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5 Companies That Are Championing Green Energy Usage

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Each quarter, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reveals its coveted 50 Green Power Partners, a list that they describe as highlighting “the annual green power use of leading Green Power Partners within the United States.”

This year’s first quarter results were recently announced and it might surprise you which companies, universities, cities, and even government agencies made the cut.  Keep in mind that the EPA only ranks entities that are part of its Green Power Partnership, a voluntary EPA program that encourages organizations to take advantage of green power to help lessen the environmental impact of conventional electricity.

We’ve researched the top five organizations on the list and discovered what green power energy practices earned them recognition from the EPA.

Intel Corporation – Green Power: 100%



Intel is consistently in the spotlight for being a green power company. According to the EPA, Intel has avoided creating the amount of electricity that’s required annually to power more than 327,000 average American homes.

That’s equivalent of removing 455,000 cars from the road. In addition to generating almost 7,000 kilowatt hours of energy from on-site solar panels, Intel also purchases 3.1 billion kilowatt hours per year via renewable energy certificates.

Microsoft – Green Power: 80%



Microsoft has made major commitments to the Earth in recent years. Along with coming in at the top of the EPA’s Green Power Partners list year after year, it was honored as Partner of the Year in 2012 and purchases more than 1.1 billion kilowatt hours of green power annually.

Microsoft also gets kudos for reducing carbon emissions by at least 30 percent when measured against its 2007 emissions. Microsoft’s new goal? The Washington-based company says it’s committed to achieving carbon-neutrality.

Kohl’s Department Stores – Green Power: 105%



You might not think about retail giant Kohl’s as being a leader in the environmental movement, but since it joined the Green Power Partnership in 2006 it has consistently received top positioning on the EPA’s Green Power Partner’s list.

The next time you’re shopping at Kohl’s, feel good about knowing that it was named Partner of the Year three years in a row (2009-2011), takes advantage of on-site solar panels to provide two percent of its electricity and purchases the remainder of its green power.

Whole Foods – Green Power: 107%



Whole Foods believes in being good to planet Earth. It has solar energy systems at 16 of its locations with dozens more planned, and has undertaken energy efficiency upgrades that save roughly 20 million kilowatt hours annually.

According to the EPA, the grocery store chain’s production of 800 kilowatt hours coupled with its green power purchases is equivalent to taking 108,000 passenger cars off the road. Like Kohl’s, Whole Foods has been honored with a Partner of the Year award three times (2006, 2007 and 2010).

Wal-Mart – Green Power: 4%



According to Wal-Mart’s website, the discount chain has three sustainability goals: “To be supplied 100% by renewable energy, to create zero waste and to sell products that sustain people and the environment.”

The fact that it generates more than 174 million kilowatt hours of on-site green power generation (more than any other company) might be a sign it’s on its way.

Interesting green facts about other Top EPA Partners

  • The state of Texas had a strong showing as the cities of Houston, Austin and Dallas all made it into the top 20 (ranked 13, 14, and 18 respectively).
  • Six colleges made the EPA’s top 50 Green Power Partners list, including the University of Pennsylvania, which ranked highest among the university crowd.
  • Global computer giant Dell didn’t rank as high as other tech-savvy companies like Intel or Microsoft, but it deserves kudos for powering its global headquarters’ campus 100 percent with green power.
  • Chicago Public Schools finished last on the list but it’s still a winner and it’s worth noting that more than 30 Chicago Public Schools have solar panels, and it purchases renewable energy for 20 percent of its electricity.


To date, the EPA boasts nearly 1,500 Green Power Partners. You can find a list of all the top 50 finishers here. What do you do in your office to help the Earth?

*Green Power: The amount of green power as a percentage of overall electricity use (U.S. locations only). Some organizations choose to purchase green power that exceeds 100 percent of their electricity use.

 

Colton Matheson

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