Published: April 9, 2021
Sustainable Solutions Challenge

The Environmental Center hosted the second annual Buffs Sustainable Solutions Challenge at which students presented their ideas for sustainable innovations and solutions for the University of Colorado Boulder campus. The students’ pitch presentations addressed environmental quality, natural resource use, social justice and economic longevity at CU Boulder and were evaluated based on anticipated impact, innovation, and feasibility. 

The five finalists competing in the pitch night were:

  • Resilient Parking Lots by Bryan Martino (first place winner)

  • SolMate OS by Simon Julien, Bridger Keally, Zachary Jacobs, and James Barnett (runner up) 

  • Campus Farm by Michael Quirk (audience choice award winner)

  • Community Solar by Justin Cochrane, Kelly Gallagher, Dan Perrone, Lizzy Macintosh, Felipe Faraco, and Chris Hamilton

  • Alternative Offsets for CU Athletics by Sara Starr, Bailey Nock, Paxton Smith, and Alex Hoots 

The winning proposals were awarded $1000 and $600 for first and second place.  The audience choice award received $400. 

This year’s panel of judges—Chief Sustainability Officer Heidi Vangenderen, Danielle Bilot from the Environmental Design program, and Anila Narayana as a student representative from the Environmental Board— asked tough questions, provided helpful feedback and chose the winners in a tight field of excellent proposals.  

In a year fraught with challenges, this was a challenge to actually enjoy.  Whether the idea won a cash prize or not, we hope to see the students’ positive ideas come to life.  The E-Center will be supporting the next steps of the process for each concept to work toward implementation so that they can make a real difference.  

Watch the 2021 Sustainable Solutions Challenge Pitches