Boulder Valley School District
A child in a school garden with a BVSD is the Place to Be Green Logo

As a leader in whole district sustainability, BVSD creates healthy learning environments and experiences that equip all students and staff with the knowledge and skills to create more equitable and sustainable communities. 

Awards

Green Ribbon Schools Logo

Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council and Green Schools National Network, named BVSD the Best of Green Schools - School System of the year, citing the district's decade-long commitment to creating healthy learning environments and experiences that equip all students and staff with the knowledge and skills to create more equitable and sustainable communities.

REAL Certified Logo

In 2016, BVSD became the first ever school district to be certified by the United States Healthful Food Council for its commitment to healthy and sustainable food service practices. The district earned the council’s “Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership,” or REAL, certification, which previously was only given to restaurants and food service providers.

Pride Points

BVSD is striving to reduce GHG emissions by 80% and become climate neutral by 2050
Over a 5-year period, BVSD substantially reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 13% from the baseline year, primarily through reductions in electricity, natural gas, and transportation.
Many BVSD schools have active green teams

BVSD wants to ensure faculty, staff, students, and families have regular opportunities to experience sustainability in action.

School green teams work to support activities like gardens, recycling programs, energy competitions and more at their schools. This month, three BVSD schools are participating in a multi-state competition to reduce energy use.

New dashboards and benchmarking data help us understand how we are performing on our goals 

Tools such as school sustainability dashboards (launching in the fall) and the state's new energy benchmarking show us what is working and what we need to focus on. BVSD's new sustainability and energy analyst collects and analyzes data related to energy use, water consumption, waste, and more to track our progress and identify opportunities for reduction.

Building green is what we do

BVSD has made an organizational commitment to sustainability through policy and our Sustainability Action Plan. The work described in the Critical Needs Plan, which was generously approved for funding by voters in 2022, will continue to support the action plan goals through the design and operation of our school buildings.

To support our design partners to help us build more innovative and sustainable schools, we developed Green Building Guiding Principles and updated our technical specifications to reflect our sustainability values. New construction will use the LEED rating system to guide design and strive to achieve a gold standard.

BVSD was the first public school district in Colorado to add an electric school bus to its fleet

BVSD has 6 electric buses, joining 26 propane buses propane buses already rolling in our fleet. With this move toward cleaner fuels, BVSD has taken 15 diesel buses off the road in recent years. These efforts support our goal to reduce local transportation emissions by 25% by 2026.

BVSD's current waste diversion rate of 35% bests the statewide average

This spring, more than a dozen schools are planning to participate in two programs from Eco-cycle aimed at teaching students how to lean into the first "R" of the reduce/reuse/recycle triad at lunch time.

Elementary and middle school students will learn how to pack waste-free lunches and high school students are participating in a "Choose to Reduce" program this Spring. 

BVSD's domestic water use dropped 6.2 gallons per square foot from 2008 to 2022

BVSD is working to reduce overall water consumption by 5% by 2026. New buildings are designed with low-flow fixtures and, as existing plumbing systems wear out, they are updated with water-saving fixtures. BVSD is also working to reduce the amount of water needed for landscape maintenance and to make sure irrigation systems are working properly.

Learn more about sustainability issues on our greenBVSD webpage.

Learn More

Related Stories

Green Resolution

The Boulder Valley School District has long been a leader in sustainability. Over the past few months students from across the district have lobbied the Board of Education to take even more ambitious action to fight climate change. Eventually, collaboratively, they were able to find common ground, drafting Resolution 23-30 Green New Deal, which supports the continued sustainability work of the district and encourages further leadership in this area moving forward.

Green Leadership Academy meeting

Earlier this month, on the heels of the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) adopting the Green New Deal for Schools resolution, a group of school district sustainability leaders from across the nation and abroad, including  California, Washington D.C., North Carolina and as far as Tunisia, came to BVSD to learn more about what it takes to create a successful district sustainability program.