The Center for Sustainability opened in 2012, but our commitment to a sustainable future began long before that. Since Chancellor Coombe signed the American College and University President's Climate Commitment in 2007, we've been developing new strategies for long-term change, centered on our campus in south Denver and stretching beyond our boundaries to collaborate with the community at large. In addition to major advances in greenhouse gas reductions, green construction and our food supply chain, we've also worked to establish connections with the communities who have historically suffered the most as a result of the changing climate — underrepresented groups and marginalized populations are central to our sustainability efforts, and no plan for a sound environmental future can succeed without centering these groups in the discussion.
We continue to push forward hand-in-hand with our partners on campus and across the Denver region, making new connections and elevating diverse voices along the way.
Sustainability Through Social Justice
The climate crisis has affected all communities around the world, but none more so than those already experiencing high levels of poverty, oppression or marginalization. Indigenous groups, women, people of color and those in poverty face the greatest pressure from a changing environment, along with organizations like family-owned businesses and companies without the capitol to face the growing effects of the crisis.
As an anchor institution in the Rocky Mountain West, we're focusing on building partnerships with organizations led by people from these groups, along with veterans, immigrants and other marginalized minorities. Our facilities team strives to work with contractors from these groups as we update our buildings and campus spaces, and our partners at Sodexo are working with family-owned farms to bring locally sourced foods to campus. It's an ongoing effort, and we continue to work to ensure that any climate solution honors the University's commitment to inclusive excellence.
Annual Greenhouse Gas Audit
Each year, we conduct a full review of our impact on the environment through a comprehensive greenhouse gas audit. Calculating our energy usage and emissions from all sources, the audit helps us establish benchmarks for progress and measure the efficacy of our various carbon-cutting initiatives.