Energy-Efficient Campuses in the NCAA Tournament – Plus One More

Energy-Efficient Campuses in the NCAA Tournament – Plus One More

As March Madness got started, the Alliance to Save Energy named its Elite Eight, the eight most energy-efficient campuses with teams in the NCAA tournament. Oregon, Florida, Duke, Cal-Berkeley, North Carolina, Colorado and Syracuse should be proud.

The Alliance’s profiles show that these schools save money with their green efforts. Oregon saved $98,000 last year by replacing 33,000 T12 fluorescent light bulbs with T8s. Berkeley’s energy-efficient improvements are saving $2.5 million annually. UNC, after saving $64 million in the past decade by reducing energy use, is saving another $1 million a year with its upgraded steam distribution system.

But more than that, these institutions also show students what sustainability looks like and how it can be done. Duke, for instance, eliminated the use of coal from its campus steam plants. Syracuse gets 20% of its energy from wind turbines.

Of course, you don’t have to be on national TV to be a national leader in sustainability. Tiny Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, a bastion of the liberal arts since the 1850s that – short of cash – suspended operations in 2008, re-opened in 2011 and now has 108 students.

“We are the only liberal arts college starting – or restarting – in the country,” says Antioch President Mark Roosevelt. “This offers the chance to think deeply about what a liberal arts education should look like in the early years of the 21st century.

“We know we must help our students navigate across borders of nation, language and culture, so we are placing a greater emphasis on language acquisition and classes on critical global issues such as water, food, energy, health, governance and education.

“We are committed to becoming the most sustainable campus in the country. A central geothermal plant and solar farm will heat and cool the whole campus. We also have our own farm and raise much of the food served in the campus kitchens. Our newly renovated North Hall will be the oldest building in the country renovated to the Gold LEED standard.”

By living the values of doing right by the environment, schools large and small have been delivering meaningful sustainability messages to their students for a number of years now, and we are seeing the results in our surveys.

Our Eco Pulse™ research shows that the Millennial generation (roughly ages 19 to 31) has the greenest attitudes (though not the greenest buying habits) of any age group. The easy explanation is that they are young and short of money. But our study tells us the contradictions run deeper. Since those who attended college (more than 60% of Millennials) are greener in their attitudes, it’s essential to build on the strong foundation schools are giving them by engaging and influencing this under-30 market now. Communicating your sustainability stories will pay off as this generation ages and continues to form its habits and viewpoints.


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Posted on

March 27, 2013

About the Author

Brooks Clark

Brooks is a former contributor to Shelton Insights.

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Suzanne Shelton

President and CEO

Suzanne is the voice and the vision of Shelton Group. Drawing on her extensive experience in energy and the environment – and 25+ years in the marketing and advertising industry – Suzanne provides high-level strategic insights for our clients and guidance for our research and creative departments. She regularly speaks at conferences around the country, including Sustainable Brands, Fortune Brainstorm E and the International Builders’ Show, and serves as a guest columnist for publications like Fast Company, Green Builder and

Susannah Enkema

VP Research & Insights

Susannah directs our research team and plays a key role in extracting the nuggets of information that pave the way for recommended marketing strategies and creative approaches. Susannah has nearly two decades of market research and strategy experience, including her role as president of SE Consulting, where she led the services for the likes of DIY Network and the makers of GORE-TEX®.

Matt Brass

VP Creative

Matt steers the creative department in concepting, designing and producing campaigns. He ensures sound strategy and deep insights inform everything his team develops, and works closely with the accounts department to ensure copy and designs will meet our clients’ goals. As a designer and filmmaker himself, he’s also a principal contributor to all of Shelton’s in-house photography and videography work.

Courtnay Hamachek

VP Operations

Courtnay oversees our day-to-day operations to keep us running smoothly and support our growth. She establishes project management systems and processes to help our teams anticipate bottlenecks, prevent process issues, and keep projects on time and on target. Courtnay has built extensive experience over 25 years in all aspects of marketing, from account services and project management to design and production.

Aaron Crecy

Digital Marketing Director

Aaron is responsible for planning, executing and measuring digital marketing strategies for Shelton Group and our clients, with an emphasis on inbound, content, SEO, social media, email and paid initiatives. He constantly researches and explores new tactics and strategies to improve digital campaign performance and results.

Aaron brings to the table more than 20 years of marketing leadership experience with premium consumer-facing brands. He came to Shelton Group by way of Malibu Boats, where, as Director of Global Marketing, he oversaw strategic marketing planning and execution for multiple product lines, with specific emphasis on social media and digital. Prior to that, he served as CMO for a leading daily fantasy sports operator, guiding it from startup to the industry’s third-ranked site.

Scot Case

Senior Consultant

A sustainability strategy consultant since 1993, Scot has served as non-profit leader, as a partner in an environmental marketing firm that he grew and sold, and as an executive in a multi-billion-dollar, international company. He has published dozens of articles and case studies, was co-author of the original “Sins of Greenwashing” study, testified before Congress, and been quoted on NPR, Good Morning America, CNN, The New York Times, Business Week, and the Wall Street Journal. Scot was also highlighted in an Emmy award-winning documentary on sustainable purchasing.

Casey Ward

VP Account Services

Casey manages our relationships, growth and development with a specific group of clients that includes Environmental Defense Fund, Cotton LEADS and CertainTeed Insulation. She provides leadership and support for the account team members who manage the day-to-day processes for these clients. She contributes to strategic direction for each client and guides our creative efforts to ensure everything we do builds toward meeting – or exceeding – the client’s goals. Her ability to simultaneously see the big picture and pay close attention to the details helps her champion her clients’ needs and identify new growth opportunities for them.