Rory Johnson / Bachelor of Arts in Sustainability Studies
Rory Johnson didn’t plan to change the world through sustainability when he graduated from high school. He didn’t plan to attend CMC either. Lacking direction after high school, he says he chose to follow the well-worn path to a big-name university. After 3 years in Boulder, sitting on a mountain of student debt with no serious interest in his studies, Johnson decided it was time to change plans.
Having lived in the Roaring Fork Valley for most of his life, he ‘d always known about CMC and decided to give it a try. That choice eventually earned him a bachelor’s degree in Sustainability Studies from CMC. “I still have a bunch of debt I’m paying off from my last university and I didn’t even graduate from there. I didn’t take out any debt to attend CMC,” Johnson said.
After six years attending school and working simultaneously, Johnson graduated from CMC and landed a job with Marble Distilling in Carbondale, CO helping to enhance their sustainability efforts. After guiding the installation of a new water reclamation system, Johnson helped the distillery begin to save over 4 million gallons of water per year since 2015 and continue to save more every year. “Water has been an issue my entire life,” Johnson said. “If I can make a difference in even one area, that would be pretty cool.”
Johnson is currently working to implement a new sustainability score card that other distilleries can adopt to shine a light on businesses that emphasize sustainability in their daily operations. The score card measures different sustainability practices such as water recycling and energy saving methods.