The annual awards recognize the country's leading green power purchasers for their commitment and contribution to helping advance the development of the nation's voluntary green power market. EPA presented Steelcase with the award at an event held in conjunction with the 2009 Renewable Energy Markets Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.
Steelcase was one of only ten organizations nationwide to receive a Leadership Award for its green power purchase.
The award recognizes EPA Green Power Partners who distinguish themselves through purchases of green power from a utility green-pricing program, a competitive green marketer, or a renewable energy certificate (REC) supplier. Steelcase is currently purchasing nearly 29 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, which is enough green power to meet 21 percent of the organization's electricity use. Steelcase worked with Renewable Choice Energy to meet their investment goals.
"We are proud to receive this prestigious award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency," said Angela Nahikian, Director, Global Environmental Sustainability, Steelcase Inc. "Purchasing green power is one way we are working to achieve our goal of reducing our environmental footprint 25% by 2012. Beyond our own initiative, we hope the unique model through which we made this long-term investment in wind power provides a framework for others seeking to invest more directly in clean sources of energy - and provides proof that reducing climate impact can be a sound business decision."
Green power is electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydro. These resources generate electricity with a net zero increase in carbon dioxide emissions, while offering a superior environmental profile compared to traditional power generation sources. Green power purchases also support the development of new renewable energy generation sources nationwide.
"EPA's Green Power Leadership award winners are raising the bar for green power purchasing," said Kathleen Hogan, Director of EPA's Climate Protection Partnerships Division. "By using renewable energy, Steelcase USA is helping our environment by leading our national transition to clean energy; they are a model for others to follow."
According to the EPA, Steelcase USA's current green power purchase of nearly 29 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of nearly 4,000 passenger vehicles per year, or is the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power more than nearly 3,000 average American homes annually.