In our nature to go further

Going green has been a way of life for us for a long time. It follows when you assume a position of responsiblity in a place as beautiful and inspiring as southwestern Colorado. Our spectacular location and the convergence of diverse cultures creates a community that is active and engaged in environmental and conservation efforts. Below, enjoy a small sample of what we do or check our Sustainability site for more details.

More on Sustainability at FLC

Get Involved

FLC students have been a powerful driving force behind many sustainability initiatives on campus. You can be too.

Environmental Center

Environmental Center logoSince 800 students petitioned to create the Environmental Center in 1990, FLC students have been promoting sustainability on campus and in the community with its backing. Get active and get experience:

  • Learn by doing with an internship at the Environmental Center
  • Work at the Environmental Center
  • Volunteer for gardening, conservation, and other sustainability projects on campus & in the community

EC programs include the Climate Action team, SEEDS Campus Ecology Club, the Local First campaign, and Sustainable Business and Zero-Waste teams.

Go to the Environmental Center

Sustainable campus

Solar energy

Real-Time Solar Output FLC Campus screenshotWe have solar panels on the Student Union, Sitter Family Hall, and Berndt Hall, which includes a solar hot water system and a roof-top photovoltaic system.

See the real-time energy output of our photovoltaic system on the Student Union.


Real food movement

Real Food Challenge buttonFLC has been part of the Real Food Movement since 2013. "Real food" means local, ecologically sound, fair-trade, and humane food products. Taking the Real Food Challenge, FLC commits to serving 20% real food on campus. We were the second college in Colorado to take the challenge.


Composting & recycling

While the college has been recycling and composting for years, recent improvements have made it faster and easier. The Rocket Composter in the Studen Union handles any discarded food from the San Juan Dining Room and the Rocket Grill. This commercial composter reduces food waste by 70%.

To remove behavioral barriers to recycling, single stream recycling allows people on campus to put nearly all materials into a single bin, including paperboard, plastics, and even glass.


LEED Gold Buildings at Fort Lewis College logoWe are committed to environmental practices even as we grow. Four buildings on campus are currently LEED Gold certified.

Sitter Family Hall, the home of the Geosciences and Physics & Engineering Departments, is the fourth LEED® certified facility on campus. Features include double-glazed low-e windows, state-of-the-art heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, rooftop mounted solar panels, recycled construction materials and more.

The Student Union features a vegetated roof, and two solar energy projects: a solar hot water system and a roof-top photovoltaic system, in addition to a state-of-the-art composting system.

The Biology Wing of Berndt Hall also features solar power along with bicycle storage, open space preservation, and extensive natural lighting.

Animas Hall was Fort Lewis’s first building to earn a LEED Gold rating. Animas Hall, one of our student residence halls, features recycled and locally-produced building materials, along with low or no-water landscaping.

Presidential initiatives

We are a signatory to the Second Nature Carbon Commitment. Through this commitment, we aim to achieve climate neutrality by 2080, with interim emissions reductions targets at points along the way. In 2015, we exceeded the goals of our first target and reduced carbon emissions by 21% through updates to inefficient equipment on campus, such as boilers and light fixtures, and increasing insulation in the dormitories.


Fort Lewis College and the city of Durango are very bike friendly, with bike & pedestrian paths and dedicated bicycle lanes throughout campus and town. An extensive trail system also connects campus and town. All students receive a free city bus pass, and qualifying energy-efficient vehicles receive discounted parking permits.

Princeton Review - Guide to Green Schools Real Food Challenge seal carbon commitment logo EPA Green Power Partner