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Chief Sustainability Officer, Jerry Tinianow, University of Colorado Wirth Chair Recipient

Jerry Tinianow receives the 2018 Wirth Chair Award

DENVER – On November 5, 2018, the University of Colorado Denver will host the Wirth Chair Sustainability Awards Luncheon at the Four Seasons Hotel Denver and will honor Denver’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Jerry Tinianow with the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE), for his work “to ensure that critical natural resources are available and affordable to everyone in Denver, now and in the future.”

The University of Colorado established the Wirth Chair in Environmental and Community Development Policy in 1993.The mission of the Wirth Chair is to foster effective sustainable development strategies that will strive to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Each year the Wirth Chair hosts a luncheon to recognize those who contribute to sustainability in the community.

The Wirth Chair cited Denver’s 80x50 Climate Action Plan as the impetus for the for recognition. The plan details a roadmap for how Denver will reduce 80% of its carbon emissions by 2050, including calls for deep decarbonization in transportation, electricity generation, and buildings, which are the main sources of carbon emissions for Denver. The plan also provides for the continual evaluation of high-impact opportunities as policies and technologies evolve.

In addition to the 80x50 plan, Mr. Tinianow’s collaborative spirit led to the development of the 2020 Sustainability Goals for the City and the community. Under Mr. Tinianow’s leadership, Denver has hosted an annual sustainability event, the Sustainable Denver Summit, since 2015 that encourages public and private sector partners to make commitments that help meet the 2020 goals.

“I am truly honored to receive this award, but the Climate Action Plan would not have happened without the amazing team in DDPHE’s Environmental Quality Division and other city departments,” said Mr. Tinianow. “The Air, Water, and Climate team in that division, headed up by Manager Liz Babcock, worked with stakeholders and used their internal expertise to flesh out a fully-formed plan for how Denver would achieve the carbon reduction goal.”

The 19th Annual Wirth Chair Sustainability Awards Luncheon will bring together elected and appointed officials, as well as leaders of business, government, academic and nonprofit entities to celebrate Mr. Tinianow and his office’s work that has made a positive impact on sustainability in Colorado. The awards luncheon will include a keynote address by former Secretary of State John Kerry.

“We’re very proud of Jerry and his team in the Office of Sustainability, and of all of the experts in Denver Public Health & Environment, for being champions and devoted advocates of the advancement of sustainability in our city policies,” Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “Sustainability isn’t just an environmental issue – it’s about improving the quality of life for our residents and our neighborhoods, and considering the future when we make decisions here in the present. Jerry knows this well, and he’s been working hard to keep Denver at the forefront of this effort.”

Mr. Tinianow has worked on issues of sustainability since serving on a congressional staff while in college during the 1970s. Mayor Michael B. Hancock appointed him to the position of Chief Sustainability Officer in 2012, where he started the Office of Sustainability for the City and County of Denver.


About Denver’s Office of Sustainability

The Office of Sustainability empowers Denver’s communities to live better, longer by leading efforts from the City and County of Denver to secure our economy and enhance our quality of life by ensuring that basic resources are available and affordable for all Denver residents, now and in the future. Mayor Hancock created the Office so the City could advance bold programs that will assure our policies and practices will protect our city’s resources for the future. For more information, visit or follow us at @SustainableDen.

The Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE), Denver’s nationally-accredited public health agency, empowers Denver’s communities to live better, longer. The divisions of DDPHE are: Animal Protection, Community & Behavioral Health, Environmental Quality, Office of Sustainability, Office of the Medical Examiner and Public Health Inspections. In partnership with Denver Public Health, DDPHE provides quality public health services to the City and County of Denver. For more information about DDPHE, visit or follow us @DDPHE.