Champions for Change 8 years in a row.

May 15, 2015

For the eighth year in a row, Boulder Associates Architects has been awarded the Champion for Change Award from Practice Greenhealth. Amy Van Dam accepted the award on behalf of Boulder Associates at the CleanMed conference in Portland on May 14, 2015.

The Champion for Change Award recognizes organizations that demonstrate accomplishments in greening their own organization and assisting healthcare facility clients in improving their environmental performance. “Preparing the Champions for Change Award submittal has become part of our annual reflection and goal-setting process, reminding us to take the time to quantify our progress and recommit to the exploration of new opportunities,” reflects Kristi Ennis, Sustainable Design Director. Below are some of the notable sustainability achievements leading to the award:

Reducing Toxins

  • In 2014 we reduced our purchase of disposable batteries by 33% across all five offices by stocking long lasting rechargables. These batteries have a 3-year life span versus a standard 1-year life span; thus, reducing hazardous waste.

Tracking Metrics

  • Our Boulder and Sacramento offices obtained data on their office diversion of waste from the landfill. The Boulder office recycled 59% and composted 6% of their waste, while the Sacramento office recycled 23% of their waste.

GHG Offsets

  • Carbon emissions were offset for all flights and car rentals through tree planting. In 2014, we planted 786 trees worldwide. On rotating quarters, we plant in Colorado and California in addition to choosing other places that have been impacted by natural disasters. This year, we chose India and the Philippines due to the impacts of flooding.
  • We also continued our commitment to offset 100% of the carbon dioxide produced by our combined office energy use through the purchase of wind power. Last year our Green Power contract purchases offset 327,460kWh and 439,366lbs of CO2.


  • In 2014, 35% of our total office supply purchases contained recycled content (calculated by cost), including paper for large format printing in Boulder, Sacramento and Orange County. We located e-Stewards electronics recycler options for our 3 California offices, while our Boulder office has used an e-Steward recycler for many years. E-Stewards recyclers follow standards for responsible recycling of e-waste and do not export hazardous e-waste to developing nations.

Reducing Shipping Practices

  • Over the last ten years our firm has made significant reductions in the amount of large format drawings, samples and other documents we ship to clients, consultants and other offices. This decrease is attributed to employing various software programs that help to streamline how we create and share information that was once printed. In the last six months of 2014, our firm not only reduced the number of packages we shipped out of our Boulder office, but we also reduced the size of packages. Only 209 packages were shipped out of the Boulder office (1.6 packages per day), an 88% reduction since 2008. In addition, the Boulder office shipped a total of 1233 lbs, compared to 10 years ago when the office would ship an average of 800 lbs per day.

With 52% of our professional staff being LEED Accredited Professionals, we maintain our commitment to sustainability and are honored to be recognized by Practice Greenhealth.