Today @ Colorado State has been replaced by SOURCE. This site exists as an archive of Today @ Colorado State stories between January 1, 2009 and September 8, 2014.

Environment / Sustainability

We're all about green

January 27, 2011

CSU is internationally known for environmentally conscious initiatives and clean-energy research including alternative fuels, clean engines, photovoltaics, "smart" grid technology, wind engineering, water resources and satellite-based atmospheric monitoring and tracking systems.

Possibilities are limitless

It’s great to be green. It’s even better that, for many decades, Colorado State University has advanced green technology and sustainability with efforts that go far beyond just changing light bulbs.

Sustainability forever

Coming soon: RecycleMania, a national competition to promote recycling and waste reduction, which officially kicks off Feb. 6 on campus. CSU has typically placed among the top universities with one of the highest recycling rates. The yearly competition is led mostly by students.

While CSU faculty, staff and students help keep campus as sustainable as possible, efforts also reach far and wide to advance green technology and research throughout the globe.

Check out an updated compilation of green initiatives and activities at CSU.


Onward and outward

More than 150 faculty members are active in research related to sustainability and clean and renewable energy alternatives. CSU is on the map in part because of people like engineering Professor Bryan Willson, who helped develop a cleaner-burning, more efficient cookstove that has been lauded by the environmental community worldwide and is now being sold in India.

And Diana Wall, an ecosystem scientist in the biology department and director of CSU's School of Global Environmental Sustainability, or SoGES, has completed 21 research seasons in the Antarctic Dry Valleys examining how soil food webs and ecosystem processes respond to global change.

Our green home

Closer to home, former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter is joining CSU this spring to head a new national policy center focused on building the new energy economy. On Feb. 1, Ritter will be director of the Center for the New Energy Economy and senior scholar within SoGES.

“Clean and renewable energy is a new economic frontier, and it’s important for Colorado and our country that we continue to position ourselves as leaders in this emerging economy,” says CSU President Tony Frank.

Under Ritter’s leadership, the policy center will help build essential partnerships around research-based clean energy solutions, workforce development and advancement of technologies that will fuel long-term, sustainable economic growth.

Even more green

CSU students have been a big part of campus conservation efforts in general. Over the past year or so, after nine new buildings opened on campus, the University’s energy usage went down. Cooler weather contributed to the reduction, but so did measures put in place to reduce energy use across campus. We cut our greenhouse gas emissions by about 3 percent in Fiscal Year 2009, says Carol Dollard, Facilities energy engineer.

But wait, there’s more

Following is a small – very small – sampling of green projects happening at CSU.

  • A 5.3-megawatt solar plant is the largest at a United States university and large enough to provide one-third of the power at CSU’s Foothills Campus.
  • The University was chosen by the United Nations for its 2010 North American launch of the Decade for Deserts and the fight against desertification.
  • The Center for the Advancement of Sustainable Enterprise at CSU’s College of Business recently launched a new, innovative program to make companies more valuable through sustainable business practices.
  • A unique agreement has brought together CSU and The Ohio State University to explore energy and environment-related research and economic development opportunities.
  • A biomass boiler produces energy from pines destroyed by beetles.
  • Graywater systems use shower water from Aspen Hall for engineering research on reusing water.

CSU is proud of its holistic approach to sustainability. From eating with corn-based, compostable utensils to riding bicycles to learning from researchers who are already changing the world, the community at our land-grant University is making a difference in all things green.