HARRISONBURG, Va. – Eastern Mennonite University has been honored as a winner of the National Wildlife Federation’s annual competition “Chill Out: Climate Action on Campus.” This award program recognizes U.S. schools that are designing and implementing creative approaches that advance sustainability on campuses. EMU is one of six winning schools that were chosen from a national pool of entries.
EMU’s winning entry gives an overview of sustainability efforts at EMU and
highlights the installation of a solar array on Hartzler Library roof in
fall 2010. The two-minute video was produced by EMU’s marketing and
communications media specialists Lindsey Kolb and Jon Styer, both
graduates of EMU’s Visual and Communication Arts program. It can be viewed
Among the university’s sustainability efforts highlighted in the video are
a bicycle cooperative, integration of sustainability across the entire
curriculum, dining hall composting that is used in the campus garden to
grow produce for the dining hall, a residence hall built to Leadership in
Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification standards and more.
The video prominently features EMU’s solar power array installation, the
largest solar deployment in the state of the Virginia to date.
The solar array has the capacity to generate 104.3 kilowatts of clean
energy from 328 high efficiency photovoltaic solar panels installed on the
library roof. Within the first six weeks of operation it offset emissions
of more than 8,700 pounds of carbon and also reduced EMU’s energy
consumption and peak demand from the grid. In its 35-year lifetime the
array is expected to offset over 6,000 tons of carbon. Live data about
energy generated by the solar array can be viewed at www.emu.edu/solar.
EMU anticipates installing a second even larger array adjacent to the University Commons in the coming months.
“EMU has provided me with numerous opportunities to put my environmental
idealism into practice,” said senior environmental sustainability major
Emma Stahl-Wert. “Helping start the campus garden my freshman year,
learning about LEED certification in the Green Design class, trying my
hand at chicken keeping, and seeing how EMU strives to integrate
sustainable practices into the cultural fabric of the way we do things,
has taught me that there are ways to live other than the cultural norm.
This has instilled in me the desire and the skills to find those ways.”
Other winning schools in the competition include: Central Carolina
Community College, Pittsboro, N.C.; Baylor University, Waco, Tex.;
Manhattan Comprehensive Night and Day High School; Missouri University of
Science & Technology, Rolla, Mo.; and Montreat (NC) College.
The efforts of the six winners will be broadcast in NWF’s Chill Out:
Climate Action on Campus webcast on April 13 (www.campuschillout.org). The
colleges will also receive a monetary award from the National Wildlife
Federation to continue exploring innovative clean energy and climate
action initiatives. This year’s webcast will be co-hosted by Tara Platt,
voice and live-action actress, and Yuri Lowenthal, voice of Superman on
CW’s Legion of Superheroes. The free program will celebrate this year’s
award winners and showcase initiatives occurring on campuses across the
nation. The webcast will be available for viewing on-demand after April
“The passion that comes from these students, faculty and staff for a
sustainable world invigorates the rest of society to continue the fight
towards a clean energy economy,” says Jen Fournelle, Chill Out manager for
National Wildlife Federation. “Chill Out is an incredible learning
opportunity for campus leaders to see what others are doing and initiate
positive changes in their own community. Academic institutions are an
integral part of society. If if they don’t lead the charge against climate
change, who will?”
Campus leaders all across the country are encouraged to host events on
their campuses and in their wider communities to watch the webcast. The
program will be part of a series of events scheduled on hundreds of
campuses across the country, building excitement in the week leading up to
Earth Day 2011 (Apr. 22). Visit www.campuschillout.org for details on
hosting a live screening party and to view the webcast.
“Chill Out: Climate Action on Campus” is supported by The Kendeda Fund and
other partners including Climate Counts, AASHE, Energy Action Coalition,
Jobs for the Future, Campus Conservation Nationals, Earth Day Network and
National Wildlife Federation’s mission is “to inspire Americans to protect
wildlife for our children’s future.” Visit www.nwf.org.
More information/comments: Andrea S. Wenger, 432-4348