Aspen trees in the fall at beaver Pond

Successes in Sustainability

Boulder County is deeply committed to environmental sustainability. Highlights of sustainability accomplishments below reflect this longstanding dedication. Click the button to view a full description of our successes, or read the digested information below.

Resolutions and Policies

  • The Boulder County Commissioners adopted the Zero Waste and Sustainable Energy Resolutions in 2005, stating the county’s commitment to energy and resource conservation, waste reduction and pollution prevention.
  • In 2008, Boulder County launched BuildSmart, a green building code for new residential construction.
  • Boulder County Commissioners adopted the Transportation Master Plan which describes Boulder County’s multimodal transportation system and how it will develop over 25 years.

Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

  • EnergySmart is an energy efficiency services for all residents throughout Boulder County. As of April 2016, the program reached 13,769 homes and 3,814 businesses, supporting local jobs and stimulating more than $38 million of local investment.
  • The Weatherization Assistance Program has provided services to more than 4,700 low-income households in Boulder County, decreasing the cost of energy and improving home health and safety for families in need.
  • Through the Solar Benefits program, Boulder County succeeded in accelerating the adoption of solar energy – more than 700kW of solar was installed by community members in just one year.

Climate Change Adaptation and Preparedness

  • Boulder County, in partnership with the City of Boulder, adopted a Climate Change Preparedness Plan in late 2012, becoming one of the first communities in the intermountain west to address climate change vulnerabilities and response strategies.
  • Boulder County launched Wildfire Partners in 2014 to help homeowners prepare and mitigate for wildfire and more than 870 homeowners have been served.
  • In 2015, Boulder County was integral in the creation of Colorado Communities for Climate Action (CC4CA), which is this state’s first consortium to represent municipalities and counties in advocating state and federal actions on climate policy.

Water Conservation & Quality

  • Boulder County Open Space provides incentives to help local farmers install water-efficient irrigation systems, with improvements in efficiency from 50% to 85%.
  • An estimated 26 million gallons of water are saved annually through water-saving devices installed by EnergySmart participants.
  • In 2016, the county is proud to have supported nearly 400 toilet replacements with high efficiency toilets. These new fixtures will save 135 million gallons of water over the lifetime of the toilets.

Zero Waste

  • The Recycling Center handles more than 50,000 tons of cans, bottles, paper, and cardboard annually, diverting materials from the landfill.
  • Hazardous waste diversion from households is up 40% following the opening of the county’s Hazardous
  • Materials Management Facility in 2011, which handles over 500 tons of hazardous materials from households and businesses each year.

Business Sustainability

  • Restaurants and auto body shops were introduced to stormwater best management practices through the Keep It Clean Partnership. In 2015, 64 percent of restaurants and 70 percent of autobody shops met or exceeded all stormwater best practices in five key areas.
  • In the past four years, businesses receiving Partners for a Clean Environment (PACE) advising have increased their waste diversion by an average of 25 percent, with PACE-certified businesses averaging a diversion rate of 80 percent.


  • Boulder County Transportation completed many bicycle and road safety projects and regional partnership projects with multimodal benefits.
  • Since Ride Free Longmont launched, bus ridership has tripled and is providing important mobility benefits.
  • After providing EcoPasses, ridership increased between 30 and 40 percent on the Lyons and Nederland bus routes.
  • Trip Tracker is an innovative program that encourages school communities to walk, bike, carpool and take the bus, reducing motor vehicle traffic around schools.
  • Through the EV Benefits program, Boulder County succeeded in accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles – a total of 356 electric vehicles were purchased by community members in the fall of 2015 and spring of 2016.
  • Boulder County contributed matching funds to Charge Ahead Colorado to incentivize the deployment of electric vehicle charging stations. As a result, CAC funded 24 additional charging stations in Boulder County in 2015 and 2016.

Local Food & Resilient Agriculture

  • Boulder County is committed to the production of locally grown food for local markets. Approximately 25,000 acres of open space is leased to 65 tenants as productive agricultural properties.
  • 2,416 acres of agricultural land on open space is certified or in transition to organic.

Environmental Education

  • 43 schools in Boulder County are participating in Eco-Cycle’s Green Star Schools program, representing 52% of the public schools in the county, and each school typically reduces their trash by one third to one half in the first semester.
  • Elementary schools across Boulder County participate in the Kilowatt Kidz, a month-long energy challenge where students learn about important and fun ways to save energy in their home.

Community Sustainability Matching Grants

  • For the past three years, Boulder County has competitively awarded Environmental Sustainability Matching Grant to cities and towns in Boulder County to undertake sustainability priorities within their communities. Community projects have included local food and food security, enhancing incentives for residents in partnership with EnergySmart, supporting businesses’ implementation of sustainability practices, and more.

Contact Us


Boulder County Courthouse
First Floor
1325 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO 80302
Map & Directions

Hours: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. M-F

Mailing Address

PO Box 471
Boulder, CO 80306