Winners announced for annual Phoenix Cup Energy Competition

The fall semester competition challenged Elon students, faculty, and staff to reduce energy use.


This year’s Phoenix Cup Energy Competition saw record-breaking participation, with students, faculty and staff committing to conserve nearly 5,900 pounds of carbon emissions—the equivalent of driving a car 6,559 miles.  Throughout the community, Colonnades C conserved the most energy with a decrease of 5.09 percent.  

First-place winner Julia Needham
Phoenix Cup is a series of three-week competitions aimed at reducing Elon’s collective ecological footprint. To compete, participants completed three weekly checklists that included personal and social habits meant to reduce energy consumption. New this year, competitors were able to earn additional points by attending a variety of Phoenix Cup events, including a Loy Farm Tour and a showing of “Disruption,” a documentary about the devastating consequences of climate change. 

Phoenix Cup offers a variety of ways to earn prizes, including participation prizes (win a prize each week simply for completing the checklist), top student prizes, top faculty and staff prizes, and prizes for the top building in each neighborhood. 

This year’s individual student winners include Julia Needham, Scott Echols and Maurice Tosé. Faculty and Staff winners include Melissa McBane, Barb Carlton, and Ginny Brown. These individuals earned a variety of prizes, including Eno Hammocks, solar chargers, Phoenix Cash and more!

First-place winner, Julia Needham, participated in a variety of events, including the Sustainability Walking Tour and Loy Farm Tour.  Beyond the events and prizes, Needham noted, “I really like that Phoenix Cup teaches you about small, accessible changes that you can make in your life that will have a substantial positive impact on the environment. The competition doesn’t ask you to stop driving your car or start handwashing all your clothes but instead encourages you to become more conscious of the choices you make throughout your day.”

Another new feature of this year’s competition was a top building in each neighborhood, based on energy savings and resident participation. The top building prizes included the symbolic adoption of an animal from the World Wildlife Fund.   

These residents also earned bragging rights, complete with a “Phoenix Cup Winner” sign placed outside of their building. Top buildings in each neighborhood include Colonnades C, Danieley M, Global A, the Innovation House, Sloan, Station at Mill Point 141, and Oaks B. 

The next Phoenix Cup competition will happen in the spring with a focus on landfill waste reduction.