Mercyhurst receives award for sustainability efforts on campus

Last month Mercyhurst was one of 10 organizations nationwide to receive the Green Power Leadership Award from the EPA. The award recognizes organizations that contribute to the development of green power sources.

“Mercyhurst is part of the Green Power Partnership,” said Brittany Prischak, the sustainability officer for Mercyhurst.

“Businesses, communities or schools, any group of people, that do anything with renewable energy, whether on site or with offsets can take part in the program. Mercyhurst does this by purchasing offsets,” she said.

Chris Magoc, Ph.D., said, “Students can feel very proud that the United States Environmental Protection Agency has recognized the leadership of Mercyhurst College in our purchase of renewable energy.

“Recognition on a national level is quite a testament to how far we have come as an institution over the past decade.”

Mercyhurst purchases its offsets through Renewable Energy Incorporated, which is a broker in renewable energy and owns several wind farms in Pennsylvania.

Setting up renewable energy systems is expensive, and the money from these offsets are used for that purpose.

Mercyhurst purchases enough of these credits to offset 100 percent of its electricity use on campus.

“Our goal is to decrease our emissions when possible and offset what we can’t,” Prischak said.

Mercyhurst is meeting this goal in several ways.

“Maintenance has gone through and done retrofits, getting Energy Star-rated appliances,” said Prischak.

Students can take part in these continuing efforts as well, by turning off lights and unplugging electronics, like computers, when they are not in use.

“By increasing energy efficiency, we decrease energy consumptions,” Prischak said.

Other energy efficient tasks that students can partake in are making use of public transportation, using the Recycling Dream Machines around campus and using reusable water bottles and coffee mugs.

“We have now earned our place as a national leader in advancing sustainable energy. We will work hard to sustain and strengthen that position,” Magoc said.

For students who would like to get involved, the Green Team’s next meeting is Wednesday, Dec. 7, in Hirt 118 at 8:20 p.m. Students can email Brittany Prischak at