Colleges to lead the way in sustainable energy initiatives

President Barack Obama recently announced that some college and university buildings across the U.S. will be part of a new $4-billion initiative to introduce sustainable power as part of wider energy efficiency plans, reports The Chronicle of Higher Education. As well as helping protect the environment, some schools may be able to use their energy efficiency projects to attract environmentally minded students who are considering filling out college applications.

The plans are part of the Better Buildings Initiative, which White House officials hope will not only encourage the adoption of energy efficient power in academic institutions, but also spur jobs growth in the construction industry. The project's goal is to improve the energy efficiency rating of buildings participating in the plan by 20 percent. The government will fund half of the $4 billion project, with the remainder funded by private enterprises.

Delaware State University, the University of California-Irvine, Michigan State University and the University of Utah will all participate in the project.

This is not the only plan to improve energy efficiency in colleges and universities across the country. According to the official blog of the National Resources Defense Council, Arizona State University has pledged to introduce solar panels that will provide the school with 20 megawatts of power by 2014.

In addition, Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, is on track to meet goals of a 20 percent reduction in its carbon emissions by 2015, and the University of Chicago-Illinois is actively involved in clean transportation and recycling intiatives. 

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