New report details how CU is limiting its environmental footprint

2023 CU Sustainability Report details ongoing efforts across system
By Staff

The newest CU system Sustainability Report was recently released, highlighting campus sustainability efforts and progress toward strategic plan metrics and goals.

This is the second edition of the report, which is revised and published every two years. This year’s introduction by CU President Todd Saliman emphasizes the need for a steadfast focus on the work being done.

“Demonstrating a commitment to preserving our limited natural resources and reducing our impact on the environment are among our top priorities at the University of Colorado,” Saliman writes. “CU should be a leader in advancing sustainability by making real progress toward our long-term goal of carbon neutrality.”

To be formed later this year, a new systemwide working group will help to identify more ways to advance sustainability at CU and to inform future strategic plan goals.

“This will complement the important work our campuses are already doing on this critical priority,” Saliman writes.

The new report highlights sustainability progress in areas such as:

  • CU’s continued emphasis systemwide on renovation and repair over new construction
  • Building upgrades paid from utility cost savings
  • CU’s development of more sustainable purchasing practices
  • Academic offerings on all CU campuses promoting sustainability

The 27-page report, prepared by the Office for the Vice President for Budget and Finance, focuses on sustainability in the built environment.

“The four campuses of the University of Colorado are united in their passion to create opportunities to reduce campus energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,” the report states. “The university recognizes that it has an important part to play in combating climate change.”

All four campuses recently completed building performance audits to identify and evaluate possible energy-conservation measures, the report states. As a result, the campuses will be pursuing building upgrades beginning in the next year to be repaid from utility cost savings in the future; the practice is known as Energy Performance Contracting.

The CU system’s current sustainability goals are expected to be evaluated and modified during continued strategic planning in 2025 and 2026.