Office of Sustainability

*** 2014 ***

UCCS Dining and Food Services (DFS) starts the new semester under their own management. DFS strives to cultivate and nurture a healthy campus culture where access to wholesome, seasonal, and local food directly links to wellness, sense of place, and environmental protection. 

Construction of a 3000 sq. ft. greenhouse on campus allows for local produce to be incorporated into UCCS Dining and Food Services. Students learning about the farming practices utilized in the UCCS greenhouse.

Compass Curriculum, started in 2008, has reached phase two, which includes sustainability as one of three integrated components implemented into curriculum taken by each UCCS student.

Alpine Parking Garage & Field construction completed. Location for the University's first EV charging stations. 

Take Back the Tap initiative promotes the use of reusable water bottles. Through funding provided by the Green Action Fund (GAF), the entire freshman class was given reusable water bottles to utilize the many refilling stations.

With the campaign initiated to stop the sale of bottled water on campus, a bill was drafted by students and put on the Spring 2011 ballot. The bill passed to eliminate the sale of bottled water on campus by Fall 2014.   

*** 2013 ***

The Flying Carrot students serving parfaits made from local foods at the annual Bike Jam event. The Flying Carrot was founded by Nanna Meyer, a UCCS sports nutrition professor, to promote food literacy on campus in collaboration with Pikes Peak Community Foundation.

 The first annual SUSTAINOVATION panel and tabling event was hosted to celebrate successes in sustainability within the campus community.

 Copper House and Eldora House construction completed. Both achieve LEED Gold certification.

With the launch of the Greening of the Office Program (GOTO), the Office of Sustainability hopes to collaborate with faculty, staff and students in an effort to reduce the university's energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

*** 2012 ***

Compost collection added to UCCS waste diversion program. Compost is collected at the Lodge, University Center, and Family Development Center. Diversion rate increases to over 40 percent. Read more.

UCCS Sustainability Strategic Plan 2012-2020 completed by staff, faculty, and students with input from the entire campus. You can read it here.

Sustainable Me Freshman SeminarFreshman Seminar course "Sustainable Me" taught for the first time.
Students use ecological footprint tool to measure and change behavior during the 12 week course.

Ground breaking for new student residence halls. LEED Gold planned for both buildings.

Lane Center for Academic Health Services breaks ground. LEED Gold planned for building.

Nancy Gadachy presented with Campus Sustainability Award for her work with Goodwill and Blue Star Recyclers to reduce landfill waste for housing village move-out. 

*** 2011 ***

UCCS receives a Silver rating in the Sustainability Tracking Rating and Assessment System directed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). The assessment tool measures performance in the areas of Planning, Administration, and Engagement; Education and Research; and Operations.

Centennial Hall (formerly Science) Renovation completed.
Achieves LEED Gold for Commercial Interiors.
UCCS garden

Demonstration and xeriscape garden completed behind Centennial Hall.

25kW photovoltaic solar system installed
on the roof of Centennial Hall.

UCCS Solar Fee repurposed to fund Green Action Fund. A committee of mostly students, and some faculty and staff direct these funds toward sustainability projects on campus proposed by members of the UCCS community.

UCCS Bookstore wins the Campus Sustainability Award
for its consistent dedication to sustainable products, recycling efforts, and education of customers. Find out more here.

*** 2010 ***

The third LEED Gold building on campus, the Gallogly Events Center, opens.

Judith Rice-Jones, recently retired long-time advocate for sustainability, receives second annual Campus Sustainability Award.

UCCS establishes a zero-waste goal with its first zero-waste event, the men's and women's basketball games for Blackout Night in the new LEED Gold Gallogly Events Center.

UCCS students collaborate with Colorado Springs Utilities and a local engineering firm to perform energy audits for small businesses.

UCCS completes its first Climate Action Plan. The report details plans to reduce carbon emissions through energy conservation campaigns, retrofit projects, high performance new building, greening of the grid, and pursuing renewable energy.

*** 2009 ***

UCCS receives its first external sustainability assessment. The Sustainable Endowments Institute awards UCCS an overall grade of 'B' on the 2010 College Sustainability Report Card, including 'A's' for the subjects of 'Administration' and 'Investment Priorities'. See the full report here.

UCCS Receives USGBC LEED Gold Certification for Science & Engineering Building

Science & Engineering Building receives LEED Gold Certification as well as awards.The Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES) declared it the winner of 2009's 'Renewable Energy and Sustainable Design in Buildings Award'  in the Institutional Buildings category. ColoradoBiz magazine,in partnership with the American Institute of Architects, Urban Land Institute, and the U.S. Green Building Council, presented the 'Colorado Sustainable Design Award, Commercial Category', to the Science & Engineering building.

Tom and Carole Huber receive 2009 Campus Sustainability Award

 First-ever Campus Sustainability Award was presented to Tom and Carole Huber, Professor and Senior Instructor in the Geography and Environmental Studies Department respectively, for their passionate support of sustainability over the years.

UCCS Receives USGBC LEED Gold Certification for Recreation Center

The first high-performance building on campus and the first public building in Southern Colorado to receive this designation, the Recreation Center is awarded LEED Gold Certification.

UCCS completes its first internal sustainability assessment,
AASHE's pilot of the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS).

*** 2008 ***

UCCS holds its first Sustainability Summit. Five local and global leaders in sustainability engaged students, faculty, staff and local community members in a variety of sustainability issues.

UCCS is one of 70 institutions participating in the pilot of AASHE's Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS).

First Campus Sustainability Report is published. The report was designed to communicate university sustainability milestones and successes to the campus and the Pikes Peak community at large.

Students Overwhelmingly Approve Solar Fee: Referendum #2, Solar Energy, was passed during April 2008 campus elections by 76% of students. The student-initiated statute supports a $5 fee per semester to install solar panels on university buildings. This money was used to install a thin-film solar photovoltaic system on the roof of the Science & Engineering Building.

*** 2007 ***

UCCS Sustainability Strategic Plan

University develops its first Sustainability Strategic Plan. The five-year plan provides five-year targets, performance indicators, and action steps in improving sustainability in leadership, education and operations on campus.

University incorporates sustainability for the first time in the UCCS Strategic Plan 2007-2012.Sustainability is featured as one of 15 strategic goals for the university to becoming a sustainability leader in the Pike Peak region.

UCCS is a charter signatory to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). The entire CU System has signed this commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and aim for carbon neutrality. 

*** 2006 ***

Initiated update of Facilities Strategic Plan (formerly Campus Master Plan) with significant focus on sustainability. The architects for this project were chosen in part for their strong experience in sustainable planning including LEED-ND (Neighborhood Development). Sustainability is a main theme of the final plan for the UCCS campus.

Chancellor Shockley-Zalabak reconvenes a broader Sustainability Task Force to develop a Sustainability Strategic Plan with measurable 5-year targets, timelines and processes to achieve goals outlined in the initial Sustainability Task Force Final Report. The task force consists of more than 40 faculty, staff and student from Business, Engineering, Health Sciences, Sociology, Geography and Environmental Studies, Anthropology, Communications and Administration.


UCCS joins Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, AASHE. Students and faculty from UCCS have presented at and attended national AASHE conferences.

Geography of Panama class


UCCS approved a new multidisciplinary Minor in Sustainable Development. Courses from Geography and Environmental Studies, Communications, Philosophy, Sociology, Political Science, History, Chemistry, and Biology are included.

Fall Freshman Seminar introduces a course specifically on sustainability.


*** 2005 ***


UCCS becomes member of US Green Building Council, USGBC.The USGBC is the nation's foremost coalition of leaders from across the building industry working to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable, and healthy places to live and work.

University signs Memorandum of Understanding with Fort Carson, a leader in the sustainability arena, to collaborate on sustainability initiatives as part of their SEMS program.

UCCS Sustainability Strategic Plan

UCCS hired its first Sustainability Officer and created the Office of Sustainability. Colorado Springs was the first campus in the CU system to have a designated Sustainability Officer. This office currently manages the Energy Performance Bond, the recycling program, and collaborates with faculty, staff and students on sustainability initiatives.

The UCCS Sustainability Committee developed the Sustainability Goals for UCCS Final Report, which outlined a sustainability vision and mission for the university and identified three areas of concentration: Leadership, Education, and Operations.

University secured a $1.3 Energy Performance Bond to pursue energy and resource conservation measures. The bond is expected to be repaid through energy cost savings and measures are expected to result in significant future cost avoidance for the university. A lighting retrofit has already been completed. Plans for an upgraded Building Automation System, purchase of energy efficient mechanical equipment, and water saving strategies are also being pursued.

*** 2004 ***

Sustainability Symposium. The Social Science Symposium Committee partnered with SEAS and the Faculty Sustainability Committee to host a three-part multidisciplinary series on sustainability. Sustainable engineering was addressed in a talk entitled "Engineering with Soul: Sustainability Engineering and International Development" by Bernard Amadei, CU Boulder. Hilary Mizia, New Belgium Brewing Company, presented "Brewing Sustainability: The Business Case for Sustainability." Thoric Cederstrom, Counterpart International, delivered "Malnutrition at the Margin: The Political Ecology of Global Hunger and the Sustainability of International Food Aid". The purpose of the symposium was to raise awareness of how different disciplines are incorporating sustainability into their work. Sessions were attended by students, faculty, and community members.

*** 2003 ***

Students for Environmental Awareness and Sustainability

Students for Environmental Awareness and Sustainability, SEAS, student club created. Students organized renewable energy fairs and Earth Day events, pushed for green buildings on campus, and created a campaign to save energy by encouraging the turning off of lights. Students worked with the head of IT (Information Technology), Student Government Association and the Faculty Assembly to set all of the printers in computer labs on campus to duplex-printing as the default.

*** 2002 ***

Campus Sustainability Committee formed. This committee advocated for a sustainability office, a sustainability focus for curriculum, and increased sustainability in the operations of the campus. Many of the following accomplishments can be attributed to the dedication of the Campus Sustainability Committee.