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Blue Ribbons for Green Work

Blue Ribbons for Green WorkTufts recently received two honors for its energy efficiency and commitment to the environment.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [11.19.07] Tufts has long prided itself on being "green." This fall, the university received two distinctions recognizing its environmental efforts.

The Sierra Club listed Tufts among the top 10 schools that "get it" when it comes to environmental issues in the November/December issue of its Sierra magazine. Also in the top 10 rankings were Duke, Harvard and Penn State.

Calling Tufts an "OG," or "original green," school, Sierra describes Tufts as "home of the first university environmental policy in the country." The magazine cites the solar panels atop the new, environmentally efficient Sophia Gordon Hall dormitory, energy-saving motion detectors on vending machines and the organic grass on the baseball field that is tended by an electric-powered tractor.

"If students start their adult lives in a culture of sustainability, they just might take that ethos with them wherever they go," according to Sierra.

In addition, the energy delivery company National Grid honored Tufts and two other Massachusetts organizations on Oct. 31 as part of celebrations that marked the 20th anniversary of its energy efficiency programs.

"Today we are honoring customers who have demonstrated a leadership role in energy efficiency and have raised awareness of greenhouse gas emissions and the threat they pose to our environment," Tom King, president of National Grid, said at the ceremony.

The event, held in the "green" surroundings of Sophia Gordon Hall, was also attended by Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Ian Bowles and Medford Mayor Michael J. McGlynn. The dormitory, which opened last fall, is the first building on campus to meet the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building standards.

"Extraordinary companies like these are leading the way to help Medford and our nation stay ahead of the energy game and are showing others just how easy it is to go green," McGlynn said at the event. "Their leadership in energy efficiency and commitment to protecting the environment is to be commended."

According to National Grid, Tufts is saving $613,745.18 annually through its energy efficiency measures and conserving enough energy (5,901,396 kilowatt hours) to power 379 homes for a year. The university is also offsetting 3,252 tons of greenhouse gases annually.

Tufts President Lawrence S. Bacow, who accepted the award on the university's behalf, said that the financial savings is enough to fund scholarships for 23 students.

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