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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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 GreenBiz.com.

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®.

Laila Waggoner

VP Client Engagement

Laila leads our client engagement process, overseeing activities from both a strategic and a tactical level to ensure our work generates desired results – and clients’ satisfaction. She brings 25+ years of marketing leadership experience to her client relationships, with particular expertise in the homebuilding and remodeling industries as well as member-driven organizations, such as the Vinyl Siding Institute and Plastics Pipe Institute. Before joining Shelton Group, she led strategic marketing teams for Owens Corning’s insulation business.

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.

Glen L. Vesser III

VP Finance and Administration

Glen manages Shelton Group’s finances and administration, ensuring our internal systems run smoothly so we can provide exceptional client service in a seamless and timely manner. Glen’s financial and administrative expertise has been shaped by decades of experience in a variety of industries, including public accounting, media distribution and health care.

Mike Beamer

VP Business Development

Mike joined our team to help provide strategic vision and foster our agency’s growth by overseeing new business leads and managing agency marketing and website content. He arrived in Knoxville steeped in energy efficiency and renewables – he previously led client service for an agency division in Boston dedicated to marketing communications strategy and branding for B2B and B2C clients in that space.