What: Sustainability Leadership Brown Bag Series, with Moe Tabrizi, CU's director of sustainability, and Susan Beckett, CU Environmental Center energy program manager
When: Noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday
Where: University Memorial Center, Room 245
Last year, Moe Tabrizi was named the University of Colorado's first director of sustainability. He works with the CU Environmental Center, as well as other organizations within CU such as Housing and Dining Services and the student government, to further goals of sustainability on the campus and in the community.
One of Tabrizi's short-term goals is meeting energy, water and petroleum reductions outlined by the governor's office by 2012. His long-term hope for the Boulder campus is complete carbon neutrality.
Tabrizi will be speaking Wednesday as part of CU's "Sustainability Leadership Brown Bag Series." The topic of this week's discussion is "Resource Conservation Strategies and Results."
1. How did you come to hold this position at CU?
I've been with the campus since 2002, as an energy conservation officer. Over the past eight or nine years, obviously the focus from purely energy conservation has grown to water conservation, building green buildings and really expanding the domain of conservation to include sustainability. It made sense to change the title to indicate the focus, but in practice, things are not much different; I still work very closely with the Environmental Center and the students. The title is an indication the campus is putting more focus on sustainability. It probably makes it a little easier to interact and connect with one place, with the partnership between the Environmental Center, housing and other functions within the university.
2. What does it mean to you personally?
I'm committed to give recognition of how important conservation and sustainability is to our buildings, our environment, to students, to our students' future in terms of challenges, in terms of career opportunities. I really enjoy helping the campus to focus and make some changes and move the needle slightly towards better results; it's kind of exciting.
3. What will you be speaking about this week during the "Resource Conservation Strategies and Results" lecture?
I will be talking about our short-term and long-term sustainability goals and actually sharing some of our quantifiable results. That's always exciting to have some data to show that you are moving in the right direction.
4. Why do you think it's important to get a partnership among students, residents and businesses?
I'm not good with one-handed clapping; it's never impressive when you're trying to do things. Small things can be done by individuals; large things have to be done in a partnerships and collaborations. The students are the sources of energy and ideas. My job is I basically try to add reality to those ideas and add implementation to those ideas.
5. Is there anything specific right now that you're excited about?
At times, our ideas are ahead of means and budget, but that's the fun challenge. We have seven solar installations on campus so far, and we are working on three more. It's exciting the way that we're implementing renewable energy without spending any money from campus; we're forming partnerships with third-party financing. The other thing that's important for us are the governor's energy orders. They basically say, against a baseline of 2006, by 2012 to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent, water consumption by 10 percent, petroleum use by 25 percent and paper use by 20 percent. We have formed several teams focused on achieving those goals, tracking and quantifying them, being able to show us getting closer. In some cases, we are ahead of the goals, some we're still working, but so far we've been pretty bullish about accomplishing them.