EPA Recognizes Naropa University Among Nation's Leading Green Power Purchasers

BOULDER, Colo. (September 21, 2011) -- Naropa University announces that it has been awarded a certificate from the Environmental Protection Agency acknowledging the university's commitment and participation as a Green Power Partner. Naropa is now one of only 20 colleges and universities around the country offsetting 100% of their emissions using Green Power/ and Renewable energy.

Naropa University is purchasing more than 1 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, which is enough green power to meet 100 percent of the organization's electricity use. Naropa University is generating green power from an on-site solar system and buying RECs from Renewable Choice Energy in Boulder, CO. This demonstrates a proactive choice by the university to switch away from traditional sources of electricity generation and support cleaner renewable energy alternatives.

"This is a huge honor and we are proud to be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency," said Miguel Peña, Communications and Outreach Coordinator of Naropa's Green Team. "Purchasing green power helps our organization become more sustainable, while also sending a message to others across the U.S. that supporting clean sources of electricity is a sound business decision and an important choice in reducing climate risk."

"What ties Naropa University's signature activity of 'contemplative education' to education for environmental sustainability is our underlying commitment to the environment," states Naropa's President Stuart C. Lord. "The great invitation is to listen deeply to the natural world, so that we might craft a sustainable future with both our fellow humans and the environment."

According to the U.S. EPA, Naropa University's green power purchase of more than 1 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from nearly 200 passenger vehicles per year or the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of more than 100 average American homes annually.

Naropa University has a number of sustainability practices in place including recycling, composting and a Zero Waste ethic that consciously minimizes throw-away materials. Other ecologically minded practices include a commitment to alternative transportation, eco-landscaping, energy efficiency and responsible gardening practices. Recently Naropa was recognized by the Princeton Review for its commitment to sustainability and was declared one of the Top 5 Environmentally Friendly schools in Colorado by the Denver Post.

About EPA's Green Power Partnership

The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to buy green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with electricity use. The Partnership currently has more than 1,300 Partner organizations voluntarily purchasing billions of kilowatt-hours of green power annually. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500® companies, small and medium sized businesses, local, state, and federal governments, and colleges and universities. For additional information, please visit www.epa.gov/greenpower.

Naropa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Naropa University is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian liberal arts institution dedicated to advancing contemplative education. This approach to learning integrates the best of Eastern and Western educational traditions, helping students know themselves more deeply and engage constructively with others. The university comprises a four-year undergraduate college and graduate programs in the arts, education, environmental leadership, psychology and religious studies. For more information, visit www.naropa.edu.