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Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership

100% Renewable Goal Achieved:

Procuring 100% renewable power with Renewable Energy Credits


Chicago, IL


The Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning buys 100% renewable electricity in the form of Green-e certified Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from Direct Energy. The following is a brief interview with Mark Akgulian, Director of Operations
Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership

1. What inspired the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership to decide to procure 100% renewable electricity? Our sustainable practice is inspired by the Jewish tenets of tikkun olam (repair the world) and bal taschit (do not waste). The Institute has been guided by these principles in its decision to successfully pursue Silver LEED certification for our new facility, as well as in its continuing operations. Procuring 100% renewably sourced energy was part of a continuum.

2. What options did you consider for achieving 100% renewable electricity, and why did you go with the one you chose? In negotiating for a new 3-year energy supplier contract, we found we were able to reduce our per kwH rate even while adding in the purchase of REC (Renewable Energy Certificates) to cover 100% of our energy usage. The decision was made easy for us.

3. What, if any, are the economic impacts to your Institute, of the decision to procure 100% renewable electricity?
As above, a renewed energy contract that included RECs at a reduced rate from our previous agreement made our decision a win-win for us. We put great stock in the environmentally friendly features of our building including its green roof, comprehensive recycling program, catering based on local and organic sourcing, and computer controlled lighting and all-electric HVAC systems. We are a rental space of choice for many green and forward-thinking organizations seeking a venue concerned with sustainable practice. Powered by 100% renewable energy reflects our commitment to that practice.


4. What energy technologies compliment your 100% renewable power mix? We reduce energy consumption through a building automation system which provides localized HVAC controls, a computer controlled lighting system which includes light harvesting features, and fritted glass which reduces heat gain.

5. What are the greatest benefits so far of going 100% renewable for power supply?
Our Institute prides itself on teaching the next generation of Jewish leaders. We view our commitment to sustainable practice, including the use of 100% renewable energy, as part of a leadership role for both our students and the broader community.




Describing Spertus from Spertus Institute on Vimeo.

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