Strategic Plan Goal: Environmental Sustainability and Resilience

Customer Service Strategy:

In support of the City of Durango’s commitment to environmental sustainability and resilience, the Sustainability Division provides analysis, coordination, and management of projects, programs, services, plans, and outreach efforts which help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, preserve our natural environment, conserve resources, maintain Durango’s unique character, and improve the quality of life for present and future generations. The Division provides technical support to city Departments, tracks and reports on actions and indicators, and serves as the point of contact for the community on sustainability initiatives.

Core Functions:

  • Implement and maintain the City of Durango Sustainability Plan
  • Track and report on sustainability indicators
  • Support all city departments on services, infrastructure, projects, and programs relating to sustainability
  • Conduct public outreach, education, engagement, and events promoting sustainability behaviors
  • Apply for and manage grant funding in support of city sustainability initiatives
  • Evaluate city code and policies for sustainability impact and propose amendments as warranted
  • Represent the city in local, regional, and state sustainability initiatives

Budget by Strategic Plan Goal

FY 2023 Total Budget: $226,825

FY 2023 General Fund: $226,825

Total FTE's: 1

Performance Results:

Electricity and Natural Gas Consumption in Buildings (community-wide, and municipal facilities) Energy consumption in buildings is one of the largest contributors to community greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing energy consumption results in a smaller carbon footprint.

Renewable Electricity Generation, both grid-mix and locally installed renewables (community-wide, and municipal facilities) Increasing the amount of renewable energy in our grid-supplied energy as well as the amount of local installations are two important paths forward. Operate Co-generation at SRWRF during 80% of operations. Install solar panel power generation at a facility each year.

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations, Number Installed, and Electricity Used (municipal) Electric vehicles and the associated charging infrastructure are critical for the transition away from powering our vehicles with fossil fuels.

Municipal Solid Waste, per capita amount sent to landfill and diversion rates Reducing landfill waste and increasing diversion reduces emissions and pollution, and reducing unnecessary material consumption in general decreases the amount of resources used to produce materials in the first place. Reuse of materials is encouraged in City Operations. This measurement focuses on tons diverted from landfill to recycle by City processes, tons per capita removed by City and tons of asphalt recycled for streets reuse.

Community Water Use per Capita This metric tracks water use (gallons) per capita, split by commercial and residential use. It is calculated by taking the total water use divided by the number of days in the quarter and estimated population in the City of Durango Utilities customers.

Budget by Type:

Source of Funds:

Strategic Operating Actions:

1. Reduce the city’s carbon footprint

1.1 Adopt and utilize a sustainability plan to guide greenhouse gas emissions reductions and climate action.

1.1.1 Complete sustainability plan and present to council for their adoption.

1.1.2 Introduce plan to all necessary city departments and establish effective system for inter-departmental coordination.

1.1.3 Track and report on LEED for Cities certification requirements, sustainability indicators, and sustainability-related actions.

1.2 Continually maintain and upgrade city facilities to reduce Energy Use Intensity (EUI).

1.2.1 Complete financially feasible efficiency upgrade projects including capital improvement projects and completing the energy performance contract.

1.3 Reduce transportation-related emissions by implementing actions outlined in the Electric Vehicle Readiness plan and pursue state and federal funding available for EV

infrastructure and fleet transformation.

1.3.1 Establish and effective system for city-wide coordination on EV funding applications (public infrastructure and incentive programs, Durango Transit, and other city


1.3.2 Complete an assessment of fleet vehicles and evaluate vehicles at end-of-life to ensure if replacements are needed, electric alternatives are considered and

purchased when feasible.

1.3.3 Expand installation and management of city-owned publicly available charging infrastructure.

1.4 Create high-quality outreach and engagement programs that foster awareness and guide community-wide action on reducing GHG emissions.

1.4.1 Educate the community about Durango’s carbon footprint and ways to reduce emissions through energy conservation, multimodal transportation, water conservation,

and waste reduction.

1.4.2 Support programs that target Durango’s businesses to reduce their emissions.

1.4.3 Provide grant funding to community organizations implementing sustainability and resiliency projects.

2. Increase availability of renewable energy

2.1 Pursue opportunities to install renewable energy on city-owned facilities and land when viable and financially feasible.

2.1.1 Complete financially feasible renewable energy (e.g., solar PV) projects including capital improvement projects and completing the energy performance contract.

2.2 Coordinate and engage with LPEA and other key stakeholders on potential projects and beneficial policies to advance renewable energy generation within our


2.2.1 Evaluate opportunities for leverage points under city control (e.g., rebates/grants, code updates, building energy benchmarking programs, etc.).

3. Improve the quality and resiliency of natural resources through conservation and effective management

3.1 Maintain high quality levels on environmental indicators such as air quality, water quality, landfilled waste, and light pollution

3.1.1 Work with community stakeholders and organizations to develop a poor air quality response plan.

3.1.2 Work with community stakeholders and organizations to support Animas River watershed water quality monitoring.

3.1.3 Maintain or improve Dark Sky Quality Meter.

4. Provide Solid Waste Disposal that is oriented toward Recycle and Reuse

4.1 Promote conservation and recycling of material resources through well-designed and well-managed city services.

4.1.1 Evaluate landfill waste streams for potentially recyclable material.

4.1.2 Adopt goals for both Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) generated per capita and diversion rates.

4.1.3 Expand organics diversion through partnership with Table to Farm Compost.

4.1.6 Increase diversion from landfill to recycle by City processes.

4.2 Continue to offer award-winning single stream recycling and trash services in an environmentally and fiscally responsible manner.

2022 Strategic Results:

  • Finalized and adopted City of Durango Sustainability Plan
  • Facilited departmental workshops and trainings to implement Sustainability Plan
  • Implemented sustainability indicator tracking and reporting
  • Acheived LEED for Cities certification
  • Implemented EV Readiness Plan implementation and installed new EV charging stations and connection infrastructure
  • Initiated the Green Durango Grant program
  • Launched pilot Green Business certification program with 4CORE
  • Received wildlife resistant containers grant
  • Managed outreach and waste reduction programs
  • Conducted analysis of Energy Performance Contract feasibility
  • Participated in Visit Durango Sustainable Tourism taskforce
  • Engaged with Colorado Communities for Climate Action

2023 Strategic Deliverables:

  • Performing a greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory update
  • Continuing city staff workshops/trainings on sustainability and the sustainability plan
  • Maintaining LEED for Cities certification
  • Continuing sustainability and waste reduction outreach and service events including, but not limited to Earth Day, Farmers Market, Household Hazardous Waste collection, Pumpkin Drop-Off, Christmas Tree Collection, and more
  • Expanding community compost service based on results of market study with Table to Farm Compost
  • Identify targeted solutions for improving water conservation and increasing recycling participation at multifamily residencies
  • Finalizing a plan for city facilities energy and water efficiency and renewable energy installations
  • Launching a rebate program for E-bike for essential & service workers

Service Enhancements:

  • Greenhouse Gas (GHG) inventory
  • Expanding Green Business Certification program rebates
  • Bins for improved event waste management
  • E-bike rebate program

Service Reductions:

The EV Charging Station CIP project is expected be completed by the end of 2022

2022 Positions:

2023 Positions: