At Cloverly, we can help offset or avoid the carbon costs of everyday activities. (You can find details here.) To do that, we invest in a variety of green projects. Here's a look at 1 of the offset projects in our portfolio: the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Project.
You're a major urban research university. You occupy many kinds of buildings constructed over many decades, a couple of them dating all the way back to the end of the 19th century. You want to reduce energy consumption, but that's a complicated, expensive process. What do you do?
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee turned to performance contracting. And it worked.
UMW has 6 campuses, all in the greater Milwaukee area. Officially, it was founded in 1956 with the merger of 2 previous educational institutions. Its roots go back to the formation of the Wisconsin State Normal School in 1885.
Today, UMW serves more than 26,000 students with 195 degree programs spread across 15 schools and colleges.
In 2008, the university created an Office of Sustainability. Its programs range from recycling and composting to helping the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences test renewable energy systems.
It also oversees Energy Matters, a university-wide energy-conservation initiative. Energy Matters started with three goals:
- To reduce energy use by 25%
- To reduce campus use of fossil fuels
- To provide comfortable study and work spaces.
To carry out the project, UMW entered into performance contracts with Honeywell International.
Honeywell conducted a building-by-building energy audit, then recommended energy-saving changes, guaranteeing that they would result in a specific reduction in energy use. With a performance contract, there's no up-front cost. The contractor gets paid from the money saved by the energy reduction. If the savings don't reach the guaranteed level, the contractor doesn't get paid.
UMW and Honeywell beat their goal, achieving a 27% reduction in energy consumption per gross square foot. That's across a total of more than 4 million square feet of campus building space, so it's a major reduction. The university has saved—and continues to save—millions of dollars in energy costs and has significantly reduced its carbon footprint.
So everybody won. And keeps winning, with year after year of reduced energy costs for UMW and for the environment.