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This is a partial list of Boise State’s sustainability initiatives that have occurred since the year 2000.

New project design

  • Aggressive energy use savings targets for all new construction.
  • Integrated design and full building level energy modeling to support choices for best long term value required on all major projects.
  • High quality design for future adaptability to insure long term usefulness of new facilities
  • Long term sustainability in land use planning decisions
  • Durable materials mandated for long life facilities
  • High efficiency glazing standard
  • Low emission material required for interior space to improve indoor air quality


  • Received a Better Bricks award for improvements to energy efficiency which were achieved through innovative performance contracting resulting in:
    • Changed 52 miles of fluorescent bulbs, 400 toilets and many other conversions. These changes resulted in an annual cost avoidance of nearly $400,000.
    • Reduced electrical use by 19.3% (7,300,000 kW per year).
    • Reduced Carbon Dioxide emissions by 83,000,000 pounds per year
    • Reduced natural gas consumption by 50%
  • Central Energy Management System
    • Expanded building automating systems for central control and remote building management to reduce utilities when buildings are not occupied. This resulted in a 16% reduction in utility use or $300,000 cost avoidance per year.
    • Building level metering – allows web based feedback on energy use to building users growing awareness of impact of individual behavior on energy consumption.
  • Commissioning and retro commissioning – Test and verification of systems design installation and operations to maintain maximum efficiency.
  • Geothermal – Every new building is designed to accommodate future geothermal heating from the city. Buildings undergoing a major remodel are also being prepared to accept geothermal heating.


  • Bus passes are provided free to Boise State faculty, staff, and students during spring and fall semesters. Student enrollment increased last year around 1.5% and bus ridership increased 8.2%. Since 2003, campus ridership has increased 44%.
  • A free shuttle serves the campus and apartment complexes near the campus. The result is fewer intra-campus trips made in vehicles.
  • New car pool efforts included more localized ride matching, guaranteed ride home for when emergencies occur, and carpool parking spaces placed in the most desirable areas.
  • Awards of over $3,000,000 in transportation grants in the last 5 years are used to purchase shuttles, build bus shelters and build a transit center. An additional $1,000,000 grant has been submitted to develop the Elder Street park and ride.
  • Bike Barn – Boise State operates 2 bike barns. One located in the Kinesiology Annex building, the facility, believed to be the first of its kind on a northwest college campus, provides a locked indoor bike storage facility, showers, lockers and dry cleaning service. The other is located in the Brady Garage.
  • Post “Clean Air Zone” signs around campus to remind delivery trucks to turn off their engines near fresh air intakes.
  • Increasing the number of small gas and electric utility vehicles in fleet to eliminate large vehicle emissions.


  • Campus-wide recycling of white copy paper, mixed paper, aluminum cans, plastics 1-7 (except styrofoam), printer cartridges, batteries, scrap metal, unused electronics, cardboard and newspapers.
  • Salvage operations attempts to find uses for used equipment and furnishings.
  • A community glass recycling container was installed on the corner of Capital and Diploma in partnership with the City of Boise.
  • Partnered with Associated Students of Boise State to purchase a new recycling truck.
  • Tailgate recycling and participation in Game Day Challenge to reduce the amount of waste from the landfill and divert high quality recyclables to usable markets.


  • All leaves and grass are mowed and left in place.
  • Watering systems are computerized and adjusted to weather conditions. Zone watering and drip systems are also used to reduce water use.
  • Implemented Integrated Pest Management Program in a goal to eliminate pesticides.
  • Increased use of low-water vegetation to reduce surface water consumption.
  • Using food plants in the landscape such as herbs in front of Culinary Arts.
  • Aggressively implement turf and vegetation practices that significantly reduce herbicide needs.


  • The BroncoPrint initiative reduced paper use in the student computer labs by 42% and reduced the amount of paper recycled by more than 90%. Students are being more selective in what they print and printing only what they need.
  • Boise State has lead Idaho state government in asking for and receiving the first state purchasing contract for products that contain a minimum of 30 percent post-consumer recycled materials. Products include paper towels, toilet paper and copy paper.


  • Energy Policy – Boise State researchers are part of a statewide consortium, The Energy Policy Institute, charged with determining Idaho’s best energy options for the future.
  • Geothermal – Boise State is part of the Intermountain West Geothermal Consortium, comprised of members from academic institutions in Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Oregon and from the Idaho National Laboratory. Members conduct geothermal research throughout the West in order to fully and economically utilize geothermal resources.
  • Global Warming – Researchers in Boise State’s Department of Geosciences are looking at the processes involved in climate change across the globe, while economics professor Siân Mooney studies the impact of climate change on agriculture and ways to offset these impacts. In addition, several new classes have been developed across the curriculum to address climate change issues.
  • Wind Energy – The Boise State College of Engineering received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to fund wind energy research. The goal of the project is to reduce our dependence on fossil fuel while also contributing to the development of a local wind energy economic cluster.