It is gratifying to see our local communities working hand-in-hand with our leaders in Congress, the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency on such an important issue as energy sustainability.
It’s my pleasure to welcome all of you to our campus, one of the greenest campus communities in the nation according to several trade groups and publications.
Also a special welcome to Congressman Jared Polis and Mayor Susan Osborne, our hosts today; Sen. Michael Bennet; former Gov. Bill Ritter; EPA Region 8 Administrator James Martin; and Senior Advisor Kerry Duggan of the Department of Energy.
It’s exciting that you are examining energy sustainability today in a comprehensive fashion through housing, land use and transportation.
At CU-Boulder our goal is to take the lead as a model community in all these areas of energy sustainability. As we know, many of society’s greatest advances and achievements were born at a university.
So it pleases me when I can say that we have reduced total energy use by 23 percent and stabilized carbon emissions at 2005 levels, even though the campus has grown by 1.5 million square feet in facilities since that time.
We are greening our utility infrastructure puts us on target to reduce our carbon emissions by 20 percent by 2020.
We now have 14 campus buildings that are LEED certified or pending LEED certification, including the building we are in today.
The new Williams Village North residence hall opening to students tomorrow will be the nation’s largest LEED-Platinum student housing complex when it is certified.
Not only is Williams Village North on track for LEED-platinum certification, but also it is housing two residential academic programs on “Sustainable Design” and “Sustainable Justice.”
If you arrived here by U.S. 36 you probably saw the solar photovoltaic arrays in the Williams Village complex including those on the new carport producing 145,000 kilowatt hours per year of electricity flowing into the university grid – enough electricity to power the equivalent of 20 single-family homes for a year.
Our zero-waste game-day stadium debuting in 2008 was the first of its kind and we are pleased that many major collegiate stadiums and professional sports franchises have followed our lead.
In land use, striving toward our ultimate goal of carbon neutrality is a major component of our 10-year master plan to be adopted this fall. It stresses sustainability in both our land use and transportation with leading-edge standards and it calls for aggressively pursuing public/private partnerships to fund campus renewable energy including large-scale PV arrays.
In transportation, researchers in our Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute, in partnership with Toyota, are field-testing consumer experiences and technical aspects of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in Boulder households.
Buff Buses on campus run on 100 percent biodiesel, from used cooking oil collected from dining and residence halls.
The university provides Regional Transportation District Eco-Passes to all faculty, staff and students, following the lead of students, who 20 years ago voted to raise their student fees to purchase pre-paid bus passes for all students.
University communities like ours are obligated to lead the way to a sustainable future. I would like to again welcome each of you. We are pleased to have you on campus for this vital discussion.