How We Do It

Our Work in Sustainability

Thanks to an engaged student body, the dedicated efforts of full-time sustainability staff, and the many staff members who have committed to making sustainability part of their work, DU has built a variety of initiatives to bring our campus closer to its 2025 and 2050 sustainability goals. In doing so, we've integrated environmental responsibility into virtually every facet of operations here at the University.

From retrofitting old buildings with green technology and building energy-efficient new ones to redefining how we process trash and food waste, we've developed a long-term strategy that aims to reduce our environmental footprint and elevate the communities most impacted by unsustainable practices and systems. 

We've accomplished a great deal, but sustainability is a process, not a destination. Together with our students, faculty, staff and the region that we call home, we aim to make DU a leader in the environmental revolution.


Sustainability Goals: 2025 Targets

45% reduction in carbon emissions from 2007 levels

40% less water used for irrigation

70% diversion rate of waste from traditional landfills

arial view of campus

The Built Environment

The buildings where we live, work and play are among the most significant contributors to DU's negative impacts on the environment. We've focused considerable effort on revamping our older buildings to increase energy and water efficiency while creating stringent requirements for any new construction on campus. Together, with the beautiful outdoor spaces that make our campus one of the most attractive in the nation, these strategies for sustainable development will help shape a healthier, more equitable future for all in our community and beyond.

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2050 Our goal is to be carbon neutral by 2050.

Water & Energy

We've developed aggressive plans for reducing our energy usage and water consumption, working closely with our facilities staff to improve efficiency and educate our students and the community about sustainable best practices.

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Food & Waste

Between our on-campus gardens, the Sustainable Food Policy and our community's ongoing efforts to increase the amount of waste that is either composted or recycled, we're leading the way in changing how our community thinks about food and trash.

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Travel & Mobility

Our campus is seamlessly integrated into the Denver area with thoughtful, accessible transportation options like the light rail and a thriving community of cyclists. We empower the DU community to take advantage of their RTD EcoPass or Student Pass, which provide unlimited light rail and bus service, while always working to increase mobility options so that it's easier and more convenient to get where you need to go without a car.

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a group in the mountains

Community-University Partnerships

We've worked hard to build strong relationships with businesses, non-profits, and government agencies around the city and the region to amplify our work toward a just and sustainable future. DU Grand Challenges and its Urban Sustainability Cohort put thriving community partnerships at the center of their work to advance the public good. Whether we are working with food justice organizations like GrowHaus to provide healthy, local fruits and vegetables; increasing access to nature with the Metro Denver Nature Alliance; or working on service projects with community partners each year for our Earth Day of DU-ing, we know that by working together, we all win.

Sustainability Stories