Today @ Colorado State has been replaced by SOURCE.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

Ten things to know about sustainability at CSU

March 20, 2014
Kortny Rolston

Colorado State University recently achieved the highest score ever reported to Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Reporting System - or STARS - a national survey that measures sustainability efforts at universities and colleges across the country. Here are 10 things that helped CSU earn the top score:

  1. Eighty percent of CSU students register a bike to commute to campus. More than 50 percent bike as their primary transportation to campus.    
  2. CSU has one of the largest solar arrays on any college campus. The 5.3 megawatt, 30-acre, 23,000-panel solar plant is located on CSU’s Foothills Campus.  
  3. CSU operates a composter that processes 100,000 pounds of food waste every year.
  4. CSU diverts roughly half a ton of food waste a  day via a partnership with the city of Fort Collins. The food waste is sent through the wastewater treatment plant to power the city’s biogas boiler. Diverting the food from the landfill reduced the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from decomposing waste.
  5. CSU has more than a dozen sustainability immersion programs including study abroad and alternative spring breaks.
  6. CSU’s Warner College of Natural Resources sponsors a sustainable living community for students who live on campus. Located in Summit Hall, the Natural Resources and Sustainability Community is open to students from all academic programs. Students participate in sustainability initiatives and field trips in Fort Collins and throughout Colorado.
  7. CSU has high standards for construction projects, whether they are new buildings or renovations. In the Laurel Village redevelopment, crews diverted 93% of all deconstructed materials from the landfill; sending them instead to be recycled, reused, etc.
  8. CSU has cut water use by 24% over the past 10 years even though the size of the campus and student population has increased. One of the keys is the amount of water used in laboratories. The Chemistry Building, for example, consumes 12 million fewer gallons of water than it once did because of equipment upgrades and concerted conservation efforts by occupants.
  9. More than 75 percent of CSU’s faculty members are engaged in sustainability-related research. Of the 2,633 courses CSU offers, 794 are sustainability related. Many are endorsed by CSU’s School of Global Environmental Sustainability.
  10. More than 25 percent of food served in CSU dining halls comes from local sources or is organic. The student-run Aspen Grille, for example, gets many of its greens and other vegetables from Harvest Farms, a branch of the Denver Rescue Mission.