Overall Rating Platinum - expired
Overall Score 85.29
Liaison Tonie Miyamoto
Submission Date March 23, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Colorado State University
EN-9: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Nik Olsen
Assistant Director of Administrative Communications
Office of the President
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “supportive”?:

A brief description of the institution’s supportive sustainability partnership(s) with the local community:

CSUCares provides assistance for local community members who are experiencing an immediate, severe, and temporary financial hardship due to an emergency. Eligible parties may apply for one-time grants, generally not exceeding $2,000, to meet financial needs not covered by insurance. 100% of donations received though CSUCares go to families in need. Past funding has gone to local victims of natural disasters including the significant 2013 front range flood and two forest fires in 2012.

CSUCares is an ongoing initiative with funding available and donations continuing to be received by the fund. In times of need, the fund sees both an increase in need and an increase in donations. Generally, grants are one-time grants designed to aid recipients in an initial response and recovery from a local natural disaster.

Colorado State University supports CSUCares by providing a panel of employees who determine is the eligibility and the level of need of the applicant. Additionally, CSU provides staff support to process incoming gifts and outgoing payments to recipients.

The CSUCares is governed by Advancement with a committee of CSU faculty and staff who review and approve applications.

Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “collaborative”?:

A brief description of the institution's collaborative sustainability partnership(s):

Climate Wise is a partnership between CSU, the City of Fort Collins and businesses in the community. The goal of the ClimateWise program is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by promoting waste reduction, energy savings, alternative transportation and water conservation. Local businesses that join the program are provided with: technical assessments and on-going support, public recognition (including the annual EnvirOvation recognition event), employee engagement and education, and networking opportunities.

The ClimateWise program is helping the Fort Collins community meet some of its greenhouse gas reduction goals highlighted in their Climate Action Plan. In 2013, participating business partners reduced greenhouse gas emissions by over 171,000 metric tons of CO2e per year and saved $15 million.

ClimateWise is ongoing with more local businesses joining every year. CSU supports ClimateWise by tying the CSU Climate Action Plan projects to the program, providing staff support, and funding program-related initiatives. Campus and local community members are engaged through numerous events, programs, communications, and interactions with the 360 local business partners.

Drive Electric Northern Colorado (DENC) is another example of a sustainability partnership in the local community. DENC brings together stakeholders in the community to participate in a first-of-its-kind effort focused on electric vehicle deployment. Led by the cities of Fort Collins and Loveland, Colorado State University, and the Electrification Coalition, and joined already by more than 20 additional organizations, Drive Electric Northern Colorado strives to generate interest and action in the area of electric vehicles.

DENC was formed as a multi-year initiative to help encourage electric vehicle communities. They are part of a national effort to develop electric vehicle ecosystems that hope to make ownership of an electric vehicle simple, convenient, attractive, and cost effective. CSU supports the partnership with technical expertise and grant-writing from the CSU Alternative Transportation Manager and volunteer hours and marketing for events held on campus through the Eco Leaders. The DENC interns are also former Eco Leaders and CSU students who are engaged in sustainability academically or through clubs and organizations on campus. Campus and local community members are engaged through frequent ride-and-drive events held on campus and in the local community. Four charging stations have been added to campus since the partnership began and numerous stations have been added in the local community to help the electric car community grow and thrive.

ClimateWise is governed by an advisory committee comprised of ClimateWise partners.

Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “transformative”?:

A brief description of the institution's transformative sustainability partnership(s) with the local community:

FortZED is a triple-helix partnership with local government, academia and industry. Its key partners include the City of Fort Collins, Colorado State University and the Colorado Clean Energy Cluster. It aims to transform the downtown area and the main campus of Colorado State University into a net Zero Energy District through conservation, efficiency, renewable sources and smart technologies. Students who live off campus were engaged as part of the Fort ZED ranger project - a peer to peer project intended to help students learn more about reducing energy use.

FortZed was launched in 2007 and continues to grow and evolve today. It is governed by an MOU between CSU, the City and the Colorado Clean Energy Cluster. The partnership supports economic prosperity by supporting local innovation and entrepreneurship and creating local green jobs. CSU supports FortZed by being a central partner working toward net zero, providing faculty and staff expertise, and sharing clean energy research and education. Relevant stakeholder groups are identified and engaged by the boundaries set by FortZed - all business and residents within the district are invited and encouraged to take part and many leading partners, like CSU, New Belgium Brewery, and Advanced Energy help spread the word. Stakeholders are also engaged via energy challenges, audits, and programs and events related to FortZed. The partnership proposes to institutionalize systemic change by working towards a net zero energy district by engaging the local utility provider and working with businesses and residents within the district to change behavior. With a direct tie to the City and CSU Climate Action Plans there are measurable metrics towards this goal that are shared with the public.

A brief description of the institution’s sustainability partnerships with distant (i.e. non-local) communities:

Colorado State University Extension, created under the Smith-Lever Act of 1914, reaches Colorado citizens in the state's 64 counties through country partnerships to provide research-based information on areas such as water quality and water saving, native plants, clean and renewable energy, food safety, and sustainable agriculture.

The Mission of Extension is to provide information and education, and encourage the application of research-based knowledge in response to local, state, and national issues affecting individuals, youth, families, agricultural enterprises, and communities of Colorado.

Extension is governed by the Vice President for Outreach.

The website URL where information about sustainability partnerships is available:

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.