Sustainability is a fiber woven into Colorado State University’s academic and student experiences, research, operations and outreach, all across campus and throughout its satellite campuses and Extension offices.
A commitment to discovering and implementing efficient ways to use limited resources can be traced back to the founding of the University as a land-grant institution committed to a better understanding of humans and the environment and how the two co-exist.
Since its first campus farm opened in 1888, CSU has been dedicated to connecting classroom learning to real-world applications. Through research in laboratories, field courses at its mountain campus, and more than a dozen sustainability immersion programs across the globe, our faculty and students continue to identify and develop solutions to today’s most pressing challenges.
The campus farm, founded by Ainsworth Blount in the late 1880s, tested crops to determine what grew best in Colorado’s arid, high-altitude lands. The endeavor spawned the commitment to environmental research that embodies CSU’s investigation into climate, natural resources, alternative fuels, and engineered innovations.
Unlike other institutions, CSU has no central sustainability office. Rather, the commitment is supported by all eight colleges and administrative divisions working together.
The mantle of sustainability has taken various shapes over the decades of University history, and the effort has been championed by individuals who helped shape policy and practice to ensure CSU was moving forward efforts to conserve our natural resources, discover new ways to create and use energy, and teach sustainability theory and practice to students. And there are still many areas CSU can improve.