Boulder Valley School District

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Ghita Carroll

Sustainability and Energy Officer
Sustainability and Energy Officer


students looking at pond water

BVSD is celebrating more than a decade of focused work on sustainability!

In 2021, we released a report highlighting some of these accomplishments.  

Read the report


All together, for all students and the planet. 


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. 

New Sustainability Advisory Committee

Learn more

Highlights of Our Progress

  • In the original SMS, we established the stretch goal to reduce GHG emissions by 80 percent and become climate neutral by 2050. In the last 5 years, the District substantially reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 13% from the baseline year primarily through reductions in electricity, natural gas, and transportation.
  • BVSD was named the first REAL Certified school district in the country. This award is presented to restaurants and food service providers that are committed to promoting health and sustainability. 
  • Every school had an active green team within the past 5 years supporting activities like gardens, recycling programs, energy competitions and more.
  • We continue to reduce energy in light of expanding buildings and air conditioning. Energy reductions are thanks in large part to the energy improvements we were able to make during the Bond and Construction program.
  • The District hit an impressive target of 50% waste diversion, which means diverting half of our waste from the landfill through repurposing, recycling, and composting in our daily operations and through our Eco-Cycle programs, and our Bond and Construction program. 

We are also thrilled to announce the release of our new greenBVSD Action Plan!

This plan sets the course for sustainability work in the District through 2026. The plan was created in partnership with the Green Schools National Network (GSNN). This work included many staff interviews and a community forum in March of 2021, followed by several focus groups, review and feedback from an Ad Hoc Advisory Committee, several opportunities for community comment and final review by District leaders. The plan was presented to the Board Sept. 14, 2021.

This new plan looks different! The last plan was focused primarily in operations (waste, energy, materials, buildings and transportation and education). The new plan covers four strategic priority areas:

  • Curriculum and Instruction -- looking at experiences, knowledge and skills, and also values, behaviors and mindsets,
  • Climate and Culture -- including relationships, health and equity,
  • Leadership -- including decision-making, structures, procurement, finance, HR and learning systems, and
  • Operations

Each of the strategic priority areas has an overarching goal and 3-5 supporting goals. Each area also includes indicators and measures staff will use to assess progress. Key staff in each of these areas have been involved in setting the new goals. 

With this plan, we are excited to deepen our practice, gather more robust data, and understand more fully the impact on faculty, staff and students as the District continues the journey of transforming into a healthy, equitable, and sustainable school district where all faculty, staff, and students are engaged and prepared to lead us into a sustainable future.

Read the new Action Plan

Check out these video updates for more information!

Sustainability Coordinator Dr.  Ghita Carroll presents BVSD's progress on sustainability goals to the Board of Education, April 25, 2023.

Dr. Carroll presents the new action plan to the Board of Education, September 14, 2021.

Dr. Carroll and community partners discuss the new Sustainability Action Plan on Let's Talk. 

Elementary Kids with Reusable Utensils

Recently, the Eisenhower Elementary School Eco Eagles Green Team was asked to speak at the Board of Education meeting, as part of the Student Moment, an opportunity to recognize student leadership in the Boulder Valley School District. 

Representatives from the group shared the outstanding progress they’ve made in implementing sustainability practices and their efforts can serve as an exemplar for other students throughout the district.

Read More about 10 things kids can do to make their school more sustainable
High school students planting trees

Recently, students from Fairview High, Monarch High, and Peak to Peak K-12 along with community partners hosted a Tree Summit at Fairview High School where they shared presentations about their experiences working to create green schoolyards on their campuses. They offered insights about fundraising and more for the audience of fellow students about how to green their own schoolyards.

Read More about Boulder Valley high school students talk trees and take action
Two students aim a digital thermometer at a wall

In an exciting new collaboration, University of Colorado Boulder (CU) graduate students will be working with District staff, environmental partners (state, local, private & non-profit), and community members, to develop a roadmap to decarbonization for District buildings in pursuit of our goals of an 80% reduction in emissions and carbon neutrality by 2050.

Read More about BVSD Sustainability team partners with CU graduate students to develop a decarbonization plan
Child and adult with bike

BVSD continues to make progress on the goals established in the Sustainability Action Plan. Staff provided an annual update to the Board recently in honor of Earth month. The district is in year three of a five-year effort towards its latest set of sustainability goals. BVSD has had a formal sustainability program with established goals since 2009.  

Read More about Sustainability in Action

This past fall, BVSD’s Office of Sustainability introduced the Sustainability Snapshot, a new tool for tracking and viewing data related to the district’s sustainability efforts. The digital dashboard shows what sustainability efforts are happening at schools across the district, along with the utility use for each school, and how each school compares to other BVSD schools. 

Read More about New digital tool provides a snapshot of BVSD’s sustainability efforts to spur action and learning
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.

Read More about BVSD becomes first district in the nation to pass “Green New Deal for Schools” resolution
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.  

Read More about School Leaders Gather in Boulder at Sustainability Leadership Academy
did you know

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. Read on for facts about BVSD's sustainability initiatives.

Read More about GreenBVSD by the numbers
award for energy efficiency

BVSD is thrilled to be honored as one of eight districts in the nation to be recognized by the Efficient and Healthy Schools Campaign and the Biden-Harris administration for our sustainability work related to energy efficiency and creating healthy learning environments. BVSD was awarded Best in Class in Team Approach to Support Strategic Investments in Efficient and Healthy Schools category and Notable Achievement in Efficient HVAC for Indoor Environmental Quality category.

Read More about BVSD recognized as national leader in sustainability
Cover of Zero Energy Guide

BVSD was one of 10 school districts to participate in the Department of Energy's Zero Energy Schools Accelerator program. BVSD is pursuing a goal to become Zero Net Energy Ready by 2050 and joined the program for support in pursuing this goal and to join a cohort of districts doing the same.

Read More about BVSD Is Proud to be Featured in the National Renewable Energy Lab's Guide to Zero Energy Ready K-12 Schools
students and families gathered at Sanchez outdoor space

On a recent Spring Saturday, students from Alicia Sanchez Elementary took turns packing dirt around newly installed wildlife displays in the open space just outside of their school, while across the way, Centaurus High School students were laboring to build new trails between the elementary school and the surrounding neighborhood.

Read More about Partnerships open new opportunities for BVSD students in Lafayette’s open space


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