CUMC Goes Green for Earth Day

April 22, 2013

To celebrate Earth Day, Columbia University Medical Center, including the Mailman School, is making its electricity "green" all week. From April 22 through April 27, the Medical Center will buy the wind power equivalent of the electricity consumption in all its research and residential buildings.

For each megawatt hour of electricity used, CUMC will purchase a Green-e Energy Certified® Renewable Energy Certificate, which pays for a wind farm to deliver the same amount of energy to the U.S. power grid.

"By midnight Saturday, April 27, we will have provided enough wind power to the power grid to avoid 1,086 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, the amount generated by 2,531 barrels of oil, according to EPA estimate," wrote Amador Centeno, Vice President of Facilities and Campus Services in an email.

The Earth Day iniative is one part of a year-round effort by the Medical Center to reduce its carbon footprint.

"By 2025, we aim to cut our greenhouse gas emissions by 30%--and we are well on our way," says Centeno, adding that he anticipates a 4% reduction in CUMC's carbon footprint from 2010 levels by the end of fiscal year 2013.

To help meet these goals, the Medical Center is organizing "Green Team" to share stories and integrate sustainable practices into classrooms, laboratories, offices, and campus residence halls. To learn more, visit the Energy page of the Facilities Management website.