Taking concerns over climate change closer to heart, the University of the Philippines Manila is taking a step to reduce its carbon footprint and advocate for a sustainable environment by adding more to its solar panels across its Ermita campus.

Totaling 10,000 square meters, the solar panel arrays will occupy 11 administrative and academic buildings. It will pave the way to a 1,600-megawatt hour (MWh) renewable power for the university. The produced energy equates to roughly Php17 million of annual electricity savings.

Carbon footprints refer to the overall volume of greenhouse gases generated by an activity, product, company, or nation. Examples are methane and carbon dioxide. Measured in metric tons of emissions per specific unit, it plays a substantial role in giving insights into its influence on the environment and essential efforts towards sustainability.

UP Manila Chancellor Michael L. Tee said that the drive to expand on solar panels was inspired by the university being a recipient of the Energy Efficiency Excellence (EEE) Award, granted by the Department of Energy (DOE).

Likened to planting 177,000 trees on the campus, the plan for the campaign was to lower the university’s carbon footprint by 1000 tons every year.

The University of the Philippines Manila became a recipient of the EEE Award in December 2023. The award recognizes its commitment to implementing and embracing energy efficiency and conservation programs, including practices and innovations. The university was among the 27 government institutions that became an awardee.

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