In the Know: Identifying tips and practices for a more sustainable future
Boulder County reaps financial benefits from sustainability efforts
Boulder County, CO – An analysis of sustainability programs, based on data gathered between 2011 and 2013, estimates that every $1 invested by Boulder County government resulted in $5 worth of benefits for the community. Those benefits came in the form of energy savings for residential and commercial buildings, reduced water consumption in homes and businesses, and solid waste diverted from landfills.
Boulder County hired Natural Capitalism Solutions, a Colorado-based consulting firm, to study the environmental, social and economic impacts of county sustainability programs in the areas of agriculture, energy and buildings, transportation, waste, and water. The results of the analysis were presented to the Boulder County Commissioners’ Office on May 28, 2015.
Natural Capitalism Solutions’ report highlighted economic impacts including over $37 million in direct savings to residents and businesses, and another $62 million reinvested into the community. The report also highlighted social impacts including the creation of close to 187 energy-related full-time jobs, as well as reduced utility bills for low-income residents resulting from energy conservation and weatherization programs.
Nearly every program had very positive benefits," said Nick Sterling, of Natural Capitalism Solutions. He added that all the programs studied could expand Boulder County government's efforts in such areas as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy use, saving money and improving air quality.
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