PHOENIX, November 10, 2008 — Recognizing the value of clean renewable energy sources in preserving the environment, University of Phoenix, in partnership with hometown energy provider Salt River Project (SRP), is making the largest corporate purchase of renewable energy certificates in Arizona history.

The University's purchase of 46.5 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy certificates is equivalent to the amount of energy required to power approximately 100 percent of its Phoenix facilities with clean renewable sources, which also equates to 27 percent of its more than 100 campus locations nationwide. The University's green power purchase is comparable to powering an average of 3,800 homes in America or avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of more than 5,280 passenger vehicles per year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

As a result of its renewable energy purchase, the University is ranked seventh on the EPA's "Top 20 College & University Partner List," making it the only higher education institution in Arizona to earn this recognition.

"As the need for renewable energy is growing nationally and globally, we recognize our responsibility to take care of the environment now and for future generations," said Dr. William Pepicello, president of University of Phoenix.

Renewable energy certificates, also known as RECs, are tradable environmental commodities which represent proof that 1 megawatt-hour of electricity is generated from an eligible renewable energy resource. The renewable energy certificates for the University's offices and campuses will come from wind turbines, tapping an energy source that is essentially pollution-free and naturally abundant in many areas in the country.

"We are pleased to partner with University of Phoenix in supporting clean energy and we encourage other institutions in the Valley to follow the University's lead," said Richard Hayslip, associate general manager of SRP.

The University and SRP will draw attention to the importance of sustainability and investing in clean, renewable energy by powering tonight's football game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers through renewable wind resources.

During the game, hosted in tandem with the Arizona Cardinals, the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority, and Global Spectrum, approximately 95,000 kilowatt-hours of renewable energy certificates will offset the electricity used in the stadium – from the concession stands to the scoreboard to the parking lot lighting.

The renewable energy program is part of the University's long-term commitment to sustainability and the environment, Dr. Pepicello said. Among the company's other green initiatives have been the execution of an internal employee education program – Go Green – which included creating an online sustainability tutorial for almost 50,000 employees and faculty members at the University and our parent company Apollo Education Group; design and implementation of environmentally sound practices at its corporate offices in Phoenix; local and national recycling initiatives; the development of environmental programs; and involvement in farther-reaching community projects that support use of solar power and other alternative energy sources. Such efforts include partnerships with Earth Lab, the University of Arizona's Arizona Research Institute for Solar Energy (AzRISE) and the Earth Day Network, among others.

The University is SRP's first large customer in the newly created SRP EarthWise Energy REC Program, which provides a way for companies to offset their energy usage with renewable energy generated within the Western Grid. The program encourages customers to invest in renewable energy to power their businesses using electricity from environmentally friendly technologies, such as solar and wind energy. The more customers who join, the more SRP can spur the additional development and demand for renewable energy.


University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help students balance education and life in a rapidly changing world. Through flexible schedules, challenging courses and interactive learning, students achieve personal and career aspirations without putting their lives on hold. As of August 31, 2008, 362,100 students were enrolled at University of Phoenix, the largest private university in North America. University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world.

About SRP

Salt River Project (SRP) is the largest provider of power to the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, serving more than 930,000 electricity customers, and is also the nation's third-largest public power utility provider. To date, 6 percent of the energy generated for SRP customers comes from renewable and sustainable sources.


Wendy Paul