The Sustainability Council — the first official institutional body on campus to directly address sustainability issues — was formed in 2007, following the University's commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Composed of students, staff and faculty, the Council helps guide and shape the policies and programs that bring the University closer to that goal, working closely with the surrounding community to ensure a just and sustainable future for all.
Interested in learning all about how the Sustainability Council is structured, its goals, and its processes?
Manage the Green Fund
With an initial investment of $5 million, the Green Fund has continued to grow as it provides support for energy upgrades and other sustainability projects.
The Council contributes to data collection for our AASHE STARS rating, creating plans to improve scores through the work of our sustainability committees.
Develop Campus Sustainability Plans
The Council has created several of our institution's plans for sustainability improvements and long-term community-building around sustainability concepts, and it continues to develop a three-year timetable that will inform our strategies through 2025.
Define DU's Sustainability Policies
Council committees draft and pass policies that help move the University toward achieving its sustainability goals, including the Sustainable Food Policy, new policies around sustainable materials procurement, and guidance for future native, xeriscaped, or gardening spaces on campus.
Sustainability Council Leadership
The Sustainability Council elects a Chair and Vice Chair to serve 2-year terms. The Chair and Vice Chair call the meetings to order, set agendas, take meeting minutes, work with the committees to set goals, and communicate with the rest of the Council about future meetings and other business. The Chair and Vice Chair are compensated $5,000 and $3,000 respectively, over the course of the year.
Sustainability Council Committees
All committee meetings are open to anyone who is interested in learning more or making a difference in an area of passion or expertise, even if you are unable to attend the quarterly Council meetings.
See previous agendas and minutes from Sustainability Council Meetings on our Microsoft Teams page here.
Focused on incorporating sustainability into all aspects of the student experience. This includes tours, orientation, student organizations, support services, student government, co-curricular opportunities and more. Get connected and find out about the Student Experience Committee’s next meeting by joining them on Microsoft Teams here.
Grounds & Gardens
Focused on sustainable landscape management of campus grounds. This includes work to reduce irrigation requirements by increasing food gardens and native, pollinator, and/or xeriscape plantings, as well as connecting campus landscape projects to classes or research opportunities. Get connected and find out more about the Grounds and Gardens Committee’s next meeting by joining them on Microsoft Teams here.
Focused on sustainable dinging and food options on campus in support of the Sustainable Food Policy. This includes work with local and sustainable food procurement, preparation, education, and waste, in partnership with Sodexo dining and catering, the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality, and event planners across campus. Get connected and find out about the next Food Committee meeting by joining them on Microsoft Teams here.
Focused on reducing the campus carbon footprint from electricity and natural gas consumption. This includes identifying energy efficiency projects, renewable energy opportunities, behavioral change, educational outreach, and carbon offsets. Connect with the Energy Committee and learn about their next meeting by joining them on Microsoft Teams here.
Focused on reducing the campus carbon footprint from transportation while improving access and equity for all mobility users. This includes projects and policies that address the university fleet, commuting options, and walking and bicycle infrastructure improvements. Connect with the Mobility Committee and learn more about their next meeting by joining them on Microsoft Teams here.
Procurement & Materials
Focused on sustainable purchasing and full lifecycle analysis of materials on campus, including disposal. Includes work creating specific language for contracts, participation and membership in trade groups, and more. Connect and learn more about the Procurement Committee’s next meeting by joining them on Microsoft Teams here.
Curriculum and Research
Focused on incorporating sustainability topics across the curriculum to all colleges of DU while supporting research opportunities in sustainability on campus and off. This includes work on campus-wide learning objectives, and sustainability literacy assessment, coordinating opportunities across campus, and building interdisciplinary teams. Connect to the Curriculum and Research Committee and find out more about their next meeting by joining them on Microsoft Teams here.
Join the Sustainability Council
We seek input and engagement from any and all interested people from the DU community. Our meetings are open to the public and we’d love for you to join us. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information about when and where the next meeting will be.