External Partnerships

Partnerships, memberships and special initiatives

Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education

CSU is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education Member (AASHE), a network of colleges, universities, businesses, and nonprofits working to attain sustainability goals at their institutions. As an AASHE member, Colorado State University completed the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) in 2011, and has been recognized with a Gold rating, and achieved one of the leading scores in the nation. This self reporting tool offers a comprehensive look at campus wide sustainability efforts.

Bike Advisory Committee

The Bike Advisory Committee promotes a safe and enjoyable bicycle experience on campus through
awareness, planning, and education.

City of Fort Collins ClimateWise Partner

Colorado State became a ClimateWise partner in 2000, joining local businesses in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the quality of life in Fort Collins.

Clean Energy Supercluster

The Clean Energy Supercluster is an alliance of academic researchers, economists and business experts that encourage collaboration and address global challenges.

Climate Action Plan (CAP)

In 2010, Colorado State University released its first Climate Action Plan (CAP) to define a path towards climate neutrality. The CAP outlines strategies to guide the university to carbon neutrality by the year 2050. The strategies include: energy efficiency, renewable energy, high performance buildings, sustainability practices such as recycling, composting, transportation options, and environmental education. The CAP is a “living document” and has already been updated twice, first in February 2013 and again in July 2015. Colorado State University is a signatory of the Carbon Commitment (formerly known as the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment). To track our progress, Colorado State also completes an annual greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory.

Colorado Anemometer Loan Program

Directed by Michael Kostrzewa of CSU’s Mechanical Engineering Department, the Anemometer Loan Program is a partnership between CSU, the Governor’s Energy Office, and the U.S. Department of Energy. Anemometers are instruments used to determine the feasibility of wind energy in a specific location. The program assists qualified applicants to determine if their site is a good location for wind development and provide assistance through free access to equipment, installation, and assessment.

Colorado Joint Forestry Memorandum

In 2010, four of Colorado’s leading natural resources organizations announced a first-ever official interagency Memorandum of Understanding between the Colorado State Forest Service, Colorado Association of Conservation Districts, Colorado Natural Resources Conservation Service and Rocky Mountain Region of the U.S. Forest Service to improve resource stewardship in Colorado.

Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory

The collaboratory is a research partnership among the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Colorado State University, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and the Colorado School of Mines. The collaboratory works with public agencies, industry partners, and other universities and colleges to develop renewable energy products and technologies for rapid transfer to the marketplace. It also supports economic growth with renewable energy industries and educates energy researchers, technicians, and workforce.

CSU Pledge for White House Climate Day of Action

As part of the American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge, CSU put forth the following pledge.

EPA Green Power Partner

Colorado State University is a member of the EPA’s Green Power Partner, which provides a powerful platform for utilities, state agencies, and other organizations implementing energy efficiency programs to make a bigger difference in their communities. As a Green Power Partner, CSU has agreed to procure at least 4 percent of its electric usage from green sources.

Federal presence near Colorado State

Colorado State University has forged a strong partnership with federal agencies that share research interests with the University and have located branches in Fort Collins or the region to facilitate this strong collaboration with CSU and other research partners. Federal agencies located in the region include the:

  • Natural Resources Research Center
  • National Center for Atmospheric Research
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

CSU researchers served as Lead Authors on current and previous Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment reports and have led the development of the soils components of the IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. CSU faculty contributed significantly to the Panel’s analyses in climate modeling, greenhouse gas inventory and mitigation, carbon cycle science, terrestrial carbon stocks, and more. Their work contributed to the Panel’s sharing in the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

International Partnerships

Colorado State faculty are engaged in a number of collaborative international partnerships related to the environment. CSU’s international environmental projects have included climate change and ecosystems work in Antarctica; work with the Agharkar Institute (governmental research institute) in Pune, India, to develop bioremediation technology for the cleanup of wastewater contaminated with explosives; international projects on river and stream ecology; a monumental, long- term water project in Egypt funded by the nation’s government; and a special partnership between the China Academy of Sciences and CSU’s Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory focused on carbon sequestration and the environment.

Northern Colorado Clean Energy Cluster

CSU is a lead partner in the Northern Colorado Clean Energy Cluster, a clearinghouse announced in 2006 that connects entrepreneurs and major power users with researchers and government officials, encouraging innovation, new job creation, and investment in the region. The Clean Energy Cluster has already produced several technology transfer opportunities including collaborations between Colorado State University’s Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory in the College of Engineering and such companies as Solix Biofuels Inc. and Spirae Inc.

North American UNESCO Water Center

Colorado State is a founding member of the first North American UNESCO water center approved by the United Nations. With this agreement, roughly 120 professors conducting water-related research at Colorado State will provide guidance on issues facing the world including: hydrologic and hydraulic engineering; water planning and systems management; water policy development and governance; ecosystem sustainability; socioeconomic analysis; conflict resolution; and global change.

The university’s College of Engineering in 2010 formalized the agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Institute for Water Resources, which is the lead institution in the new water center, known as the International Center for Integrated Water Resources Management. The center is based in Fort Belvoir, Va., and is part of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization or UNESCO. Other participating institutions in the new UN center include USAID, The Nature Conservancy, the State Department, U.S. Geological Survey, University of Arizona and Oregon State University.

Pierre Auger Observatory

Colorado State is the sponsoring institution for Colorado’s involvement in The Pierre Auger Cosmic Ray Observatory in southeast Colorado, which provides a new window through which scientists can study the universe’s highest energy particles, which shower down on Earth in the form of cosmic rays. CSU, joined by associate member institutions Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University-Pueblo, and University of Colorado-Boulder, along with Lamar Community College, have been part of the effort since 2004 to build the Pierre Auger Observatory Northern Auger Site near Lamar.

Rocky Mountain Sustainability and Science Network

Colorado State is the lead institution in the Rocky Mountain Sustainability and Science Network formed in 2010 and funded by a $500,000 National Science Foundation grant. The network brings together 15 universities and institutions in the intermountain West to interest undergraduate students in science, biology and global sustainability with experience-based learning opportunities.

President’s Sustainability Committee

President’s Sustainability Committee has the important role of providing the President and Cabinet a variety of perspectives on sustainability, energy, and the environment from various parts of the campus community. The committee advises the University President, the Provost and Executive Vice President, and all other members of the President’s Cabinet on the best methods of integrating energy issues, environmental stewardship, sustainability principles, and community action into campus operations, in the interest of improving efficiency, generating awareness, and being a responsible public organization.

Talloires Declaration

CSU signed onto the Talloires Declaration in 2001, committing to the establishment of programs in all major disciplines to teach about the environment, population, and sustainable development. The Talloires Declaration was the first official statement of a commitment to environmental stability in higher education. The Declaration is a 10-point action plan for incorporating sustainability and environmental literacy in teaching, research, operations, and outreach. More than 440 university chancellors and presidents have signed from more than 54 countries.

U.S. Green Building Council Member

In FY02, CSU Facilities Management joined the U.S. Green Building Council. Council members work together to develop LEED products and resources, the Greenbuild Annual International Conference and Expo, policy guidance, and educational and marketing tools that support the adoption of sustainable building.

Workplace Charging Challenge Partner

CSU, a Workplace Charging Challenge Partner, is a charter member of Drive Electric Northern Colorado – a partnership to achieve deployment of electric vehicles. CSU has 18 charging stations and has previously received grant funding from the Colorado Energy Office to install two dual chargers in the Lake Street Garage, an International Parking Institute (IPI) Green Garage Council Demonstration Site.