Published: Feb. 3, 2020

The first Earth Day was held across the United States on April 22, 1970. It motivated student organizers at CU Boulder to push for an institution dedicated to sustainability and later that year the Environmental Center was born. Fifty years later, CU’s environmental center continues to lead the way in sustainability across campuses worldwide. Here’s 10 major milestones in CU’s green history.

  1. Squirrel helping recycleFirst university to create a student-led Environmental Center. (1970)

  2. Created the first-ever campus-wide recycling program. (1976)

  3. Provided comprehensive bus passes for all students, the first of their kind. (1991)

  4. Began the purchase of renewable energy credits. (2000)

  5. Installed the campus' first solar panels on the UMC. (2004)

  6. Created the Sustainable CU Grant. (2005)

  7. Became the first university to pledge carbon neutrality. (2007)

  8. Created the Zero-Waste Stadium program at Folsom, another first for NCAA D1 schools. (2008)

  9. Joined as a founding member of the University Climate Change Coalition. (2018)

  10. Became the first university to sign the UN's Sports for Climate Change Action Framework. (2019)  

Photo by Glenn Asakawa