Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 88.13
Liaison Tonie Miyamoto
Submission Date Nov. 7, 2022

STARS v2.2

Colorado State University
PRE-2: Points of Distinction

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete N/A Tonie Miyamoto
Director of Communications and Sustainability
Housing and Dining Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s featured sustainability program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Sustainability Curriculum Integration

A brief description of the institution’s featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:

Each of Colorado State University's eight colleges offer at least one sustainability-related major or minor, along with multiple concentration and certificate options. The School of Global Environmental Sustainability offers several multidisciplinary minors open to any student at the university, including Global Environmental Sustainability, International Development, Sustainable Energy, Sustainable Peace and Reconciliation, and Sustainable Water.

Sustainability is deeply woven into CSU’s curriculum with more than 500 undergraduate courses that focus on or incorporate sustainability and over 300 graduate courses that focus on or include sustainability content. All 59 of CSU’s academic departments offer at least one course that is inclusive of sustainability and 64% of CSU students graduate from a sustainability-focused academic program and/or complete at least one course that is focused on sustainability.

To empower faculty members to develop new sustainability courses and integrate sustainability into existing courses, the School of Global Environmental Sustainability and the President’s Sustainability Commission partner to sponsor Sustainability Curriculum Innovation Grants, which are open to all instructors each fall and provide funding as well as coaching and resources. Proposals that integrate environmental, social, and economic aspects of sustainability as well as interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged. Instructors can submit proposals individually or as part of a team. In 2021, seven proposals were funded.

Which of the following impact areas does the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment most closely relate to?:

Website URL where more information about the accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
AC1, AC2, AC3, AC4, AC7

A photograph or document associated with the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Name of a second highlighted sustainability program/initiative/accomplishment:
Local and Global Food Security Services, Research, and Engagement

A brief description of the second program/initiative/accomplishment:

Colorado State’s integrated approach to addressing food security spans on-campus resources for students and employees, regional outreach across the State of Colorado, and global research and engagement efforts.

On campus, the Rams Against Hunger program provides a menu of services that support students, employees, and community members experiencing food insecurity including an on-campus food pantry, a meal-swipe program in the dining centers, pocket pantries across campus, a food recovery program after catered events, and in-person assistance with navigating federal SNAP aid. The University’s Agricultural Research, Development, and Education Center (ARDEC) hosts a student-run farm that started in 2020 and produces thousands of pounds of fresh produce for the CSU food pantry and local food bank. In 2021, students grew 6,200 pounds of produce to support food security efforts on campus and in the local community. The goal for 2022 is 10,000 pounds!

CSU Extension offices across Colorado sponsor the Grow & Give program that taps into the Colorado Master Gardener Program and volunteers across the state to raise and donate fresh fruits and vegetables for statewide distribution to community members experiencing food insecurity. The Grow & Give project launched in 2020 in response to skyrocketing food needs as unemployment and pandemic hardships impacted many communities. In 2021, 704 volunteer gardeners grew and donated more than 55,000 pounds of produce in 32 Colorado counties. The produce went to food banks, pantries, homeless shelters, and senior centers.

CSU’s new SPUR Campus in Denver features the Terra building which provides a no-cost opportunity for K-12 students and community members to engage with agricultural researchers testing temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide variables to maximize crop yields in growth chambers, take a community cooking class in the teaching and culinary kitchen, tour the green roof and greenhouses, and observe scientists assessing meat, dairy, fruit, and vegetable products in food labs. Middle school and high school students can enroll in CAM’s Ag Academy to explore complex problems and potential solutions around food security and agriculture.

On a global scale, scientists in CSU’s Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory conduct studies evaluating long-term impacts of agronomic practices on crop yields and livestock forage, agro-ecological constraints to climate change adaptation and mitigation, and unique land and water management approaches in dynamic, global agricultural systems. Sustainable solutions for local and global food challenges depend upon practical synthesis of this research and engagement with agricultural communities and farmers large and small. The outcome of this work enables farmlands, rangelands, and other food production systems to thrive in a changing world, along with the people who depend on them for food, fiber, and livelihoods.

Which impact areas does the second program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Campus Engagement
Public Engagement
Food & Dining

Website URL where more information about the second program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the second program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
AC9, EN3, EN13

A photograph or document associated with the second program/initiative/accomplishment:
Name of a third highlighted program/initiative/accomplishment:
Geoexchange System at Moby Complex

A brief description of the third program/initiative/accomplishment:

In 2020, Colorado State University installed one of the largest geoexchange systems west of the Mississippi. This GeoX system puts the Moby Complex, a 375,000 square foot multi-purpose athletic facility, which includes Moby Arena where the CSU basketball and volleyball teams compete, in alignment with the University goal to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040. The Moby Complex previously relied on heating from the steam system supplied by natural gas boilers. The building’s cooling came from old chillers. These outdated systems were carbon-intensive, aging past their useful working life, and inefficient. This project replaced the steam and cooling lines throughout Moby with a new six-pipe geoexchange system.

The GeoX system utilizes 342 wells, 550 feet deep, with over 70 miles of piping under the intramural fields, where the Student Recreation Center hosts Sports Clubs, Intramural Clubs, and multiple student activities everyday. The GeoX system is a closed-loop underground system that now provides the energy from the ground to heat and cool the building. Since the GeoX system was installed and the building HVAC systems were updated, total energy use for Moby has been reduced by more than 50%. Also, natural gas is no longer used to heat the building. Colorado State University and the local utility are committed to 100% renewable electricity by 2030, adding this facility to 42 on-site solar arrays and putting the Moby Complex on a path to net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

In 2021, CSU's GeoX system was recognized by ENR (Engineering News Record) Mountain States as Project of the Year.

Which impact areas does the third program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Campus Engagement

Website URL where more information about the third program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the third program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
OP1, OP2, OP5, Innovation A

A photograph or document associated with the third program/initiative/accomplishment:
Data source(s) and notes about 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.