Archive for the ‘Golden Sustainability Initiative’ Category

City Launches Sustainability Initiative Web Site

April 2, 2007

The City of Golden today launched its new Golden Sustainability Initiative web site.


Sustainability Community Working Groups Kick Off

March 23, 2007

More than 60 people showed up for Wednesday night’s Community Working Group meetings for the Golden Sustainability Initiative.  We watched a video about some of the cool things happening in Salt Lake City, talked as a large group for a bit about the working groups and the process, and then broke up into the seven individual working groups:  renewable energy/energy efficiency, water, green building, transportation, economic health, recycling/waste reduction, and education/communication.  I am really impressed and pleased that so many folks are willing to commit some effort to make our Sustainability Initiative happen.  The community working groups have about six weeks to complete a first draft with recommendations about the proposed goals and a recommended action plan.  The working groups will finish their efforts by mid-summer or so, which should give city council enough time to consider the recommendations and make decisions before we start the 2008 budget process.

Sustainability Initiative Working Groups Meet Wednesday

March 19, 2007

The first meeting of all the Golden Sustainability Initiative Community Working Groups is this Wednesday evening (March 21) from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Golden Community Center, 1470 10th St.  If you signed up for one or more of the working groups, you should have already received details about the meeting.  If you haven’t, and you want to volunteer on one, contact Mark Heller ASAP (

We have one community working group for each of the six proposed goals (on renewable energy/energy efficiency, water, transportation, economic opportunities, recycling, and green building) and one on education.  The working groups will carefully evaluate the proposed goals for that specific area and make recommendations to council about how to adjust them, if at all, and about what the city and community action plans should look like.  After the community working groups have finished their work and made their recommendations, city council will formally adopt goals and some sort of action plan for the remainder of 2007 and for next year (before we begin the 2008 budgeting process).

Also, in case you didn’t see it, the Golden Transcript ran my guest editorial on the Golden Sustainability Initiative in this week’s issue.  I don’t see it up on the web site yet, but as soon as I do I’ll post the URL.

See you on Wednesday evening!

Cities for Climate Protection Campaign

December 16, 2006

On Thursday night city council approved a proposal to join the ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability program.  We joined several hundred other cities around the country in the program, including Denver, Ft. Collins, and several others in Colorado).  Their Cities for Climate Protection Campaign makes available some resources that I think we’ll find helpful in our own Golden Sustainability Initiative, including access to their emissions analysis software and other sorts of technical assistance.  Our commitment through this program is pretty straightforward:  a) conduct a greenhouse gas inventory and forecast; b) establish a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target; c) develop an action plan; and d) implement the plan and monitor our results.  This will all tie in nicely to our broader Golden Sustainability Initiative process and goals.

Along these lines, also know that I’ve been working with staff and others to figure out what the community process is going to look like so that we make sure it’s both useful and productive.  I’m hoping to have that ironed out by the end of the year so we can stay on track with our plan for the community process early in 2007 (probably February).

Council Supports Golden Sustainability Initiative

November 17, 2006

Last night city council expressed its unanimous support for a Golden Sustainability Initiative. This is great news, but of course the hard work is just beginning. Tons of folks reached out to city council expressing support, and a bunch more showed up at the meeting last night to express their support during the public comment period. My thanks to everyone who weighed in, and now the stage is set to do some great things.

The next step: some sort of town hall meeting in the first part of 2007 focused on defining what the goals of our initiative should be. I offered some ideas about what those goals might be to help start the discussion, and many of the emails I received had thoughtful responses to those goals (ranging from “too ambitious” to “not ambitious enough” as well as good ideas about how to make them work better) plus some good suggestions about the community process. Once we figure out the goals, then we’ll take the subsequent step of figuring out the action plan, and then we’ll have our work cut out for us. Lots of folks also had great ideas about the action plan as well.

In case you haven’t seen my ideas for what our Golden Sustainability Initiative goals might be, I’ve included them here .  I want to underscore that these really are just ideas for the sake of discussion, and we know how a couple of months before the community meeting to think hard about what might make sense.

1. Increase our community’s energy efficiency and our use of renewable sources of energy. Specifically:

  • Reduce the City of Golden’s energy usage by 25% and increase to 50% the proportion of its energy use derived from renewable energy sources within ten years (“25 x 50 in 10”).
  • Reduce overall community energy usage in Golden by 15% and increase to 15% the proportion of its energy use derived from renewable energy sources within ten years (“15 x 15 in 10”).

2. Improve the economic health of our community by increasing business opportunities focused on energy efficiency and renewable energy and by reducing the energy costs of all Golden businesses. Specifically:

  • Double the number of jobs in Golden in the energy efficiency and renewable energy sectors within ten years.
  • Enable businesses located in Golden to lower their energy costs by reducing the average energy consumption by 15% within ten years.

3. Improve the energy efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of new and existing buildings in Golden. Specifically:

  • Ensure that within ten years 90% of all new buildings constructed in Golden each year are built to green building standards.
  • Ensure that within ten years 50% of all additions in Golden each year are built to green building standards.
  • Revise Golden’s land use code to reflect the best practices in sustainability once every five years.

4. Ensure that Golden sustains a clean, stable water supply into the future. Specifically:

  • Reduce Golden’s per capita water use by 15% in ten years.
  • Maintain the highest water quality standards for Golden’s water supply.

5. Increase the ability of Golden residents and visitors to travel to and through Golden using alternative transportation. Specifically:

  • Reduce the community’s total Vehicle Miles Traveled by 15% in ten years.