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 achieved the first Platinum rating in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) in 2015. This self-reporting tool offers a comprehensive look at campus wide sustainability efforts. A CSU representative serves on the STARS advisory committee and CSU faculty, staff, and students often present at the national AASHE conference.

Bike Advisory Committee

Established in 2008, the CSU Campus Community Bicycle Advisory Committee (CBAC) offers support and guidance to enhance the bicycle experience for the CSU campus community as well as technical and planning assistance to CSU facilities and safety services. The committee is comprised of bicycle enthusiasts, police services, City of Fort Collins transportation personnel, CSU faculty, staff, and CSU students.

Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BioFin)

Andrew Seidl, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, works on the United Nations Development Programme’s Biodiversity Finance Initiative to create educational products and training on conservation finance and environmental mainstreaming. BIOFIN partners with the UN Convention on Biological Diversity to quantify country level biodiversity investment gaps and to identify policy strategies to bridge the gap.

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.

Colorado Joint Forestry Memorandum

The Joint Forestry Team’s purpose is to make recommendations that result in coordinated interagency delivery of forestry and conservation assistance for working forests, farms, and ranches. Team participants seek to improve the sustainability of the nation’s forests in order to provide optimum levels of public benefits and ecosystem services. 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 Energy Research 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; supports economic growth with renewable energy industries; and educates energy researchers, technicians, and workforce.

Drive Electric Northern Colorado

Drive Electric Northern Colorado (DENC) was formed to answer questions about electric vehicles, help people decide to drive an electric vehicle through ride and drive events and group buys, and partner with local governments and organizations to develop EV infrastructure. DENC is part of a national effort for communities to develop electric vehicle ecosystems that make EV ownership simple, convenient, attractive, and cost effective.

EPA Green Power Partnership

Colorado State University is a member of the EPA’s Green Power Partnership, 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. CSU has committed to 100% renewable electricity by 2030 and is making consistent progress towards that goal.

Federal presence near Colorado State University

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:

Future Earth

Future Earth is a major international research platform providing the knowledge and support to accelerate transformations to a sustainable world. Based at CSU’s School of Global Environmental Sustainability and several other hubs and offices around the world, Future Earth supports a vast network of researchers and practitioners involved in sustainability research, science communication, co-design and transdisciplinary research, and the science policy engagement.

Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative

A collaboration of international scientists dedicated to enhancing the use of soil biodiversity science and ecosystem services in policy and management of global terrestrial ecosystems. The Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative secretariat is housed at SoGES. The Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative made major contributions to advancing soil ecology knowledge and bringing it to global policy makers through publication of the Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas, a Status of the World’s Soil Resources report, and other peer reviewed publications. The Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative also organizes international meetings for their network of more than 1,000 scientists.

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.

Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)

CSU professor of anthropology Kathleen Galvin has been named as a lead author to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services’ (IPBES) Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Galvin is part the global assessment on biodiversity and ecosystem services team whose goal is to strengthen the science-policy interface on biodiversity and ecosystem services through an iterative process, at the same time recognizing and taking into account the polycentric nature and diversity of governance and knowledge systems at different scales. It is also expected that the assessment will support efforts for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity at the national and international levels.

International Partnerships

Colorado State University faculty are engaged in a number of wide-ranging and ongoing collaborative international partnerships related to environmental, social, and/or economic aspects of sustainability. Here are just a few examples: 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.

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.

CSU’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.

Prieto Battery

In 2010, Colorado State’s Clean Energy commercialization arm, Cenergy, co-founded a new company that manufactures batteries up to 1,000 times more powerful, 10 times longer-lasting and cheaper than traditional batteries — technology that could revolutionize the military, automobile and health care industries. Prieto Battery is the first startup produced by the business arm of Colorado State’s Cenergy. The technology was originally conceived by Amy Prieto, an assistant chemistry professor in Colorado State’s College of Natural Sciences. Prieto Battery aims to produce lithium ion batteries based on tiny or nanostructured materials on a mass scale.

Rocky Mountain Sustainability and Science Network

Colorado State is the lead institution in the Rocky Mountain Sustainability and Science Network (RMSSN) 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.

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

In FY02, CSU Facilities Management joined the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The USGBC is committed to transforming the way our buildings are designed, constructed and operated through LEED — the top third-party verification system for sustainable structures around the world. Every day USGBC is helping advance spaces that are better for the environment and healthier for us to live, work and play in. Through our community network, continuous collaboration with industry experts, market research publications and LEED professional credentials, USGBC remains a key driving force in the green building sector.

Workplace Charging Challenge Partner

CSU, is a Workplace Charging Challenge Partner and a charter member of Drive Electric Northern Colorado – a partnership to achieve deployment of electric vehicles. CSU has 42 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.