CSU notches another platinum sustainability designation

climatewise-platinum-partnerGreen is gold these days, and in CSU’s case, green is consistently becoming platinum. As the accolades for the university’s green initiatives and achievements keep rolling in, the bar is being raised to a new standard where platinum designations are replacing gold as the new top achievement level

The most recent notable designation for CSU is the ClimateWise Platinum designation through the City of Fort Collins. ClimateWise is a free, voluntary program dedicated to helping businesses save money and reduce carbon emissions. ClimateWise provides best management practices and local resources to support individual business greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals. Businesses earn points in six key areas: Energy, Waste, Water, Transportation, Social Responsibility, and the WorkWise Challenge.

“I am a big fan of ClimateWise. I think they have accomplished so much, and it is a program that businesses of any size can participate in and feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves,” says Stacey Baumgarn, CSU’s campus energy coordinator and ClimateWise liaison. “In that way, I have always felt it is an important community partnership for CSU. This is a great program for us to stand together with other businesses in Fort Collins, and work together to reduce GHG emissions and environmental impacts, helping create great places to work.”

Recognizing that commercial and industrial businesses contribute just over half of overall greenhouse gas emissions, the voluntary program was formed to provide technical assistance, engagement and recognition for businesses that reduced GHGs. According to data from the city, over the past 15 years, the program has supported more than 370 business partners who have reduced emissions by an estimated 1.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent and saved $92 million through efficiencies and behavior change.

CSU already a climate leader

CSU is already a leader in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it’s not always easy being green for large employers. However, CSU’s size and business type allow points to quickly add up in a variety of areas. To put this accomplishment in perspective, a minimum requirement for ClimateWise Platinum designation is roughly 51 points. CSU reported projects and initiatives totaling more than 240 points from all across campus.

“We do huge amounts of efficiency projects each year, we have tons of employees and students using alternative transportation on a regular basis, and so on,” adds Baumgarn. ”I think it is important to demonstrate that CSU is practicing and committed to reducing our environmental impacts. We want to do that. Our students want us to do that. It’s the right thing to do.”

CSU will receive the designation at the City’s EnvirOvation celebration, a ClimateWise partner recognition and trivia challenge, on April 28, 3:30 -5:30 p.m. at the Drake Center. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Register by April 22 by emailing dharris@fcgov.com.