Boulder County is deeply committed to environmental sustainability. Highlights of sustainability accomplishments below reflect this longstanding dedication. Click the button to view and download the PDF or read the full description of our successes in the viewer below. A summary of the information from the report is also below.
Successes in Sustainability
- 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.
- The Boulder County Commissioners adopted the GoEV Resolution in 2018, with goals to electrify the county fleet, passenger vehicles, transit and school buses, and taxis and ride-share vehicles in the community in the coming decades.
- 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.
- Boulder County strives to achieve rapid and deep emission reductions. To learn more about our most recent greenhouse gas emissions inventory and climate action underway, see more of Boulder County’s Climate Action.
- Boulder County is working on a Floodplain Management and Transportation System Resiliency Study and Action Plan to learn from the 2013 flood, and to examine what can be done to better prepare the county’s waterways and transportation systems for future natural or economic disasters.
- 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.
- EnergySmart and Partners for a Clean Environment are services that helps homes and businesses, respectively, in all Boulder County communities become more energy efficient and comfortable, adopt renewable energy, and save energy and money. As of March 2019, the programs reached 18,029 homes and 3,199 businesses, supporting local jobs and stimulating more than $62 million of local investment.
- Boulder County worked with Elevations Credit Union to launch a financing product in August 2012 and more than $5.3 million in energy loans have been issued in Boulder County, helping homes and businesses overcome cost barriers to energy efficiency, solar, and electric bike investments.
- More than 3.7MW of solar has been installed by homes and businesses, with the support of the EnergySmart, Partners for a Clean Environment, and Benefits Boulder County programs.
- 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.
- 3,500 acres of agricultural land on open space is certified organic or using organic practices, which is 22% towards a goal of 25%.
- The Double Up Food Bucks program works to help families who are receiving food assistance by doubling the amount of food benefits that can be used to purchase fresh produce.
- Since 2008, Boulder County and partners completed many bicycle and road safety projects and regional partnership projects with multimodal benefits.
- In 2018, the county completed a bus rapid transit feasibility study along SH 7 from Boulder to Brighton that looked at routing, station location, and total ridership. The study made recommendations on intersection designs that give transit priority at key intersections in the corridor.
- In 2018, through the Mobility for All program, the county distributed 2,300 stored value transit passes to Lafayette residents, focusing on low-income communities.
- Boulder County has succeeded in accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles and electric bicycles with a total of 356 electric vehicles and 280 electric bicycles purchased by community members between 2015 and 2018. Boulder County contributed matching funds to Charge Ahead Colorado to incentivize the deployment of electric vehicle charging stations and more than 24 charging stations were installed in Boulder County.
- Boulder County provides incentives to help local farmers install water-efficient irrigation systems, with improvements in efficiency from 50% to 85%.
- An estimated 42 million gallons of water are saved annually through water-saving devices installed by EnergySmart and Partners for a Clean Environment participants.
- Boulder County partners with Boulder, Erie, Lafayette, Longmont, Louisville, and Superior through the Keep It Clean Partnership (KICP) to protect, promote, and improve watershed health in the Boulder St. Vrain Basin.
- The Recycling Center has handled more than 650,000 tons of cans, bottles, paper, and cardboard since it opened in 2001, diverting materials from the landfill.
- The Hazardous Materials Management Facility opened in 2011 and handles over 500 tons of hazardous materials from households and businesses each year.
- Boulder County’s zero waste funding program distributes $50,000 annually to communities, non-profit groups, schools and universities, and businesses for initiatives that promote waste reduction and diversion.
- Between 2010 and 2018, Boulder County’s Partners for a Clean Environment advised more than 1,050 businesses to help them increase waste diversion and 48% of these businesses improved their waste diversion.
- Launched in 2017, E Movement is a collective of schools, teachers, environmental educators, and community partners in Boulder County working to increase and recognize engagement, environmental literacy, and holistic learning within our education system. More than 100 teachers, 15 environmental educators, and 30 community partners are engaged.
- 50 schools in Boulder County are participating in Eco-Cycle’s Green Star Schools program, representing 60% of the public schools in the county.
- Elementary schools across Boulder County participate in Kilowatt Kidz, a month-long energy challenge where students learn about important and fun ways to save energy in their home. The program has reached more than 6,000 students since 2011.
- For the past five years, Boulder County has competitively awarded Environmental Sustainability Matching Grants to cities and towns in Boulder County to undertake sustainability priorities within their communities.
- The grant program has funded $724,380 in local community sustainability projects. The municipal grant awardees have pursued diverse projects, including water conservation, public engagement on community renewable energy goals, efforts to streamline city permitting to increase solar and electric vehicle adoption, workforce development in underserved communities to save energy, public transit incentives, recycling and yard waste drop-off events, resilient local food projects, and more.