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SACE's Tennessee Campus Coordinator Reggie Miller with Gordie Bennett, UT Knoxville’s sustainability manager.

KNOXVILLE — University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is being honored again for its sustainability efforts. The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) gave UT the Green Power Leadership Award for the campus’s commitment to advancing renewable energy.

Founded in 1985, SACE is a regional organization focused on developing clean energy solutions throughout the Southeast. The award was given at SACE’s second annual Summit for Campus Sustainability at Belmont University in Nashville Friday, Oct. 8.

UT Knoxville was selected due to its participation in TVA/KUB’s Green Power Switch Program in which the Student Environmental Initiatives fund purchases renewable energy for the campus. UT Knoxville is the largest purchaser of green power in the Southeast and was the first in university in the state to fund the green power through a student-approved fee.

“Thanks to the leadership of our student body and a commitment from our entire campus community, UT Knoxville is a leader in campus sustainability efforts and our plan is to build upon all of our initiatives that help us to be a good steward of the earth’s resources,” said Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek.

Gordie Bennett, the campus’s sustainability manager, received the award for the campus at Friday’s event.

“I thank our students for their forward thinking and concern for the environment,” said Bennett. “I am truly inspired by the amount of support that students throughout Tennessee have shown for green power in our region.”

The Green Power Switch Program brings natural power generated by the wind, the sun and the earth to consumers. An equivalent amount of the kilowatt-hours purchased through the program is generated from renewable sources. This eliminates the associated emissions and also helps preserve the natural resources of the nonrenewable fuels.

This is one of several recognitions UT Knoxville has received for its green efforts. At the first annual Summit for Campus Sustainability in 2009 the campus was awarded the Energy Efficiency Leadership Award for its Switch Your Thinking campaign which encourages energy conservation.

Earlier this year, The Princeton Review listed UT Knoxville in its “Guide to 286 Green Colleges,” citing the Student Environmental Initiatives fund and recognizing the campus’s 2007 sustainable building policy. Last summer, The Princeton Review gave UT Knoxville a “green rating” of 85 in its 2010 edition of “The Best 371 Colleges.”

UT Knoxville recently adopted a Climate Action Plan as part of being a signatory to the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. The plan is available at

The campus’s sustainability efforts are part of the comprehensive Make Orange Green program that promotes and coordinates environmental stewardship activities on campus. For more information, visit

C O N T A C T:

Whitney Holmes (865-974-5460,