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Sustainability Services

Sustainability Goals

Sustainability Goal #1:

Greenhouse Gas

Reduce GHG emissions from municipal operations at least 2% per year starting in 2010 to achieve a reduction of 20% below 2005 levels by December 31, 2020; and ultimately to achieve carbon neutrality for the municipal organization.


  • Participated in ICLEI’s “Cities for Climate Protection Campaign,” quantifying municipal carbon emissions since 1997.
  • Employee educational campaign, Energy Building Challenge, resulted in an estimated 1,949 metric tons of CO2e reductions per year between 2010 and 2012.
  • Worked with High Performance Government Team to increase sustainability awareness and create a culture of sustainability through assessments in targeted areas of water and purchasing. 

Sustainability Goal #2:

Electricity & Natural Gas

Reduce City energy consumption by 20% off the 2005 baseline by 2020, reduce demand peak use by 15% by 2020, and achieve a 20% kBtu/sq. ft. reduction in all City facilities from 2005 baseline levels. If funding is available, purchase 20% of energy from renewable sources by 2020 with 10% provided by onsite distributive energy.


  • Operation Services, Environmental Services and Utilities staff implemented numerous mechanical systems improvements. Comprehensive retro commissioning and building envelope repairs were completed on City Hall, 215 N. Mason, and Collindale Golf Course.
  • Replaced all City Hall parking lot High Pressure Sodium street lights with more energy efficient LED street lighting technology. Products that provided the best light pattern for each of the three parking lots were chosen and installed.
  • Since 2004, the City has followed the principles of LEED for construction of City facilities. LEED is a voluntary green building certification program that requires energy and water efficiency and sustainable materials and construction practices. One of the City’s early successes was to build the first LEED-certified community center in the nation.

Sustainability Goal #3:

Fuel Reduction

Reduce the traditional fuel use of the City’s vehicle fleet by 20% by 2020 and reach a 1.5 average vehicle ridership (AVR) by 2020 for City employees.


  • Developed and incorporated the following information across the organization through training seminars: sustainable driving tips, anti-idling, seasonal driving tips, and vehicle use policies and procedures.
  • Implemented the following priorities for City vehicle purchases: alternative–fueled vehicles and added hybrids.
  • In 2011, thanks to federal funding, Transfort purchased six new compressed natural gas (CNG) buses. In the next few years, Transfort’s fleet is expected to be 100% CNG.

Sustainability Goal #4:

Solid Waste Reduction

Reduce waste from: publicly accessible facilities (5% per year); municipal workplaces and offices (10% per year); and industrial operations (10% per year) based on data reported for previous year.


  • Fort Collins Utilities and Larimer County met and discussed how to turn “waste” dirt into a useful product for Larimer County.
  • Purchasing uses an online auctioning process, and for police evidence. Materials of higher value (i.e., vehicles, ping pong table) are taken to Centennial Auction.

Sustainability Goal #5:

Education & Outreach

The municipal organization will provide sustainable educational opportunities to all levels of the community --students in grades K-20, the public, businesses, and staff through programs, workshops, presentations, training and web resources.


  • The Residential Environmental Program Series and Biz Ed have operated for more than 25 years. Other City departments also offer educational workshops and lectures to the public on topics related to the environment.
  • The City hosted numerous energy efficiency training classes to explain how to reduce energy consumption at home and identify incentives available for improvements to air conditioners, insulation and windows. Of the nearly 100 City employees participating, o more than 50 employees made energy efficiency improvements to their homes.
  • The City maintains internal and external Sustainability websites. The internal site includes, but is not limited to Sustainable Purchasing Guidelines, recycling guidelines, challenges, media articles, numerous PowerPoint presentations and scholarship information.

Sustainability Goal #6:


Foster a culture of sustainability in the organization and advance municipal sustainability goals through various funding mechanisms (i.e., Innovation Fund, grants). Identify and implement innovative improvements to the City’s physical plant and operational procedures that are not otherwise funded.


  • The Sustainability Scholarship program was instituted in 2006 when City budgets were declining. Employees may apply for up to $800. Since 2008, scholarships have been awarded to 78 recipients for sustainability trainings, conferences, certifications, etc. Each recipient shares material with the Sustainability Team or department. The scholarships support employee learning in sustainability and serve as another tool to increase employee knowledge, empowerment and motivation.

Sustainability Goal #7:

Parks & Natural Areas

Maintain a 30% forest canopy density in suitable areas of City Parks and 70% of native vegetative cover in Natural Areas.


  • With financial resources from the Innovation Fund, Natural Areas purchased a GPS system to complete an accurate inventory of City trees, including health and damage assessments.
  • Continue to manage non-native vegetation through Integrated Pest Management techniques.

Sustainability Goal #8:


Reduce municipal operations water irrigation use and increase efficiency per acre. Reduce building water use (normalized to account for weather conditions), 20% by 2020.


  • The Parks Department has been proactive in reducing water use through various strategies. Every park has an evaporative transpiration (ET) controller ranging from 11 stations to more than 100 stations controlled with satellites. Parks switched several parks from domestic to raw water, yielding approximately $26,908 in savings annually. Raw water is used at 19 parks, which reduces the energy costs of pumping and transport. Raw water accounts for 78% of all park acreage.
  • Completion of a Solar Power Purchase Agreement at the Water Treatment Plan — yields a 90 MT CO2e reduction and saves $1,800 annually.

Sustainability Goal #9:

Sustainable Purchasing

Implement sustainable purchasing practices throughout the City organization and establish means to verify departments’ compliance with revised purchasing policy. Establish quantifiable goals of 2% increase in office and industrial purchases annually starting in 2013.


  • In 2012, the Green Purchasing Institute (GRI) completed a review of City’s purchasing practices that identified successes and opportunities for improvements. Current City strengths included: new construction requirements (LEED Gold); green cleaning services; computer purchases (EPEAT Gold); road construction (recycled aggregate); traffic signal lighting products (LED); demolition services and low-fuel vehicle purchasing.
  • Purchasing established the following sustainable vehicle replacement criteria: light-duty vehicles over 90,000 miles (i.e. cars/pickups/vans); mowers over 4,000 hours; utility trucks over 5,000 hours; small dump trucks over 120,000 miles (gas); 150,000 miles or 500 hours (diesel); tandem dump trucks over 150,000 miles; backhoes/loaders over 8,000 hours; trailers over 10 years + condition; sweepers over 8,000 hours; other equipment on a case-by-case basis. An economic and physical analysis is performed on all vehicles as well.
  • Installation of three plug-in electric vehicle charging stations promotes the use of electric fleet vehicles.

Sustainability Goal #10:

Employee Safety & Health

Incorporate a Citywide program fostering a culture of health and safety. Increase the number of employees who participate in the Well Day Program from 45% to 75% by 2020. Lower accident frequency and severity.


  • Access to three fitness centers for employee use.
  • A variety of classes on topics related to nutrition, stress reduction and management, tobacco cessation and exercise.
  • City staff constructed a nibble garden along the bike trail adjacent to a CSA to promote local food.

Sustainability Goal #11:

Local Food

Twenty percent of food purchased by staff for City functions will be grown within 50 miles or prepared by a local business, beginning in 2013.


  • The Old Town Parks Maintenance Shop and ESD partnered with local businesses to collect approximately 12 tons of organic matter (i.e. food and yard trimmings) per year that is processed in the City's Earth Tubs. The compost is used for landscaping and flower pots in Old Town.
  • The City began promoting community gardens and Community Supported Agriculture.