Global impact through local action.
WHAT WE DO
The ASCP is a campus-wide program with the explicit mission of reducing the Auraria Campus' ecological impact and dependence on fossil fuels. We work to accomplish this through projects, events, and programs addressing the 7 pillars below. We serve all four institutions on campus: the Metropolitan State University of Denver, the Community College of Denver, the University of Colorado Denver, and the Auraria Higher Education Center.
Our Seven Pillars
The ASCP encourages students, faculty, and staff to use alternative forms of transportation to get to and from campus. Taking the bus, biking, walking, and sharing a ride are all less ecologically impactful and help decrease the negative effects of traffic and emissions from single occupancy vehicles.
Education & Outreach
The ASCP hosts a variety of education and outreach events each year, including the Sustainability Fair, Bike to Work Day, and Earth Week. Thanks to student feedback, one of our goals is to increase our education and outreach by hosting more speaker series, workshops, and volunteer days.
Energy efficiency projects have proven to be the most effective way to reduce our energy usage and carbon emissions. The Auraria Higher Education Center is also proactively reducing energy usage on campus by upgrading to LED lighting, increasing HVAC energy efficiency, and making other upgrades when possible.
Food & Gardens
In 2015, the ASCP helped construct a community garden on the south side of the Science Building. The garden has evolved into a community gathering space that provides an opportunity to educate the campus about sustainable agriculture and organic gardening. It also supports the ASCP's goal to increase local, sustainable food procurement.
Renewable energy sources support the ASCP's goal to reduce Auraria Campus's reliance on fossil fuels. The ASCP has a 75 kW solar array on the Arts building and is currently constructing a 753 kW array on the Auraria Library. We are continuing to explore additional opportunities to expand our renewable energy generation on campus. Check out our PV Road Map to learn more!
ASCP-funded projects have reduced annual campus water consumption by 4.5 million gallons. We are currently partnering with One World One Water Center to develop a comprehensive Water Action Plan, which identifies additional retrofits, upgrades, and efficiency programs that will reduce the campus’ water usage even further.
Waste diversion has been a core focus of the ASCP since we have implemented a campus recycling program in 2004. The ASCP continually strives to increase the campus waste diversion rate and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills. Compost bins are now available in select buildings, and electronic waste recycling bins are located on the second floor of the Tivoli Union Station.
We do the work that needs to be done by creating buy-in with our constituents through engaging, educating, and executing projects that will foster collaboration and coalition building to maximize our impact. Recognizing our position as global citizens, we commit to dedicating our time here to the shared responsibility of a more prosperous future for all. We will strive to incorporate employee and student perspectives into all projects and lift those on the front lines instead of issuing changes from the top down. We will intentionally include people that may not have been included historically and, in our commitment to DEI, explore diverse perspectives on issues with those that may have differing experiences to our own.
Social and Environmental Justice For All
While our mission is to reduce the ecological impacts and the greenhouse gas emissions from the Auraria Campus, we acknowledge that looking at only impacting the built environment ignores those affected by social and environmental consequences beyond their control. We take a holistic lens of sustainability and push for social and environmental justice in tandem with our more explicit goals and consider the broader impacts of our projects, programming, and existing conditions.
We will make the strongest case possible in environmental, social, and fiscal terms so that we may influence a wide and diverse array of leaders, students, staff, faculty, and other stakeholders. The right thing to do will not always be the easy thing to do, but we will not allow barriers to get in our way. Through a factful foundation, strong relationships, and respectful discourse we will overcome adversity in the face of the climate crisis.