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Media Release: DPS Uses 2016 Bond Reserve Dollars to Fund Financial Impact Assessment Used for District Wide Climate Conscious Planning and Design

The Assessment is Part of an Aggressive Approach to Reach Long-Term Sustainability Goals in the District

Director of Sustainability LeeAnn Kittle began working for Denver Public Schools in April 2020. Soon after her arrival and amidst a global pandemic, passionate students began approaching LeeAnn asking for DPS to get a climate resolution passed. In just a couple of years they achieved that goal, passing the Climate Action Plan. 

Thanks in part to the endeavor of these diligent students, steps were taken to create a detailed strategy to reach the goals set forth by the Climate Action Plan. A Financial Impact Assessment, paid for with bond reserve dollars from 2016, was conducted using an outside consultancy firm: Group14 Engineering, known for specializing in the energy and resource efficiency of building design. 

“While developing a district-wide climate action plan, I recognized quickly the importance of understanding any economic impacts, be it cost savings or premiums, toward these climate action goals. We not only wanted to have the right data but to ensure it is utilized within our capital planning and inform all stakeholders. In my experience, data turns discussions into decisions,” says Director Kittle.

“DPS students called for district-wide action to meet climate goals, and we looked at different elements that need to be accomplished in order to reach those goals. The DPS goals are based on the state of Colorado’s current goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 90% by 2050 and the City of Denver’s goal to achieve 100% renewable energy for electricity by 2030,” says Celeste Cizik, President and CEO of Group14 Engineering.

In honor of Earth Month, we conducted an interview with Celeste Cizik of Group14, and learned more about the collaboration between Director Kittle, Cizik, and our committed DPS students, and what it means for the future of the district.

“What is exciting about this work is that it attached real world projects to climate goals. Many organizations and governments are setting strong goals but it is an important next step to understand the projects that are needed, how much it will cost, and when changes should be considered.” - says Cizik.

Photos available:

DPS Students gathered to strategize the Climate Action Plan.

LeeAnn Kittle, DPS Director of Sustainability


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