Published: May 9, 2017 By

Monica Rowand came to CU Boulder with a purpose, to contribute to the university’s sustainability efforts. In coordination with staff members at the student-led Environmental Center, she's been able to implement groundbreaking projects that are sure to have lasting impacts.

Rowand, who recently won a campus sustainability award through the Environmental Center, this month will receive an MBA from the Leeds School of Business. But as an undergraduate student working on her senior project, a professor encouraged her to pursue her passions by merging her love of sports and the environment. 

The advice led Rowand to work on the Water for the West campaign, providing her integrated marketing expertise. The program is designed to restore 1,000 gallons of water to the Colorado River for every pledge from a sports fan. Representatives from the Environmental Center promoted the program at football and basketball games throughout this past school year. The goal is to help offset the water used by Colorado Athletics.

As the president of the Leeds School's graduate-level Net Impact chapter, Rowand works with the Center for Educational on Social Responsibility to improve sustainable business practices. She researches and provides opportunities for her classmates to learn how, as future business leaders, they can make their enterprises more environmentally conscious.

One way to do so is through carbon offsets and renewable energy credits, which allow businesses to fund environmental projects or purchase renewable energy, helping balance the impact organizations have on the environment. This is how many companies are able to achieve a zero-emission status. 

Besides program involvement, Rowand believes small efforts to be more Earth-friendly have a rippling impact. For individuals who wish to become better about sustainability, she suggests they first take little steps like cutting down on wasted paper and turning off lights when not in use. Rowand also urges students who want to see change on their campus to get involved and to also look for the variety of CU Boulder coursework that involves sustainability.

Monica Rowand headshot