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May 17, 2024

Signed! Legislation to Streamline Sustainability Practices, Help Colorado Reach Climate Goals

New law creates the Office of Sustainability to coordinate efforts to implement Colorado’s climate goals

BOULDER, CO – Today Governor Jared Polis signed into law legislation sponsored by Senators Chris Hansen, D-Denver, and Lisa Cutter, D-Jefferson County, and Representatives Judy Amabile, D-Boulder, and Karen McCormick, D-Longmont, to create the Office of Sustainability to coordinate efforts to implement Colorado’s climate goals.

“Colorado has passed nation leading legislation in recent years to set reasonable and reachable climate goals and put us on a path to a sustainable future,” said Hansen. “With the many policies we’ve passed, there are a number of agencies and offices working independently towards the same goals. The Colorado Office of Sustainability will ensure these many moving parts are working in concert to implement our climate goals, reduce emissions, and put our state on a path to climate sustainability for generations to come.”

“Colorado’s beauty is part of what makes our state so special, and it’s important that we do our part to meet the climate goals we’ve created to protect our environment and our communities,” said Amabile. “With our new law, we’re better aligning sustainability measures across numerous state agencies and higher education institutions to promote more environmentally sustainable practices.”

“From my first day as a legislator, I've worked on sustainability issues,” Cutter said. “It is critical that we fully support and employ in state agencies the practices that align with our goals and values as a state. From coordinating efforts on sustainable infrastructure projects to leveraging federal funding available for sustainable practices, the Office of Sustainability will be a critical asset as we continue our work to achieve Colorado’s climate goals.”

“Colorado Democrats have passed numerous laws in the past few years to help us meet our climate goals, but it can be difficult for all of the agencies and offices that are running sustainability programs to coordinate effectively,” said McCormick. “Our new law creates the Colorado Office of Sustainability to support clean energy technology adoption and boost coordination so we can reach our climate goals in an efficient and impactful way.”

SB24-214 creates the Office of Sustainability within the Department of Personnel and Administration to streamline sustainability practices across state agencies. The Office is charged with:

  • Facilitating sustainable infrastructure projects with other state agencies, such as electric vehicle charging infrastructure, energy efficiency, and waste diversion;

  • Conserving water, including through xeriscaping and native plant landscaping;

  • Developing baseline metrics for reducing negative environmental impacts;

  • Tracking financial savings from implementation of sustainability policies; and

  • Seeking federal funding to support sustainability practices.

The law also advances a range of other measures to make progress on state climate goals including: 

  • Creating the Sustainability Revolving Fund to replace state-owned gas and diesel-powered equipment located in the ozone nonattainment area on the Front Range;

  • Initiating a study to advance the adoption of energy-efficient heat pump technology; and

  • Requiring newly constructed buildings that receive state financial assistance – which is growing due to new investments in affordable housing – to use energy-efficient appliances.

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