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Three organizations honor DePauw’s environment efforts

DePauw representatives get environmental award from Gov. Holcomb
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DePauw’s commitment to environmental protection and sustainability recently was recognized in three ways.

DePauw was among the winners of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence for its campus energy master plan. The awards, made at a Sept. 23 conference, are given to innovative, sustainable and exemplary programs or projects that positively affect Indiana’s environment and demonstrate measurable environmental, economic and social benefits.

Duke Energy likewise cited the campus energy master plan when it gave DePauw its Power Partner Award, which honors innovation, resiliency and sustainability. DePauw was one of seven winners chosen among Duke’s 4,000 large business customers.

Contemporaneous with its master plan work, DePauw also participates in Duke’s Smart $aver program, which provided DePauw with $319,103 in incentives for past work; it is expected to receive another $177,867 for a new chiller plant and HVAC system.

The third honor came from the International District Energy Association, which gave DePauw an innovation award for its work to reduce energy use, enhance efficiency and strengthen reliability. Ecosystem, DePauw’s project partner, brought DePauw to the association’s attention.

 The master plan “has successfully achieved its objectives of reducing our carbon footprint, producing energy savings and reducing our campus deferred maintenance burden,” said Chris Hoffa, facilities operations director. “Having our efforts formally recognized by significant partners such as Ecosystem and Duke Energy and by Indiana's Gov. Holcomb is greatly appreciated.”

Jeanette Pope, geosciences professor and faculty sustainability coordinator, she was “absolutely thrilled that DePauw’s campus energy master plan received this prestigious recognition. The project was already a success – it saved money, improved energy use in buildings and contributed to our sustainability goals, so the governor’s award is just the icing on top, but it is some high-quality icing!”  

DePauw’s $11 million campus energy master plan, undertaken in 2019 and completed in 2020, reduces campus energy use by 33%, the equivalence of the energy used by 750 Midwestern homes; reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 7,303 tons, equivalent to taking 2,303 cars off the roads; improve reliability; and reduces costs by $780,000 a year. The project involved converting campus lighting to LED; optimizing the HVAC systems; installing low-flow water fixtures; and installing 860 solar panels atop the Indoor Tennis and Track Center. 

Photo: Geosciences professor Jeanette Pope (third from left) and Chris Hoffa, DePauw facilities operations director (fourth from left), receive the IDEM award from Julia Wickard, assistant IDEM commissioner; Brian Rockensuess, IDEM chief of staff; and Gov. Eric Holcomb.

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