Sustainable CU: The Environmental Improvement Initiative

Published: Feb. 11, 2015

In spring 2005, University of Colorado Boulder students voted to dedicate a portion of student fees to implement on-campus projects incorporating renewable energy, energy efficiency, recycling and waste reduction, and other innovative projects to reduce the CU-Boulder campus' impact on climate and environment.

Sustainable CU funds are used for: capital investment, the purchase of infrastructure necessary for the initiatives, installation of capital projects, educational displays related to the capital projects, and any other non-staff operating costs associated with the initiatives. Particular attention is paid to initiatives created and led by students. The Sustainable CU fund is administered by the Environmental Center. Examples of previously funded projects are listed below.

Request for Proposals 2014-2015

For 2014-2015, approximately $150,000 is available for disbursement in two funding cycles depending on the size of the project. 

Small grants program (up to $2,500) 

Applications are accepted via an online form for small scale projects requesting $2,500 or less. Deadlines for 2014-15 are the first Monday of the month in November, January, February, March and April.

Small grants fund expenses such as infrastructure, contractor fees, consumables and equipment rentals. Sustainable CU does not pay for applicants’ own labor. However, fees charged by third-party professionals, e.g., architects and electricians, are funded by the program. Funded small projects must be fully executed within three months of the date of the award. An interim progress report must be submitted no later than six weeks after grant submitters have been notified that their project has been funded. Funding will be withdrawn if projects do not meet completion deadlines in the absence of a compelling written request for extension. A short final report is due once the project has been completed; 10 percent of funds will be withheld until the report is received. Guidelines for progress and final reports are available from the Environmental Center upon request.

Large grants program (over $2,500)

Large grant proposals are being accepted and considered in two cycles this year, one in the fall semester and one in the spring semester. Applications for grant proposals over $2,500 are due Friday, Feb 15, 5 p.m.

To apply for a large grant, please download and complete the large grant PDF template. This template contains submission guidelines, including eligibility, requirements, submission format, timeline, and evaluation criteria. You may attach brief appendices if necessary. You may work on responses in word and copy-paste them into the PDF if you want to keep indentations and formatting. You can only save changes in a downloaded form of the template. 

You may submit your own budget or use a budget template; save your budget as a PDF and attach it with your completed application. Send the template, budget and attachments to ecenter@colorado.edu.