Final results are in for Campus Conservation Nationals (CCN), a competition to reduce energy and water consumption in residence halls in the US and Canada. Between February 4th and April 26th participating colleges and universities selected a three-week period for students to take direct action towards increasing sustainability on their campuses. Wake Forest’s own competition began on March 19th and wrapped up April 7th. Out of 120 participating schools, Wake Forest ranked in the top five for water reduction. Though the resource and cost savings achieved through the competition were victories unto themselves, the university’s top 5 ranking makes CCN 2013 an unequivocal success for the Demon Deacons.
The Office of Energy Management and Residence Life and Housing co-sponsored Wake Forest’s CCN effort. Claire Nagy-Cato (’14), an intern for the Office of Energy Management, headed up the organization of the competition. EcoReps, peer-educators for sustainability, and hall captains, representatives for the competition from each residence hall, performed educational outreach for CCN. The student body received energy and water saving tips through personalized room assessments, competition kiosks, and bulletin boards. Students could track energy and water consumption in their residence halls in real time using the Building Dashboard.
Nationally, CCN 2013 saved 2,114, 844 killowatt-hours of electricity and 1,681,241 million gallons of water. Wake Forest contributed 74,789 killowatt-hours and 139,196 gallons of water to that total. By reducing their consumption, Wake Forest students also kept 91,093 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and saved $5,443 dollars.
In addition to competing against other schools, residence halls on the Reynolda Campus also competed against each other to reduce. Palmer and Piccolo earned the top ranking for both water and energy reduction. The two residence halls, which are on a single meter system, together achieved a 23.4% energy reduction and an astounding 35.1% water reduction. Kitchen and Martin came in second and third place for energy reduction and Martin and Collins took second and third place for water reduction. Residents in Palmer and Piccolo celebrated their sweet victories with a Brynn’s frozen yogurt party. View a complete list of competition standings here.
Lauren Miller, director of engagement at Lucid (the company behind the Building Dashboard) found the results of this year’s multi-school competition impressive. Commenting on the collective reduction efforts of over 300,000 students, she says “These students are demonstrating that creating a culture of conservation and inspiring individuals to change their behaviors can significantly reduce their campus’ carbon footprint.”
While success in the competition is gratifying, the true purpose of CCN is to ingrain lasting, environmentally-preferable consumption habits among participating students. As the global community continues to seek ways to conserve limited natural resources, the results of CCN demonstrate that personal commitments to responsible consumption will play an integral role in creating a sustainable future. Wake Forest’s top five ranking in water-use reduction demonstrates that Demon Deacons are not only up to the task of sustainable living, but are ready to take the lead.
By Annabel Lang, Wake Forest Fellow for the Office of Sustainability