Michigan State: Our March Madness Winner on Energy Efficiency

April 3, 2015

Photo Credit: Matt Olson

As a number 7 seed in this year’s March Madness NCAA men’s basketball tournament, most people may not have been paying much attention to Michigan State University early in this year’s tournament. Yet they have beaten the odds on the basketball court — making it to the Final Four alongside three number 1 seeded teams, and helping out our less than stellar office bracket. We picked the fighting green Spartans to go all the way to win the championship game due to their extraordinary efforts implementing energy saving and greenhouse gas emissions reducing projects.

Michigan State University is one of 150+ institutions that has begun using the Sustainable Endowments Institute’s efficiency tracking tool — GRITS (the Green Revolving Investment Tracking System). The web platform enables users to better manage and analyze project-level energy, financial and carbon data. It also features a project library, so that users can look at the projects undertaken by others and make the most informed decisions about the best projects to take on next. As of March 31, Michigan State University had entered data for more than one hundred projects into GRITS that will save them millions of dollars over the next ten years. As the title of the February 2015 New York Times article about the work of SEI indicated, Investing in Energy Efficiency Pays Off. This means that instead of wasting money on excess energy use, these extra dollars can be put towards scholarships and educational programs, and be reinvested into more efficiency projects. Most of MSU’s projects are upgrades or modifications to lighting or HVAC systems in buildings all across campus. We applaud the MSU Spartans for their heroic energy efficiency work over the last several years, and hope their March Madness competitors will take notice, follow suit, and give them a run for their money next year (yes, we’re competitive about our energy efficiency here!). We’re rooting for the Spartans both on and off the court, as they take on Duke and continue to implement important energy saving and greenhouse gas emissions-reducing projects.