Posters like these are hung all over campus, reminding all members of the FLC community to evaluate their sustainable actions.

Posters like these are hung all over campus, reminding all members of the FLC community to evaluate their sustainable actions.

Going green has been a way of life at Fort Lewis College for a long time -- it just comes naturally when you live in a place as beautiful and inspiring as southwestern Colorado. And this summer, the FLC campus has gotten even greener, with several energy- and money-saving projects underway.

Fort Lewis College has been actively improving its sustainability since becoming a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, in 2007. Since then, the colleges' Sustainability Action Plan has led to the construction of "green" buildings, introducing local foods into dining facilities, expanding on-campus recycling, prioritizing recycled products in purchasing, upgrading irrigation efficiency, the installation of a new composter for on-campus dining, and more.

And FLC's efforts are getting noticed. That progress toward sustainability made Fort Lewis College one of "America's Coolest Schools," according to Sierra magazine, the official publication of the Sierra Club. In 2011, The Princeton Review, which already listed FLC as one of America's "Best in the West" colleges, added FLC to its roster of outstanding Green Colleges, recognizing the college as a leader in green building, energy conservation, recycling, local food, and environmental academic programs.

Since the Sustainability Action Plan, Animas Hall, the campus' newest residence hall, has earned the prestigious U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Gold rating for its state-of-the-art environmental design. Also, both the new Berndt Hall Biology Wing, which opened Spring 2010, and the new Student Union, which debuted in 2011, have earned LEED Gold ratings.

In March of this year, the Rocket Composter was installed in the college's new Student Union. The composter will eliminate 76,000 pounds of discarded food each academic year, waste that would otherwise occupy a landfill. The compost will also be used to enrich the on-campus garden managed by the Environmental Center.

And the greening of the FLC campus continues. Last summer and fall, an energy audit of campus facilities identified potential energy improvement measures. This summer, FLC Facilities staff are replacing lighting, lighting controls, boilers, and plumbing fixtures across campus.

Eventually almost every structure on campus will be impacted -- big steps toward meeting the goals in the Sustainability Action Plan for significantly reducing greenhouse gases and lowering utility consumption by 30 percent. And helping to keep southwestern Colorado -- and the world -- inspiring and beautiful.


Pathways to Sustainability

Environmental Center