GW takes second place in District sustainability challenge

Howard University bested GW in November’s multi-college competition to save energy, the contest’s organizers said Jan. 12.

American University, Howard and GW participated in the month-long campus sustainability challenge to reduce electricity use in residence halls, hosted by the green lobbying group Alliance to Save Energy.

GW placed second in the competition, which lowered it electricity use by an average of 8 percent compared to last November. The highest-scoring building, Cole Hall, decreased its total energy use by 29 percent compared to its 2010 baseline.

Howard topped the contest with an average energy savings of 14 percent. American University’s residence halls saved 3 percent on average, earning an honorable mention from the Alliance.

“We are thrilled that GW did so well in the challenge and are proud of the participating residence halls [that] helped GW to take second place,” Sophie Waskow, GW’s sustainability project facilitator, said. She commended student eco-reps for educating their peers about the contest and campus sustainability.

The contests represent the University’s broader commitment to improve campus sustainability, efforts that have led to soaring green rankings after the founding of the Office of Sustainability in late 2008.

A Howard sustainability administrator did not return requests for comment.

Renee Lafrenz, a program manager with the Alliance’s Green Campus Program, emphasized that the competition was not about defeating the other universities, but that it served to highlight the relationship between energy efficiency and sustainability, as well as to promote energy awareness among students.

The Alliance was pleased with the November challenge – the first energy-reduction competition between District colleges – and is optimistic about repeating a similar contest in the future, Lafrenz said.

“We hope to see it grow at these campuses and nation-wide,” she said.

Throughout February and March, the University will participate in Recyclemania – a nationwide sustainability competition among colleges to reduce waste.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.