Moe Tabrizi
Moe Tabrizi

Looking to consolidate efforts to reduce energy, water and paper usage, the University of Colorado has appointed its first-ever director of campus sustainability.

Moe Tabrizi, formerly the campus' energy conservation officer, was appointed to the position this month and will work to achieve state and campus goals of reducing energy consumption by 20 percent, water consumption by 10 percent, petroleum use by 25 percent, and paper use by 20 percent, all by 2012.

"In the long term, we'll work on achieving carbon neutrality and that is a tall order," Tabrizi said Monday.

But Tabrizi said the campus won't see visible changes until current sustainability practices are evaluated.

Student Alina Prassas dumps sorted paper at the University of Colorado s recycling center in April. CU has appointed its first director of campus
Student Alina Prassas dumps sorted paper at the University of Colorado s recycling center in April. CU has appointed its first director of campus sustainability, with the goals of reducing energy, water and paper usage. ( K BROUSSALIAN )

"Changes will be gradual," he said. "At a campus this large, with 200 buildings .. and about 35,000 people, those changes often have to be in one part of the campus and then gradually spread to others versus all at once."

Another goal of the position is to ensure that all new construction meets standards of energy-efficiency and sustainability, and Tabrizi will continue managing the engineering of campus facilities.

"I'm excited about the position and see a good synergy between engineering and sustainability," he said. "There's a lot of focus on building green with all of the new buildings being LEED gold certified, and that's just one example of the synergy I'm talking about."

Tabrizi said he'll be looking to the campus community to pitch in once the spring semester begins.

"My position is to sort of reinforce the coordination and working together of students, staff and faculty," Tabrizi said. "We'll be focusing on communication and cooperation to help the overall campus be more effective and successful."

CU spokeswoman Malinda Miller-Huey said that appointing a director of sustainability has become a "best practice" for institutions taking eco-friendly efforts seriously.

"CU has a number of ambitious sustainability goals," Miller-Huey said. "Vice Chancellor Frank Bruno and Chancellor DiStefano felt this was the right time to appoint a director in order to consolidate campus-wide sustainability efforts and take the university to next level."