Be Pioneering

Academic Excellence in Research and Personal Development

For decades, the University of Colorado Boulder has stood at the forefront of sustainability in higher education, supporting on-campus initiatives, advanced research, and academic programs that respond to the need for responsible engagement with our natural resources. We strive to persistently encourage our students to pursue innovative conservation methods, helping them develop a thorough understanding of how best to integrate sustainable practices into the working world.

Our commitment to fostering the development of tomorrow’s leaders in sustainability begins with our students. Since its establishment in 1970, the student-led Environmental Center (EC) – now the largest in the United States — has effectively coordinated the ecological efforts of the academic community in Boulder, creating and executing new initiatives while engaging the student body. The EC also provides direct services to the university community, including recycling, public transportation, and various renewable energy and conservation programs. This brand of direct student involvement sets the stage for our ongoing aspirations towards complete carbon neutrality, promoting a hands-on approach to the development of new programs. The University of Colorado Boulder is proud to facilitate the successful heritage of student leadership that the Environmental Center demonstrates.

The city of Boulder, Colorado has rallied around this cause as well, becoming an example in sustainable practices for communities across the country to follow. Situated within this haven of environmental stewardship and driven by our ongoing dedication to creating a more sustainable future, we’re able to draw leaders in the field to help shape our educational offerings and programs.

Additionally, CU-Boulder has relentlessly pursued and supported the best in scientific research in an effort to help shape the future of sustainable business practices and renewable energy. Working in partnership with prestigious research centers and organizations, our findings have resulted in numerous dramatic discoveries in the fields of energy production, waste reduction, and conservation.

Some of CU-Boulder’s most notable achievements and accolades include:

  • Home of the first renewable energy purchase, first zero-waste collegiate athletic program, and first collegiate recycling program in the U.S.
  • The first to receive a GOLD rating in the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS) nationwide (AASHE)
  • “Green college” listed in Princeton Review’s “Guide to 332 Green Colleges: 2014 Edition”
  • Rated Sierra Magazine’s “most eco-enlightened” university for 2009
  • U.S. News and World Report: #86 for National Universities (2014)
  • One of 34 U.S. public institutions belonging to the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU) and the only member in the Rocky Mountain region
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA)
  • First public university in Colorado and the flagship of the four-campus University of Colorado System

The Greenest University in America