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 January 1, 1998

Boulder gets high marks for sustainability

BOULDER — This city is tops in the nation in terms of “sustainability,” according to the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives.

“Sustainability” is a measurement of a city’s long-term environmental, economic and community strength. Boulder’s Sustainability 2000 Project was praised by the group for establishing baseline figures, indicators and benchmarks of “sustainability” here.

ICLEI examined hundreds of sustainability activities from around the country for a report funded by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Sustainable Ecosystems and Communities.

According to Joshua Wolfe, ICLEI program coordinator, “We found 22 local governments in the United States that have embarked on a comprehensive, local, government-led, long-term effort to attain sustainability.”

Some highlights of sustainable initiatives during the past year include:

* Repairing the existing solar heating and hot water system on Fire Station No. 6. Repairs cost $8,800. Utility bill savings are expected to be about $1,000 per year.

* Developing an inventory of “environmentally friendly” building products. This information is available to city project managers and is being used by the Housing and Human Services Department and the Housing Authority.

* Performing a “waste service audit” to evaluate the efficiency of trash pick-up. An initial review indicates up to $3,000 saved.

* Reviewing city contracts to identify and add language to bid documents and contracts to encourage and support the use of recycled products, waste minimization and reduction.

* Evaluating city parks and highway medians for low-water use landscaping. Computerized watering systems are being installed in some areas to increase efficiency.

* Installing approximately 400 light-emitting-diode lamps in traffic signals resulting in initial savings of $6,100 and an estimated yearly maintenance savings of $5,400.

* Getting employees to telecommute from home to increase productivity and reduce traffic congestion and air pollution.

* Joining the Green Lights and Energy Star Buildings Program, the Environmental Protection Agency’s effort to prevent pollution by improving energy efficiency of commercial and industrial office buildings. Participants focus on upgrading lighting, heating, cooling and ventilation equipment to more energy-efficient technologies. The city has committed 1.5 million square feet in 62 facilities to the program. Once all facilities are upgraded, the city expects savings of $250,000 per year, as well as air pollution reduction.

The Sustainability 2000 Project started in 1996. The progress of city operations either toward or away from sustainability is measured by indicators in five areas: water, energy, materials, transportation and ecosystem health.

The long-term goal of the Environmental Affairs office is to work with businesses and other organizations interested in applying Sustainability 2000 principles to their operations. For a copy of the report, call Alice Guthrie at 441-1915.

BOULDER — This city is tops in the nation in terms of “sustainability,” according to the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives.

“Sustainability” is a measurement of a city’s long-term environmental, economic and community strength. Boulder’s Sustainability 2000 Project was praised by the group for establishing baseline figures, indicators and benchmarks of “sustainability” here.

ICLEI examined hundreds of sustainability activities from around the country for a report funded by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Sustainable Ecosystems and Communities.

According to Joshua Wolfe, ICLEI program coordinator, “We…

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