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[ EPA Honors Organizations for Supporting Green Power ]

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently presented its 12th annual Green Power Leadership Awards to 24 Green Power Partners and three suppliers for their achievements in advancing the nation’s renewable electricity market. For most municipalities, electricity usage is the single-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. By using green power, communities and businesses can dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create local jobs, and improve public health.

“Our 2012 Green Power Leadership Award winners have not only demonstrated commendable civic leadership in their efforts to use renewable energy sources, they’ve also helped to reduce our carbon footprint and cut back on pollution – all while supporting America’s growing renewable energy industry,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Thanks to their commitment — and the commitment of all of our Green Power Partners — our country is one step closer to a cleaner, more sustainable energy future.”

“Green power” is electricity generated from renewable resources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas and low-impact hydro, and produces no net increase of greenhouse gas emissions. From purchasing 100-percent green power to installing large-scale solar panel arrays, the award winners help demonstrate that green power makes sense not only for Americans’ health and environment but for business’ bottom lines.

The 2012 Green Power Leadership Award winners are listed below in the following categories:

First-ever Sustained Excellence in Green Power: Intel Corporation, Kohl’s Department Stores, Staples, and Whole Foods Market
Green Power Partner of the Year: City of Austin, Texas; Hilton Worldwide; Microsoft Corporation; and the University of Oklahoma
Green Power Community of the Year: Beaverton, Ore. and Oak Park, Ill.
Green Power Purchasing: American University; Bloomberg L.P.; City of Philadelphia, Pa.; Hobart and William Smith Colleges; Kettle Foods; Lockheed Martin; McDonald’s USA, LLC; MOM’s Organic Market; NYSE Euronext; Quinnipiac University; TD Bank; and The North Face
On-site Generation: Coca-Cola Refreshments and Zotos International, Inc.
Green Power Supplier of the Year: Renewable Choice Energy and Sterling Planet
Innovative Green Power Program of the Year: Wellesley Municipal Light Plant

The 24 award-winning partners were chosen from more than 1,300 partner organizations. Utilities, renewable energy project developers and other green power suppliers were eligible to apply for the Supplier of the Year and Program of the Year awards.

EPA also announced the winners of the second annual Green Power Community Challenge, a national competition between communities to use renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to the Green Power Community of the Year award, Oak Park, Ill. also won the community challenge for achieving the highest green power percentage of total electricity use at 92 percent. Washington, D.C. also won the challenge for a second year in a row for using the most green power annually with more than one billion kilowatt-hours (kWh).

EPA, through the Green Power Partnership, works with partner organizations, over half of which are small businesses and nonprofit organizations, to reduce the environmental impacts of conventional electricity use. Partners are voluntarily using more than 23 billion kWh of green power annually. Through their use of green power, these organizations are avoiding carbon pollution equal to that created by the electricity use of more than two million average American homes each year.

More on the Green Power Leadership Awards: http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/awards/winners.htm
More on the Green Power Community Challenge: www.epa.gov/greenpower/communities/gpcchallenge.htm
More on the Green Power Partnership: www.epa.gov/greenpower

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