Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 72.81
Liaison Ian Johnson
Submission Date March 4, 2022

STARS v2.2

Colorado College
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Ian Johnson
Sustainability Director
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address sustainability in curriculum and/or research?:

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to academics and the plan(s) in which they are published:

Colorado College has identified the following areas of improvement:
1. Designate an additional 150+ courses as sustainability course offerings and increase the number of departments with sustainability course offerings by eight.

2. Work to increase the number of students graduating from programs requiring an understanding of sustainability from 22% to 100% of the student population.

3. Conduct a pre- and post- assessment to the entire (or predominate) student body, directly or by a representative sample annually.

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address student, employee, or community engagement for sustainability?:

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to engagement and the plan(s) in which they are published:

1. Colorado College is exploring opportunities to meet with different military, government, and faith-based groups in an attempt to bridge the gap between demographic groups and bring thoughtful, fact-based information about climate change to groups may not otherwise engage with the topic.

2. The college is working to increase overall sustainability engagement in the greater Colorado Springs community.

3. Increased communication and student participation in sustainability efforts will result in better environmental performance specifically an improved STARS performance and reduced carbon emissions. It will remove barriers to campus-wide participation in sustainability efforts, increase Office of Sustainability and Sustainability Council presence on campus, promote student involvement with sustainability efforts, and create project accountability.

4. The measurable objectives associated with tracking community service hours are; setting a goal to increase community service hours in the future (once current hours can be accurately tracked); Growing and encouraging a volunteer base; Creating awareness of differing social statuses; Fostering positive relationships with the outside community; and increasing STARS performance.

5. Synergy House: "Together, we strive to be a center for environmental awareness, education, and innovation on campus. In addition, we are always looking for new and different ways to carry out our daily activities in order to reduce our footprint and live together more cohesively."
The Synergy House is Colorado College's first net-zero energy building, designed as a prototype for students to study and discuss as the college moves toward carbon neutrality.

6. The Semester in Environmental Education will increase the number of environmental education certified students and solidify Colorado College's collaborative relationship with the Catamount Center. This semester has the potential to foster the creation of a Sustainability Literacy Assessment while also increasing the number of students exposed to this assessment. In the fall of 2015, all of the students at the TREE semester took this assessment.

7. The State of Sustainability Report is continually used as a reference manual for students, faculty, staff, and especially the Campus Sustainability Council. The report informs goals and decisions related to sustainability and directly impacts the STARS rating of the school as well as the number, type, and robustness of sustainability efforts. This report will continue to have tangible impacts into the future.

8. The State of Sustainability Report is an innovative step in improving a sustainable culture and involving the entire college community; it engages the college employees in demonstrating the commitment of the college community to the core value related to nurturing an ethic of environmental sustainability; The students and local community would observe, experience, learn, and participate with college employees in changing the culture and setting examples for integrating sustainable practices into everyday work and living activities; and those positions with specific responsibilities for achieving sustainability related performance goals would have those relevant duties listed by supervisors.

9. The measurable outcomes include: Additional program staff would affect carbon neutrality goal and STARS Platinum goal through increased time to focus on and coordinate these efforts; Provide full-time assistance to sustainability director to oversee growing sustainability efforts across campus; Ability to continue growth of sustainability efforts across campus; Improve ability to focus on and achieve carbon neutrality and STARS Platinum; Paraprofessional position creates an interim career-track position that sets a trajectory and provides professional experience and references beyond the current sustainability intern positions; Paraprofessional position creates a peer bridge between students and Sustainability Director; Permanent manager position would allow for continuity in operations; Program growth further removes barriers to participation.

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address sustainability in operations?:

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to operations and the plan(s) in which they are published:

Strategic Plan, Carbon Action Report
1. The goal of replacing end-of-life, high-energy science lab equipment with energy efficient equipment options will contribute to carbon neutrality by reducing carbon emissions. The college capital equipment purchasing office is willing to cover the incremental cost of the more efficient replacement equipment budgeted in science department operating budgets.

2. The Robson Ice Arena construction on campus is about 50% complete, with move-in planned by October, 2021. Once opened, the college hockey team and coaches will save driving about 10 miles one-way every day across town to the World Arena for practice and games over a period of about eight-months each year. The elimination of cross-town commuting will greatly reduce the hockey team’s carbon footprint. The Robson Ice Arena was designed as a high-performance building per the Colorado College Design Guidelines Manual. The Manual provides a comprehensive description of the college’s criteria and procedures for the design of High Performance Sustainable Facilities, and specific design and built environment requirements for various system elements of facilities and infrastructure at Colorado College. The energy model for the arena projects a very low energy use intensity (EUI) of 84 kBtu/SF/yr compared to the campus recreational Honnen Ice Arena EUI of 348 kBtu/SF/yr, and compared to a majority of existing ice arenas across the country. Robson Ice Arena has a proposed 20.2% energy usage savings over a baseline system from the ASHRAE 90.1-2010 standard baseline.

3. The Colorado College Central Heating and Cooling Plant has been undergoing annual efficiency improvements in controls and operations to significantly reduce water use and energy use. Steam applications around campus have been eliminated where they dictated maintaining higher Central Plant high temperature hot water circulation temperatures during warmer weather. These improvements have enabled the Central Plant to operate more efficiently, resulting in lower energy usage and reduced costs.

4. Colorado College began purchasing all electricity under Colorado Springs Utilities green power tariff January 1st, 2020. The tariff provides power from the Grazing Yak and Palmer Solar Arrays with renewable energy credits through contract with Colorado Springs Utilities. 5.3% of the electricity consumed was produced from on-campus solar arrays. Students gained educational experience by participating in the installation of PV solar panels at the college Baca Campus. The Robson Ice Arena currently, under construction, has a PV solar-ready roof and parking ramp which are intended for an approximately 1 MW net-metered PV solar array installation with a demand shaving battery storage system financed through a planned power purchase agreement (PPA).

5. The college Building Automated System (BAS) controls servicing campus building operations are continually being upgraded through annual phasing to keep up with the latest technology and being programmed to more efficiently manage energy and water consumption. Recent upgrades provide trending log capabilities designed to track building energy and water usage around the clock and through seasonal changes for benchmarking and better understanding usage patterns so that control programs can be adjusted accordingly to save energy and water.

6. The Colorado Springs Utilities company offers many rebates for the purchase of appliances and other energy and water consuming products as sustainability incentives for reducing energy use and water use.

The college takes advantage of these opportunities to save costs and to encourage continuance of the public rebate programs for the community.

7. Project Description: The planned Utility Master Plan Project, delayed by COVID, will update our 1998 utilities master and align it with our 2015 Campus Master Plan and 2017 Campus Master Plan Update .

· The plan will be completed in phases to address utility infrastructure condition assessments, identify future energy efficiency projects through the proper sizing and types of utilities serving campus buildings, locate utilities infrastructure serving buildings and campus in geographical information system (GIS) data format.

· The utilities master plan will identify ways to provide secure and reliable natural gas supplies to maintain uninterrupted operations of the campus facilities.

· Electrical services upgrades would be identified to reduce energy costs through metering strategies to reduce demand charges (similar to Robson Arena), implement demand peak shaving strategies, implement power factor corrections, and install on-campus PV solar and battery storage systems to reduce demand peaks.

· The utilities master plan will identify optimal Central Plant controls upgrades to improve efficiency, improve self-automation reliability and safety measures, and improve plant reliability which would enable plant operators to respond to campus after-hours emergencies.

· The utility master plan measurable objectives for utility systems include: summer energy savings, improved systems reliability, and improved occupant comfort.

· The utility master plan measurable objectives for buildings retro-commissioning frequency strategies are: reduced energy use and increased occupancy comfort.

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address diversity, equity, and inclusion; sustainable investment/finance; or wellbeing?:

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to administration and the plan(s) in which they are published:

In the 2018/2019 academic year, Colorado College underwent an external review on racism and pledged to become an anti-racist institution.
The External Review of Racism is posted here:

The goals highlighted in the plan:
- Establish antiracism, equity, and inclusion as foundational to
our community expectations
- Invest in student antiracism resources and efforts
- Support and engage all faculty and staff in antiracism work
- Make antiracism a central value in CC’s academic and cocurricular programs
- Increase compositional diversity of CC community
- Make antiracism central to CC’s communication

The steps that went into creating the Anti-RAcism plan went as follows:
Education: The CC Board of Trustees, Cabinet, faculty, and staff participated in diversity and inclusion workshops. The board, Student Life and Admission divisions, and invited members of the Colorado Springs Police Department worked with a national expert in diversity and inclusion, and Dr. Paul Buckley, assistant vice president and director of the Butler Center, led multiple workshops for employees all summer. Nearly 200 employees — 150 staff and 44 faculty — attended the new workshops titled “Toward a Daily Anti-Racist Agenda.” Now, 53 percent of faculty and 34 percent of staff have completed the Excel at CC “Good to Great: The Journey to Inclusion” program. Workshop opportunities will continue during the academic year; registration information is forthcoming.

New Student Orientation: The Butler Center and Accessibility Resources provided incoming students with a session, “Sense of Community: Developing Solidarity,” to teach skill building and dialogue practice and share a common vocabulary used in social justice work. The session gave new students the history and context of last spring’s racist email, and informed students of the anti-racist work CC is pursuing. Students were encouraged to engage in teaching and learning opportunities around these issues and pursue social opportunities for intercultural exchange, identity development, and ideology interrogation, and were asked to be responsive when issues arise and seek support when needed.

History: The Butler Center, Communications, and two interns worked this summer to envision and begin a project to give voice and visibility to members of CC’s community of color, telling their stories — the pain and difficulty as well as the strides and achievements. We must acknowledge, listen to, and learn from both positive and negative experiences. These stories will appear on our website and in other communications soon.

Anti-discrimination process: In response to student concerns, a new anti-discrimination process has been adopted. The goal is to provide a consistent process for everyone, and to be as transparent as possible. Our anti-discrimination policy applies to all constituents at the college: faculty, staff, students, and visitors. In the past, student reports regarding any non-gender or sex-based discrimination were made to Student Life, the Butler Center, and other offices, and handled in various ways. Now those seeking informal resolutions and those filing formal complaints alleging discrimination of any form can access the same process.

Dr. Paul Buckley will join the Anti-Discrimination Team (formerly the Title IX Team) to oversee student cases that don’t involve Title IX. That team is comprised of Professor Gail Murphy-Geiss, Title IX coordinator; Rochelle Mason and Barbara Wilson, deputy Title IX coordinators; the sexual assault response coordinator; and Dr. Buckley. The team meets blockly to monitor the policy, process, use, access, problems, etc. and to manage cases together. The same trained investigators will be used for all cases across the college.

Efforts during the 2018-2019 academic year:

External review: We will conduct an examination of racism at CC to audit our policies, practices, structures, and communications, as well as our academic and co-curricular programs. I have assembled a steering committee of students, faculty, staff, and alumni to guide this yearlong effort. This group is considering proposals from national firms and planning the work to begin this fall. Thanks to these committed members of our community.

Everyone who helped out on this initiative are:
Claire Garcia, professor of English
Neena Grover, professor of biochemistry, Faculty Executive Committee chair
Christina Leza, associate professor of anthropology
Shawn Womack, associate professor and chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance
Mario Montano, associate professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology

Administration and Staff
Alan Townsend, provost
Paul Buckley, assistant vice president, director of the Butler Center
Mike Edmonds, vice president for student life, dean of students
Felix Sanchez ’93, assistant vice president for communications
Maggie Santos ’86, director of campus safety and emergency management

Precious Cooper ’20
Alexandra Rivas ’19
Cameron Mongoven ’21

Nancy Hernandez ’96, equity specialist coordinator, Western Educational Equity Assistance Center, Metropolitan State University of Denver
Sonlatsa Sunshine Jim-Martin ’94, Native American alumna and activist
Tafari Lumumba ’05, trustee, associate attorney, Gibson, Dunn, and Crutcher LLP

More information on the report can be found here:

Does the institution have a published strategic plan or equivalent guiding document that includes sustainability at a high level? :

The institution’s highest guiding document (upload):

Website URL where the institution’s highest guiding document is publicly available:
Which of the following best describes the inclusion of sustainability in the highest guiding document?:
Major theme

The institution's sustainability plan (upload):

Website URL where the institution's sustainability plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have a formal statement in support of sustainability endorsed by its governing body?:

The formal statement in support of sustainability:

The institution’s definition of sustainability:

The Colorado College mission commits us to providing the finest Liberal Arts education in the country by embodying our core values. Among our core values are to live with integrity; serve as stewards of the traditions and resources of Colorado College; nurture a sense of place and an ethic of environmental sustainability; encourage engagement and social responsibility at local, national and global levels; and seek excellence, constantly assessing our policies and programs. Sustainability isn't optional for the Colorado College community; it's who we are and how we have defined ourselves. We aspire to make Colorado College a model for campus and community sustainability - an academic village that instantiates a commitment at all levels to a sustainable and desirable future, not only for the human economy but for the larger ecosystem in which it is embedded.

Is the institution an endorser or signatory of the following?:
Yes or No
The Earth Charter No
The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) No
ISCN-GULF Sustainable Campus Charter No
Pan-Canadian Protocol for Sustainability No
SDG Accord No
Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment (formerly known as the ACUPCC), Resilience Commitment, and/or integrated Climate Commitment Yes
The Talloires Declaration (TD) No
UN Global Compact No
Other multi-dimensional sustainability commitments (please specify below) No

A brief description of the institution’s formal sustainability commitments, including the specific initiatives selected above:

The Office of Sustainability is investigating joining the SDG Accord.

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability planning efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.