FIGURE E.1 Fort Carson and Colorado Springs. SOURCE: Courtesy of Fort Carson.

Sustainable development—high-performance buildings that minimize sustainability impacts—provides many tangible and intangible benefits. Because its execution sometimes means additional up-front costs and/or design time, it is critical that Fort Carson and other military installations on the sustainability journey have the continued support of military and U.S. government leadership; the quality of life for the soldiers and their families, and by extension the quality of our military, depend on it.


In 2002, Fort Carson was one of the first three U.S. Army installations to pilot the concept of sustainability. At that time, Mary J. Barber and Tom Warren of the Fort Carson Directorate of Environmental Compliance and Management, invited people from around the community and state to help Fort Carson personnel set 25-year sustainability goals.

The charge was: What will Fort Carson actually do and look like if it were to be sustainable? Following education about what actually becoming sustainable means, seven visionary performance goals (Box E.1) and five process goals were developed for achievement by 2027.

To achieve these goals, the installation began with a leading-edge hybrid management system that combined the aspirational sustainability goals with the U.S. Army- and U.S. government-required Environmental Management System (EMS) designed to ensure environmental legal compliance. The 25-year goals were managed using 5-year objectives and 2-year work plans; continued involvement of community stakeholders was encouraged but not required.

At present, the sustainability goals have been integrated into the garrison’s strategic plans, which are updated by the garrison commander to reflect multiple objectives related to soldiers, families, and the workforce and Fort Carson’s training mission. The EMS has returned to its traditional focus on environmental compliance. Annual EMS audits are conducted through a U.S. Army self-auditing system.

In addition to the 25-year goals that the garrison commander committed to in 2002, he committed Fort Carson to annual reporting back to the Colorado Springs metro community on goal progress. As the goals were set at a conference-like event, the Fort Carson sustainability team produced annual community-inclusive sustainability conferences beginning in 2003 to provide updates on Fort Carson’s

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