The President’s Sustainable Solutions Challenge encourages student-led innovation in sustainability on CU campuses. Students with ideas for sustainability innovations on their campus will compete for up to $2500 in cash prizes while gaining experience in leadership, entrepreneurship, and social enterprise.
The School of Medicine was awarded the Space Utilization Award from the International Institute of Sustainability in Labs (I2SL) in the fall of 2023. In late 2021, the Dean of the School of Medicine along with the Director and staff of Planning and Facilities, set out to better understand the use of lab space in 5 research buildings. It was understood that past allocation of space was no longer viable and a new approach for determining use and to maximize utilization of research space was needed.
The University has been proud to partner with Wompost (https://www.wompostcoop.com/) to initiate composting at some dining facilities on campus. Compost collection is taking place in Research 2, AHSB and Education 2 and we hope to grow collection of compost to other facilities across campus over time. Compost is an important part of our waste diversion efforts, coupled with Recycling collection. We hope to keep growing our waste reduction efforts and volume. In that light, we have also created new signage for our waste stream that is still going up across campus.
Fisher and Kimberly Clark have helped several labs on campus start a glove recycling program. To participate, only Kimberly Clark gloves can be recycled but they have 6 types of gloves (plus other PPE and eyewear) that can be purchased. Each lab collects the gloves and then takes the gloves to a large box on the RC2 dock. When this box is full, Fisher Scientific ships the box to a facility where it is recycled and then reports back to the university with waste diversion data.
You may have been forced to park elsewhere this past summer and fall while some of the parking lots were resurfaced. Apologies for the inconvenience, but the new parking lots are very nice – and they come with their own recycle/reuse story.
If you have been here in the evening or early morning, you may have noticed brighter parking lots and garages. Facilities Operations has upgraded the Monte Vista, Breckenridge and parts of the Aspen and Breckenridge lots to LED light fixtures which provide a 200% increase in lumens (brightness) while saving energy operational costs (they last longer) and reducing CO2 emissions by 9.5 metric tons (MT) per year.
To assist the University in long-range planning for these many goals from the state and the CU System, we are in the early stages of developing two plans that will assist in meeting these goals. The University is starting the development of an Energy Master Plan (EMP) that will define strategic, prioritized energy strategies. The EMP will also define CU Anschutz’s Sustainability and Energy Resiliency goals as they relate to energy, to support campus greenhouse gas reduction and resiliency in a financially viable manner. The expected strategies will include energy efficiency planning, conservation measures, continuous facility optimization, operations improvements, occupant engagement, and renewable energy. The plan is intended to serve as a long-term living document.
We continue to grow our EV infrastructure on campus with the addition of another Chargepoint Level 2, dual-port unit in the East Overflow lot, bringing our total to six Level 2 EV charging spots in the lot. We will keep expanding our Level 2 infrastructure for the general campus community as resources allow.
Over the past several sessions at the Colorado capitol, the state legislature has been active in addressing climate change policy by setting aggressive goals on state agencies, including higher education, and the business community to address cutting Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHGs) and Energy Use intensity (EUI) from facilities. CU Anschutz has been complying with these new protocols by placing all our facilities’ energy and GHG data into the EnergyStar Portfolio Manager. This allows us to track and monitor our data in real-time and more effectively plan for projects that will assist in meeting goals.
To minimize pollutants transported by stormwater runoff, the University of Colorado Denver | CU Anschutz Medical Campus implements programs in accordance with the Non-Standard Colorado Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit. The university is required to administer a Non-Standard Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) Permit #COR-070075. The University of Colorado Denver | CU Anschutz Medical Campus has a stormwater program which includes routine inspections on water quality facilities, targeting of excess nutrients, and education and outreach components.