Our philosophy at Pueblo Sustainable Solutions L3C is to achieve balance between environmental, social, and economic sustainability in all decisions. By incorporating this mindset as part of our daily process, we integrate responsible practices and considerations across the spectrum of our project initiatives.

Pueblo County defines sustainability as follows:

"The responsible management of Pueblo County’s social, economic, and environmental resources which are mutually dependent for maintaining a healthy and vibrant community."  

Pueblo County has developed a county-wide Strategic Sustainability Plan (STRATEGY) and corresponding community energy assessment document. The Sustainability Strategy builds upon current sustainability strategies already occurring within the County operations and community while focusing on related issues such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, built environment and land use, waste and materials diversion, economic development, water, transportation, public health and the natural environment. It is comprised of goals, measures and actions that, when implemented, enable the County to increase its efficiencies throughout County operations while providing outreach to the community at large.

Mission

To promote and implement sustainability policy and management systems including energy efficiency, use of renewable resources and conservation practices while fostering entrepreneurialism and economic development in Pueblo County, Colorado.

Process

From 2012-2013, the County worked in partnership with the City of Pueblo, Pueblo West, CSU-Pueblo, community representatives, utility providers, Board of Water Works, and others to implement priorities of the plan. These priorities were identified by the Board of County Commissioners and the Core Advisory Committee for the sustainability plan.  They are listed below in no particular order:

Energy

- Increase energy efficiency in County operations, including fuel consumption and demand management of utility consumption

Waste

- Manage materials and divert waste from County landfills through reduction programs such as recycling and the development of a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) within Pueblo County to serve the larger region

Land Use and the Built Environment

- Link the goals for smart growth, land use and the built environment with the regional plan update

- Ensure that transportation improvements and development provide sustainable measures to enable alternative modes of transportation and pedestrian travel

Contact the Pueblo County Public Works and Engineering Office for more details and information.


 

Did you know about sustainability initiatives already in the community?

As of April 2012, through the construction of the new Pueblo County Judicial Building, over 700 tons of waste material has been recycled. This has been achieved by delivering waste to a local recycling facility, and 100% of this construction waste has been recycled. 


What is Sustainability & Sustainable Development?

The original definition of sustainable development from the Bruntland Report for the World Commission on Environment and Development (1992) is usually considered to be:

"Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

While this definition is general and broad based, it provides the flexibility to arrive at solutions that address the needs of today while at the same time thoughtfully considering the future. Below are a series of definitions that have  been adapted by a variety of organizations since the 1992 inception.

"A process of change in which the exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development and institutional change are all in harmony and enhance both current and future potential to meet human needs and aspirations" The World Commission on Environment and Development

"Sustainable development is a dynamic process which enables people to realise their potential and improve their quality of life in ways which simultaneously protect and enhance the earth's life support systems" (Forum for the Future)

"In essence sustainable development is about five key principles: quality of life; fairness and equity; participation and partnership; care for our environment and respect for ecological constraints - recognising there are 'environmental limits'; and thought for the future and the precautionary principle". (From Making London Work by Forum for the Future's Sustainable Wealth London project)

"The environment must be protected… to preserve essential ecosystem functions and to provide for the wellbeing of future generations; environmental and economic policy must be integrated; the goal of policy should be an improvement in the overall quality of life, not just income growth; poverty must be ended and resources distributed more equally; and all sections of society must be involved in decision making". (The Real World Coalition 1996, a definition based on the work of the World Commission on Environment and Development)

"We cannot just add sustainable development to our current list of things to do but must learn to integrate the concepts into everything that we do." (The Dorset Education for Sustainability Network)

"A sustainable future is one in which a healthy environment, economic prosperity and social justice are pursued simultaneously to ensure the well-being and quality of life of present and future generations. Education is crucial to attaining that future." (Learning for a Sustainable Future - Teacher Centre)

"The first and perhaps most difficult problem, one that seldom gets addressed, is the time frame…Is a sustainable society one that endures for a decade, a human lifetime, or a thousand years?" (The shaky ground of Sustainable Development Donald Worster in Global Ecology 1993)

 

Case Study: Sustainability Plan, Baseline Report & Campus as a Lab

A central challenge of our time is sustaining the world’s developing population while minimizing damage to the environment. The Campus as a Lab (CaaL) Initiative uses Chicago’s own campus as a test bed for creating innovative solutions and developing skills in analyzing systems of energy and resource flows. CaaL involves education in quantitative environmental analysis, research into practical energy management strategies, and communication that explains our campus and environment. Projects reflect our core values: data-driven and quantitative analysis, implementable solutions, and open-source tools and data.

What is Campus as a Lab?
Who: undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and Facilities staff working in collaboration.
When: ongoing, launched in Spring 2016 and featuring 4 core events in 2016-2017
What: data hackathons on campus energy and resource, demonstration events on waste and energy, and opportunities to be involved in research on campus energy, water, and waste. Focus areas include operation of campus facilities and infrastructure, economics of U Chicago’s energy purchases, building retrofit suggestions, transportation planning, and behavioral incentives.

Below you will find the actual Sustainability Plan Baseline Report issued November 2016 by the University of Chicago, Office of Sustainability.