Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 88.14
Liaison Tonie Miyamoto
Submission Date Dec. 6, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Colorado State University
EN-10: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Tonie Miyamoto
Director of Communications and Sustainability
Housing and Dining Services
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Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability :
ClimateWise

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? :
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe?:
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus?:
The partnership simultaneously supports social equity and wellbeing, economic prosperity, and ecological health

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners in strategic planning, decision-making, implementation and review? (Yes, No, or Not Sure):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability, including website URL (if available) and information to support each affirmative response above:

Colorado State University has been a City of Fort Collins ClimateWise partner since 2000 and has been recognized as a Platinum partner since 2009. ClimateWise is a program to engage the business sector in climate action planning and project implementation. The university has representation in all of the planning of the City's Climate Action Plan including the most recent Road to 2020 Framework. CSU has modified our campus Climate Action Plan to better reflect alignment with the timeline in Fort Collin's plan. CSU continues to implement energy efficiency, energy conservation, waste reduction, transportation options, and renewable energy projects to reduce GHG emissions – helping both the university and the community reach our shared climate goals.

CSU supports the ClimateWise partnership materially and financially by providing staff time to participate in ClimateWise programs, strategic planning, mentoring other partners, and recognition events. CSU supports ClimateWise financially by implementing identified strategies to save energy and water, improve use of alternative transportation, and grow social sustainability efforts through energy and water efficiency projects, expansion of transportation options, and partnerships with local non-profits like Homeward Alliance and the Food Bank. The efforts that CSU engages in through ClimateWise often benefit the community as a whole.

ClimateWise addresses all three dimensions of sustainability by saving environmental resources (most notably energy and water); saving participating organizations money through reduced utility and transportation bills, and supporting and engaging the most vulnerable members of our community and employees of participating organizations through the social responsibility badge, which focuses on volunteering, partnering with local non-profits, employee wellness programs, flexible scheduling, equitable purchasing, supplier diversity, and supporting community programs.

As the City of Fort Collins (including citizens and ClimateWise partners alike) embarks on the next stage of their climate action journey, several efforts are advancing in parallel through an integrated approach known as Our Climate Future. Various CSU programs and individuals are engaged to help co-create equitable solutions to achieve the community's energy, zero waste, and climate goals. The process is intentionally designed to ensure equitable engagement across our community, connect to and/or provide services for historically underrepresented groups, and be sure that the planning group of individuals are representing diverse perspectives and voices.

https://climatewise.org/projects/1055-fort-collins
https://www.fcgov.com/climatewise/
https://ourcity.fcgov.com/ourclimatefuture


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):
Climate Reality Pledge - Commitment to 100% Renewable Electricity by 2030

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (2nd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (2nd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus? (2nd partnership):
The partnership supports at least one, but not all three, dimensions of sustainability

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners in strategic planning, decision-making, implementation and review? (2nd partnership) (Yes, No, or Not Sure):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability, including website URL (if available) and information to support each affirmative response above (2nd partnership):

In 2017 then Colorado State University President Tony Frank signed the Climate Reality Pledge committing CSU to transition to 100% renewable electricity by 2030. Campus sustainability representatives immediately started reaching out to and engaging community partners, namely the City of Fort Collins and our major utility providers, City of Fort Collins Utilities, Xcel Energy and Platte River Power Authority, to see how we could partner on this commitment. Months of engagement, lobbying, and collaborating paid off in 2018 when we were thrilled to recognize these partners for making similar commitments on a much larger scale.

We are stronger together and feel so fortunate that our City and local utility providers are visionaries who joined us in leading the way to a clean energy future.
o On October 2, 2018 the City of Fort Collins City Council adopted a resolution for community-wide 100% Renewable Electricity by 2030. City of Fort Collins Mayor Wade Troxell, Kevin Gertig, Executive Director of Fort Collins Utilities, and Tim McCollough, Deputy Director of Fort Collins Utilities Light and Power, attended the CSU Sustainability Milestones event during Earth Week 2019 to accept certificates of appreciation and recognition from CSU for their efforts.
o On December 4, 2018 Xcel Energy announced a commitment to be 60% carbon-free by 2026, 80% by 2030, and 100% by 2050. Xcel is Colorado’s largest utility provider and was the first major utility provider in the nation to make this commitment. Dan Clark, Xcel Energy Key Account Manager, and Lucas McConnell, our Xcel Energy Area Representative, attended the CSU Sustainability Milestones event during Earth Week 2019 to accept certificates of appreciation and recognition from CSU for their achievement.
o On December 6, 2018 Platte River Power Authority Board of Directors adopted a resolution for 100% carbon-free electricity by 2030, becoming one of the first local utility providers in the nation to make such a commitment. Jason Frisbie, General Manager/CEO of PRPA and Alyssa Clemsen-Roberts, Chief Strategy Officer, attended the CSU Sustainability Milestones event during Earth Week 2019 to accept certificates of appreciation and recognition from CSU for their efforts.

The commitments both at CSU and the City were inclusive and participatory with public input. At CSU, more than 4,000 students signed a student-led pledge in support of renewable energy and the President's Sustainability Commission reviewed the proposal with multiple stakeholders on campus before endorsing, including student leadership representing underrepresented students. The City passed the resolution at City Council, which has a public forum to discuss all resolutions ahead of resolution votes.

CSU supports the Climate Reality Pledge financially and materially by dedicating staff time and resources to expanding renewable energy installations on campus (we now have 15 solar arrays on main and foothills campus and two on satellite campuses) and by purchasing renewable energy credits to achieve the goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2030. In 2019, CSU invested in RECs to offset 25% of the total electricity use on campus, making significant progress towards the commitment.

The 100% renewable electricity pledge was an important step in supporting equity both on campus and in the local community as prior to this commitment, community members could only access renewable electricity by paying additional fees on utility bills or paying to have renewable electricity systems installed on their home. This created a system wherein wealthy members of the community could access renewable electricity while economically-disadvantaged community members, often people of color, could not. With local utility providers, the City, and CSU all on board and making steady progress towards the 100% commitment, all members of the community now have access to renewable electricity through the grid at no additional cost.


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):
Transit Partnership

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (3rd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (3rd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus? (3rd partnership):
The partnership simultaneously supports social equity and wellbeing, economic prosperity, and ecological health

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners in strategic planning, decision-making, implementation and review? (3rd partnership) (Yes, No, or Unknown):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability, including website URL (if available) and information to support each affirmative response above (3rd partnership):

Colorado State University and the City of Fort Collins have an industry-leading transit partnership. Through a student transportation fee and dedicated CSU funding from parking revenue, the City's transit system, Transfort, receives more than $2 million annually from CSU and in turn CSU campus IDs for student, faculty, and staff function as an all-access bus pass including access to all City bus routes, the MAX rapid transit line, and the on-campus shuttle. CSU previously constructed the City's Campus Transit Center in the Lory Student Center through funding from the Federal Transit Administration ensuring access for those dependent on transit. Our success yields 30% of our students reporting transit as their primary mode of transportation (CSU 2018 Mode Split Survey).

Detailed data collection collected by the City is shared with CSU each month and tracks the number of users per stop across the entire system, allowing routes and times to be adjusted as needed to best meet the needs of transit users. To see an example visit http://coloradostate.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=011dc587b34d48518b3d042150aa6aaf. Data collection is also done in a participatory and inclusive process with surveys and census data collected in-person used to identify low-income and/or car-free neighborhoods to expand routes and service to those who most need it, with a focus on vulnerable and underrepresented populations in our community. CSU's financial and material support of the system helps keep fare rates low for community members.

​On April 16, 2019, the City of Fort Collins City Council approved City Plan-Planning Our Future Together (https://ourcity.fcgov.com/cityplan). This planning effort completely updated the Transportation and Transit Master Plans through extensive public involvement and engagement, including underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations. CSU served on multiple City steering committees to ensure our students, employees, and visitors were aptly represented. CSU distributed a survey campuswide along with hosting a public open house to ensure our transit dependent commuters were represented (https://source.colostate.edu/city-hosts-open-house-on-planning-for-csu-employees/). Citywide, nearly 1,300 participants provided feedback in-person or online on three different future land-use and transportation scenarios, with the majority preferring the scenario with the greatest concentrations of corridor infill development, high-frequency transit-service and mobility options. Further, CSU sits on the Transportation Equity Subcommittee (https://www.fcgov.com/socialsustainability/transportation-subcommittee) that crafted the Health Equity Index (Page 23, City Plan) as a composite measure of overall health equity in Fort Collins and includes equity and health indicators to ensure the equitable distribution of transportation investments across the City. These index includes factors isolating student neighborhoods using census factors: 1) Households at or below the Federal Poverty Level, 2) Hispanic/Latinx population, 3) Non-white (minority) population, 4) Disability Status and 5) Households without a vehicle.

CSU represents half of the ridership on MAX, the rapid bus line that runs North to South across town. On home football game days, the CSU Athletics funds free ridership on MAX to reduce congestion and encourage the use of public transportation to the game. The on-campus stadium seats 40,000 and Transfort reported an average of 9,100 riders for each game. City representatives are at MAX stations on game days to assist new riders in person and call in more buses as needed. ​​An ADA shuttle is also funded from the MAX and an accessible parking lot to provide a connection directly to the stadium.

This strong partnership also extends to cycling with the both the City of Fort Collins and CSU recognized as Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly by the League of American Bicyclists.


A brief description of the institution’s other community partnerships to advance sustainability:

Additional Alternative Transportation Partnerships –
Bikeshare/PACE – https://www.fcgov.com/transportationplanning/bikeshare
Zipcar - http://www.zipcar.com/universities/colorado-state-university


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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