renewable energy purchases by a university in California.

The University has also taken advantage of lighting, heat, and air conditioning energy efficiency programs that have saved nearly 1 million kWh of electricity and kept a million pounds of carbon dioxide from being pumped into the atmosphere. And they’ve brought SCU more than $200,000 in rebates.

Assistant Vice President University Operations Joe Sugg points to other key achievements when it comes to sustainability:

SCU is now recycling about 50 percent of waste produced on campus.
More than half the water consumed on campus is reclaimed water.
The new building for the Leavey School of Business will be 10 percent better than the efficiency standards introduced in California last year.
But when it comes to making a real difference in the world, Sugg says, the most important part isn’t what happens now. “We are also attempting to give students a culture of sustainability so that they will run a sustainable life or business for the next 60 years.” SBS

Read an extended Q&A about sustainability on campus with Joe Sugg and find out how you can help.

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