Living the values ​​of the Global Climate Summit in the face of the humanitarian crisis | WITH Boulder Today

Dear students, faculty, staff and all participants of the Global Climate Summit,

We are grateful and humbled by the opportunity to host the Global Climate Summit Right Here, Right Now on our campus. We are excited that this week is finally upon us and we welcome you all— those who participate locally and those who tune in globally.

Convening such an event comes with a great responsibility. CU Boulder carries a rich legacy as a decades-long leader in environmental and sustainability research. CU Boulder is one of the world’s leading research universities for geosciences and climate science. Our students set a new standard more than 50 years ago when they established the first student-based environmental center in the country.— a body that continues to thrive. And CU Boulder was the first university to achieve STARS Gold status for sustainable campus operations.

Chancellor Philip DiStefano

Chancellor Philip DiStefano

Chief Sustainability Officer Heidi VanGenderen

Chief Sustainability Officer Heidi VanGenderen

Recognizing this legacy, our university continues to take bold steps such as:

In the same spirit, the Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Summit was intentionally formatted to reduce the environmental footprint of the summit by:

  • Hybrid Conference: We structured the summit as a hybrid event, encouraging participants to participate from wherever they are to reduce air travel, which is a significant producer of carbon emissions for international conferences. Remote participation fits the conference’s core principle of encouraging all attendees to engage locally on summit topics to effect change in their communities.
  • Carbon offset: The Global Climate Summit purchases carbon offsets to account for the air travel of all speakers and attendees. Additionally, attendees attending in person can purchase their own carbon offsets for travel to the event through our partners at AQ Green TeC.
  • Conscious catering: Catering for Global Climate Summit events will prioritize food sourced from local farmers and purveyors, as well as greenhouses on the CU Boulder campus.
  • Zero waste: All events and meals at the summit will use sustainable materials and provide recycling and compost bins to minimize the amount of waste going to landfills. Meeting lanyards and badge holders are made from recycled products and are biodegradable.
  • Sustainable transport: In partnership with Via Mobility, electric buses will be used to transport attendees to, from and across campus for events in an effort to reduce car travel.

We recognize that members of our community can demand that our university and local, national and global leaders do more and do it faster. In recent weeks, we’ve heard renewed calls for the university to divest from fossil fuels, and we’ve seen the CU Student Government and the Boulder Faculty Assembly support that effort.

CU Boulder shares our campus community’s passion for sustainability and addressing the global humanitarian crisis of climate change. The issue of divesting the University of Colorado’s financial assets is a complex one and falls within the purview of CU System leadership and the Board of Regents. We encourage our students, faculty and others who are passionate about this issue to explore the details, engage constructively, and continue the dialogue with the Board of Regents and CU System leadership.

We also recognize the importance of ongoing investment strategies such as the examples provided above and will continue to pursue these opportunities as strongly as possible. mmeaningful action in our research, teaching and operational endeavors is at the heart of our values ​​and work.

“Think globally. Get involved locally.” These four words are not just a catchy slogan. It’s an ethos that we hope everyone attending the Global Climate Summit this week will take to heart as we strive to make a positive impact on humanity in our own communities through climate action.

The responsibility is one we all share as we seek equitable climate solutions that cross social and economic boundaries and help all human beings thrive.


Phil DiStefano

Heidi VanGenderen
Chief Sustainability Officer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *