When it is said that it’s the little things that make the big things possible, sustainability efforts at Colorado State University are the perfect example.
Recognized this week by APPA, a professional leadership group for educational facilities management divisions, Colorado State adds yet another accolade to its green award and recognition portfolio. This sustainability award recognizes educational facilities management units that have worked to embed sustainable policies and practices across the educational institution – a strategy that’s served the university well.
“Rather than one big thing, I think the secret to our success is in lots of smaller things,” said Carol Dollard, co-chair of the President’s Sustainability Committee and an engineer for Facilities Management at CSU. Dollard and a team of faculty and staff from across the campus have implemented dozens of sustainability initiatives across the university.
“Through research in laboratories, field courses at its mountain campus, and more than a dozen sustainability immersion programs across the globe, CSU’s faculty and students identify and develop solutions to today’s most pressing challenges,” said Paul Wuebold, APPA’s vice president of Professional Affairs and chair of the group’s awards and recognition committee.
Dollard cites multiple initiatives as contributing to the university’s success in sustainability, including 13 solar arrays totaling more than 6,700 kW, millions of dollars’ worth of energy and water conservation projects, 22 LEED certified buildings – with more being constructed, a significant decline in campus water use over the last decade while the campus population has soared, the university’s commitment to recycling, new alternative transportation initiatives, and the recent addition of composting efforts, which will expand in 2017.
“Sustainability touches on nearly every aspect of university operations here,” Dollard said. “It is at the heart of our daily life.”
Dollard, who has been at CSU for nearly 20 years, continues to work on new initiatives, including securing additional sustainable energy resources for the university, with the ultimate goal of bringing the university to carbon neutrality. “I want to demonstrate that an organization can be successful and thrive while minimizing its impact on the environment.”
Colorado State was one of eight universities recognized with the award, which was presented on July 12 in Nashville.
The award was introduced by APPA in 2012 to encourage creation and maintenance of sustainable campus environments. Award criteria is based on specific standards and processes applicable educational facility management, including educational curriculum and research, leadership and administration, maintenance and operations, energy and utilities, planning and construction, sustainability indicators, and sustainability innovations.
CSU has earned numerous recognitions over the last several years for its commitment to sustainability, including earning the first-ever STARS platinum rating for sustainability; being named among the top five Coolest Schools green ranking by Sierra magazine; and earning a place among Green Ribbon Schools, ranked by the US Department of Education. To learn more about sustainability at CSU, visit http://green.colostate.edu.