OSU, UP students join national efficiency competition
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Students in University of Portland's LEED Gold-certified Fields and Schoenfeldt Halls will compete to try to save the most electricity and water.
Students at the University of Portland and Oregon State University are joining a national competition this month, going head to to head with students at schools around the country to reduce their electricity and water use.
The Campus Conservation Nationals competition will run from February 6 and April 23 — schools pick a three-week window within those dates to run the program on their campus. Building dashboard software by Lucid, an Oakland, Calif.-based software company, will track each university's progress including individual dorm performance and a national goal to save one gigawatt hour of electricity through the competition. A total of 250,000 students are expected to participate in the competition.
On the University of Portland campus, individual dorms will compete against each other for a $500 prize. The school also has laid down a challenge to its sister school, Notre Dame University.
The competition is organized by the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council.
Officials at UP say the efficiency competition is just latest in a stream of sustainability efforts. The school was the first college on the West Coast to discontinue the sale of disposable plastic water bottles on campus, has set a goal to be carbon neutral by 2040 and has reduced food waste by 70 percent in its dining halls.
Oregon State University also brings considerable sustainability cred with it to the competition. The school was last month named No. 4 in the nation for its green power use and last year received a gold designation from the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System.
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