SustaInnova is founded and run by Kevin Gilford, who gave himself the title of ‘Chief Sustainability Officer’ (CSO) because he can but, more seriously, he believes that the CSO should also be the ‘Chief Executive Officer’ (CEO) and vice versa in any organization. In this era of climate change, sustainability is necessarily part of the portfolio of any corporate officer.
Kevin is the former assistant sustainability director for the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS), where he also completed his M.A. in Applied Geography. In the Office of Sustainability, where he ran the day-to-day operations from 2008 to 2017, he managed the campus $2.5M utility budget, performed energy efficiency analysis, developed renewable energy projects, tracked and inventoried greenhouse gas emissions, provided LEED building consulting, educated students, faculty and staff about energy, water and resource conservation, and directed sustainability measurement and assessment activities, such as AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS).
At UCCS, Kevin currently teaches the Sustainability Seminar, the capstone, experiential-learning course for students enrolled in the Sustainable Development Minor.
Prior to joining the UCCS community, Kevin received his B.A. from the University of Colorado Boulder with a major in Geography. In his first job out of college, he worked on the dark side as a technical analyst for an oil and gas consulting firm. Subsequently, he worked for the U.S. Bureau of the Census as a geographer, helping to develop the TIGER files, the foundation for many digital cartographic databases and geographic information systems today. After spending a couple of years traveling around the world, he worked for fifteen years in the computer industry providing mission-critical technical support, computer system engineering and design, and management of a global technical services program.
Outside of UCCS, Kevin is a Technical Advisor for Air and Climate for AASHE’s STARS program and the chair of the Steering Committee of the Southern Colorado Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. Formerly, he was a member of the steering committee of the Green Cities Coalition and served on the advisory board of the Peak Alliance for a Sustainable Future (PASF). He has volunteered with the Solar Home Tour, Habitat for Humanity, English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, trail building projects and he provides free navigation clinics (map, compass, GPS) to local non-profit groups. His passions include renewable energy and alternative home-building techniques, such as straw bale and rammed earth. He is the co-founder of a wind turbine research and development company, Mariah Energy Development Corporation that designs and manufactures vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWTs) internationally.
When not working, Kevin can often be found outdoors somewhere — mountaineering, cycling, kayaking, fly fishing, skiing, or gardening. Inside, he can be found reading about science, history, art, and philosophy and learning how to be an urban homesteader in the small town where he lives, in preparation for the coming climate crisis.
Kevin has presented to organizations and classes on a variety of subjects from a sustainability perspective, from baseball and industrial engineering to white privilege and climate change — he is available to speak to your group on virtually any topic that can be related to sustainability (which is most anything).