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UMD Announces President's Energy Initiatives

April 22, 2014
Contacts: 

Andrew Muir 301-405-7068

Campus wide policies aim to reduce electricity use 20 percent by 2020 and set a new standard in energy conservation

Earth Day 2014COLLEGE PARK, Md. – University of Maryland President Wallace Loh celebrated Earth Day by announcing three historic energy initiatives to be adopted by campus.

"We can all take pride in the University of Maryland's longstanding commitment to environmental stewardship, as well as the tremendous growth in our sustainability programs," stated Dr. Loh in a campus wide email.  "We exemplify what is possible, but we can do even more.  Today, I announce three new University-wide initiatives on energy that will help us achieve the goal of reducing our carbon footprint in half by 2020."

The energy initiatives include:

  1. Energy conservation.  We will reduce electricity use on campus by 20 percent by 2020 via energy efficiency upgrades that reduce operating expenses and preserve occupant comfort.
  2. Carbon-neutral new construction.  We will off-set new greenhouse gas emissions from our new construction by designing new buildings to strict energy-efficiency standards and using energy from renewable sources.
  3. Purchased power.  We will eliminate carbon emissions from purchased electricity by 2020 by purchasing only from renewable sources.

The University of Maryland cannot prevent the effects of climate change on its own, but it can be part of the solution.  However, these actions, though significant, will not be enough to meet that goal. It will take a campus-wide effort.

"Ultimately, group success relies on individual participation.  If we are to meet our promises, each of us must do what we can to reduce our environmental footprints.  This is the enduring lesson of Earth Day," said Dr. Loh.