Education is, without a doubt, an investment. Around 60 percent of bachelor’s degree recipients borrowed money to fund tuition costs – a staggering statistic considering the current increase in education expenses, in both private and public universities. So it’s curious that more universities aren’t investing in their students’ futures in return.
But Oregon State University (OSU) is. The school has decided to purchase approximately $430,000 in renewable energy certificates for 2011, on behalf of the university and its students.
In a recent press release, OSU announced that it had become the second-largest purchaser of green power of any university in the United States, as listed by the Environmental Protection Agency. The purchase has ensured that 100 percent of the electricity used by the Corvallis and Bend OSU campuses for the year will come from wind energy sources.
Blaine Collision, director of the U.S. EPA Green Power Partnership praised OSU, saying the university’s example of leadership should be emulated by as many school as possible.
The university has been purchasing certificates since 2003, but this is the first year the purchase has been made by the OSU administration instead of revenue raised from student fees. Students now allocate their student fees to provide on-campus renewable energy systems.
Although there has been an increase in renewable energy funds at universities across the nation, more schools should be factoring these renewable energy certificates into student fees or operating budgets. It seems to be a simple, effective way to please students and protect the environment at the same time. Right now, OSU is paving a green road for others to follow.