In 2009, SmartPower used its research with echo boomers – people born between 1982 and 1995 – to create America’s Greenest Campus, which quickly became the nation’s largest and most successful on-campus energy efficiency campaign. More than 20,000 students at 465 colleges and universities participated, reducing their collective carbon footprint by 19 million pounds and creating $4.52 million in energy cost savings.
A sophisticated web platform, developed by Efficiency 2.0, provided personal energy saving recommendations and tracked both individual and collective progress. Viral and social marketing drove participation, while endorsements by hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and Internet phenom Obama Girl (above) widened the program’s reach. And prizes – $5,000 for each of two winning schools, and $10,000 for the winning entry in an Energy Smart Ad Contest – encouraged campuses to rally around energy use reduction.
In 2010, America’s Greenest Campus was awarded a Clean Air Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.