Sustainable Campuses Program pilots in Mindanao and Metro Manila

Davao City, 19 August 2011. – A program geared towards transforming school campuses into models of sustainable energy use has been launched by Greenpeace with selected partner schools in Mindanao and Metro Manila.

“With its increasing power requirements possibly reaching crisis proportions by the year 2014, Mindanao becomes a key constituency to spearhead a vision of the Philippines leading the rest of the world in a revolution in the way energy is produced, distributed and used. Even at present, Mindanao is experiencing power shortages. This is where energy solutions such as energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy (RE) are most needed and will have the greatest impact,” said Amalie Obusan, Climate and Energy Campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

The pilot Sustainable Campuses program for Ateneo de Davao University, Mindanao State University and the University of Southeastern Philippines, was formally launched by Greenpeace today during the closing of the two-day Energy [R]evolution Mindanao Summit, which was held at the Waterfront Insular Hotel and attended by key lawmakers, government and community leaders, representatives from financial institutions and the energy sector.

In Metro Manila, where key legislative and executive government agencies, as well as major financial hubs, are situated, three schools are also launching Sustainable Campus programs: St. Paul University in Quezon City, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Makati, and St. Scholastica in Manila. Having campuses within the nation’s capital carrying out energy efficiency and environmental sustainability programs will be a crucial component in establishing strong RE and EE policies at the political level.

Through a partnership with Greenpeace’s Solar Generation Youth Project, the six pilot schools’ respective administration, staff, and students will together determine their school’s carbon footprint and current energy practices. Participating universities will be taught the necessary skills to assist in a school-wide energy audit, the results of which shall be used as baseline data for subsequent energy consumption measurements. They will also be equipped with the skills and resources to implement a public awareness campaign promoting energy efficiency measures.

The program is expected to open possibilities for practical and immediate solutions to energy challenges faced by educational institutions, which can then be replicated not only by other schools, but by other institutions and organizations as well.

The program will not only highlight savings in operating costs and the reduction of the campus carbon footprint, but also make individuals more conscious about the way energy is sourced, distributed and consumed, without having to compromise practicality and convenience.

“The Philippines is among the countries most vulnerable and least prepared to deal with the impacts of climate change. Since the burning of fossil fuels, particularly coal, is the biggest contributor to carbon emissions, the main culprit for climate change, we see that leading the Energy [R]evolution will benefit the Philippines and its people on many levels. These pilot Sustainable Campuses are a testimony to and a reiteration of our confidence in the Philippines achieving 50% RE and 20% EE by 2020,” Solar Generation Youth Coordinator Albert Lozada concluded.