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University of Scranton carbon-neutral for 2020

The university in Lackawanna County took a major step to reduce its carbon footprint this year.

SCRANTON, Pa. — The University of Scranton uses a lot of electricity every year.

"We use 25 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and that 25 million kilowatt-hours of electricity adds up to be about 25 million pounds of carbon," said Mark Murphy, the University of Scranton's sustainability director.

It seemed fitting to talk about the major green step the university took in a green space -- the greenhouse on campus.

"It's very significant what we've done is we've purchased for all of our electric accounts, every single one, is we're buying carbon-neutral energy. Which means it's not using fossil fuels, which means we've not generating carbon."

The university is getting its carbon-neutral energy from a nuclear source.

"We were able to negotiate with our low bidder, could we get a renewable or carbon-neutral product? They were able to get us that carbon-neutral product for a very competitive price," Murphy said.

Murphy tells us that despite significant growth over the last 30 years, the amount of electricity used remains largely unchanged.

"Technology can help you save energy, reduce your amount of usage, that's even better than buying carbon-neutral energy is not using it at all.'

Using a carbon-neutral energy source is just a part of the eco-friendly culture at the University of Scranton.

"We're an environmentally friendly university. We want our students to leave here, that's our business, we can't lose track of that, is that when we educate our students and they leave here. We want them to take this with them."

While the carbon-neutral plan is only in place for this year, Murphy is hopeful to not only continue it but expand on it in the years to come.

"I'm hoping in the future we'll be able to go to wind, solar, water to be our renewable energy sources," Murphy added.