Fort Collins, CO Action Plan for Sustainability

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Fort Collins, CO, US

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Type: Policy

Status: Initiated in 2004

Source File:


The Action Plan itself comprises 54 pages. Shown below is the Executive Summary. To view or print the entire document, please refer to the source file.

Executive Summary

Over the past year, City of Fort Collins staff members have been working on a visionary step in creating the Action Plan for Sustainability. This plan provides recommended policy, goals, and targets for advancing sustainability within City operations with a unified, cross-departmental approach. A staff team with representation from each service area across the City developed this Action Plan using the Sustainable Development Commission's Resourceful Government Guidebook: Tools to Put Sustainability Into Action in Local Government Agencies as a guide. The first step the team undertook was to develop the following policy statement for City adoption:

The City of Fort Collins will serve as a community leader in sustainability by conducting daily operations through balanced stewardship of human, financial, and environmental resources for present and future generations.

In order to put policy into action, the next step was to assess existing sustainability practices and identify new opportunities in daily City operations. Based on these documented successes and opportunities, the team then prioritized 9 areas of key importance to the City from a list of 31 sustainability topics for local governments. The nine areas are treated equally with no implied priority.

Priority A: Sustainable Purchasing General
Priority B: Sustainable Purchasing Auto Vehicles and Equipment
Priority C: Healthy Productive Employees Employee Health
Priority D: Healthy Productive Employees Employee Safety
Priority E: Green Buildings New Construction, Major Retrofits, and Operations and Maintenance
Priority F: Healthy Ecosystems Water Use Management, Irrigation
Priority G: Sustainable Energy Employee Commuting
Priority H: Pollution and Waste Reduction Office Recycling and Waste Reduction
Priority I: Management Tools Planning

The final step in the planning process was to develop goals and quantitative targets for each of the nine priorities. Each target contains four elements: (1) performance measure: how results will be quantified; (2) scope: what part of the operation will be measured; (3) performance goal: what the desired outcome is; and (4) completion date: when the outcome will be achieved.

The team recommends the following steps for accomplishing the goals and targets:

  • Obtain Executive Leadership Team (ELT) support for this Action Plan.
  • Establish an organizational structure to coordinate implementing this Action Plan.
  • Work with appropriate departments to finalize the recommended goals and targets.
  • Evolve finalized and approved targets into detailed implementation plans that identify specific resource needs, responsible staff members, and timelines.

The City is already practicing many aspects of sustainability. Measuring, managing, and optimizing the existing sustainability practices and emerging opportunities will accelerate the City s progress. The policy, goals, targets, and resources (included in Appendix D) described in this report provide the structure for ensuring that sustainability is maintained in the future.