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Fort Collins Makes Sustainability a Way of Life [VIDEO, INTERVIEW]

I thought I knew a lot about sustainability, but I’m learning from the City of Fort Collins that there’s a lot I don’t know.

So what is sustainability for the City of Fort Collins? According to Chief Sustainability Officer Bruce Hendee, it goes beyond ‘reduce, reuse, and recycle.’

Sustainability…is based on the true triple bottom line: Environment, Economics and Social Sustainability.

Fort Collins has been dipping its feet into the waters of sustainability since Reagan was president and the City has become a leading expert in their practices, and in the implementation of those practices. It’s an all inclusive effort that enlists the participation of government agencies, private business and citizens alike. I asked Bruce what he thought of his team, and his answer included more people than I thought it would.

When I think team, I think the entire City organization, and looking out at the community as a whole. I’ve never really seen boundaries. To me, it’s everybody in the community working together to ensure that we are a great community….One of the things that really differentiates us, and I see this everywhere I go, is the friendliness of our community, the willingness of everybody to participate in its future. So, I look at every single member of the community being a part of developing a great community.

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The myriad of projects and services that Fort Collins offers makes it obvious that the City is focusing on the triple bottom line and seeking to engage businesses and citizens in participating in it as well. The Climate Wise program has saved businesses millions of dollars, plus saved a lot of energy and diverted or avoided a lot of waste since its inception. Programs like the Energy Audits and Loan programs for upgrades to citizens homes like the installation of radon mitigation systems improve quality of life and save the city and citizens money.

I know for a fact that they are attempting to ramp up all of their efforts across the board because that is the very reason I am writing this blog post. I’ve partnered with them in order to help them achieve more of their sustainability goals because as a voice of the community, that is what I feel I should do. My bosses and the City seem to concur.

As we move forward, please consider taking part in some of the programs. There are so many, that there is sure to be one custom tailored to you. The best thing about this whole movement is that everyone understands that it doesn’t fly if it isn’t win-win. The solutions and programs that we are coming up with solve problems with the triple bottom line involved, so we don’t lose, we gain.

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