Colorado College Saves Nearly $100,000 in Utility Costs Through Behavioral Change - Colorado College

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For Immediate Release

Emily Wright
(212) 810-7285


14 weeks, 14 habits, 14 percent reduction: CC’s conservation program yields results

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – July 10, 2009 – Colorado College estimates that during the course of its 14-week “aCClimate14” conservation campaign during the spring semester, the college saved nearly $100,000 in utility costs and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 378 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

The "aCClimate14" effort was a campus-wide resource conservation campaign designed to achieve a 14 percent reduction in electricity, heat and water use through behavioral change. Each of the 14 weeks in the semester focused on different daily habits, such as computing, bathing, transportation or studying.

The campaign included various communal tools to encourage behavioral shifts, including drying racks, outdoor recycling receptacles, shower timers and plug-in electric meters.

The initiative was launched by the Campus Sustainability Council and EnAct, the student environmental action group. The acclimate14 report, compiled at the end of the semester, looks at electricity, natural gas and potable water usage for January through April of 2009, compared to the same period in 2008, as well as a 14-week recycling initiative.

The resulting savings are impressive, especially considering that the figures for 2009 include the addition of CC’s new 72,000-square-foot Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center, which went online in May 2008. If the comparison is made without the interdisciplinary Cornerstone Arts Center, the Campus Sustainability Council estimates savings of $130,000 in January through April 2009, with a greenhouse gas emission reduction of 613 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

Waste reduction also was one of the campaign’s goals, and in 2009 Colorado College participated for the first time in Recyclemania, a friendly, nationwide competition aimed at promoting waste reduction on campuses. The college finished in the top 5 percent of the nearly 300 participating colleges and universities.

In late January, students from Colorado College built a “Trash Peak,” a 30-cubic-yard mountain of trash on the central quad, representative of the amount of solid waste that CC generates in a single day. During lunch, student organizers conducted an audit, dividing the trash into reusable items, recyclables, compost and actual trash destined for the landfill. From the audit, it was estimated that CC could improve its waste diversion rate (the percentage of the waste stream diverted from landfills) by close to 45 percent, and the Campus Sustainability Plan includes a goal to achieve a 50 percent waste diversion rate. Prior to this year, CC’s waste diversion rate was estimated to be between 15 percent and 20 percent.

The entire report can be viewed at:

About Colorado College
Colorado College is a nationally prominent, four-year liberal arts college that was founded in Colorado Springs in 1874. The college operates on the innovative Block Plan, in which its 1,985 undergraduate students study one course at a time in intensive 3½-week blocks. The college also offers a master of arts in teaching degree. For more information, visit <>.