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Eugene, OR, Reduces Energy Consumption & Carbon Footprint

by Don Knapp Apr 29, 2013

Even as its population grows, Eugene, OR is decreasing its energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, setting an example for cities nationwide. A 2013 progress report on the city's Community Climate and Energy Action Plan highlighted progress toward key goals on energy and fossil fuel use, land use and transportation, climate adaptation and community resilience, and other areas.

>> View the Progress Report (pdf)

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Chicago, Cincinnati, San Francisco Recognized for Citywide Efforts to Address Climate Change

by Don Knapp Jan 16, 2013

Photo credit: anneh632 courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Chicago, Cincinnati and San Francisco have been selected as U.S. finalists in World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour City Challenge (EHCC), a year-long challenge rewarding cities that are preparing for increasingly extreme weather and promoting renewable energy. Both Chicago and Cincinnati experienced their warmest years on record in 2012.  The cities were chosen by WWF and global management consultancy Accenture for actively taking steps to transition their communities toward a climate-friendly future.

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Grand Rapids Mayor Heartwell Outlines Needs for Local Leadership on Climate and Energy

by Don Knapp Sep 30, 2012

Mayor George Heartwell of Grand Rapids, MI, is a nationally recognized leader on sustainability and climate action. Today at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, Mayor Heartwell spoke before an audience of federal decision makers and sustainability leaders about his City's actions and leadership in the face of climate and energy challenges.

The National Leadership Speaker Series on Resiliency and Security in the 21st Century, organized by ICLEI and the U.S. Green Building Council, brought three nationally known leaders on sustainability and resilience: Mayor Heartwell, Mayor Ralph Becker of Salt Lake City, UT, and Vice Mayor Kristin Jacobs of Broward County, FL.

Mayor Heartwell spoke in great detail about the climate and energy challenges faced by all local governments, and outlined the key steps being taken in Grand Rapids to become more prepared for climate impacts and more energy independent and efficient. Below are his key points and messages.

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Broward County Vice Mayor Jacobs Speaks to Climate Challenges Facing South Florida

by Don Knapp Sep 30, 2012

Today at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, Vice Mayor Kristin Jacobs of Broward County, FL, spoke before an audience of federal decision makers and sustainability leaders about her actions and leadership in the face of serious climate and energy challenges.

The National Leadership Speaker Series on Resiliency and Security in the 21st Century, organized by ICLEI and the U.S. Green Building Council, brought three nationally recognized leaders on sustainability and resilience: Vice Mayor Jacobs, Mayor George Heartwell of Grand Rapids, MI, and Mayor Ralph Becker of Salt Lake City, UT.

South Florida is one of the nation's most vulnerable regions to climate change, and Vice Mayor Jacobs explained the specific impacts they are facing and are anticipated to face in the coming decades. Fortunately, thanks to her leadership, the South Florida region is taking key steps to increase community resilience and preparedness.

Below are the key facts and messages that Vice Mayor Jacobs delivered in her speech.

"Climate change poses significant challenges to the way in which we have historically viewed the resilience of our communities," said Vice Mayor Jacobs. "This is true even in South Florida, where we are vulnerable, and even accustomed, to extreme weather and severe storms. Our flat topography, low land elevation, and highly developed urban coastline all contribute to these risks and today, climate change promises to aggravate our local circumstance with more extreme climate conditions coupled with sea level rise."

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Salt Lake City Mayor Becker Leads on Action to Prepare for Climate Impacts

by Don Knapp Sep 30, 2012

Today at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker spoke before an audience of federal decision makers and sustainability leaders about his City's actions and leadership in the face of climate and energy challenges.

The National Leadership Speaker Series on Resiliency and Security in the 21st Century, organized by ICLEI and the U.S. Green Building Council, brought three nationally recognized leaders on sustainability and resilience: Mayor Becker, Mayor George Heartwell of Grand Rapids, MI, and Vice Mayor Kristin Jacobs of Broward County, FL.

Salt Lake City is already facing serious impacts due to climate change (see below), but under Mayor Becker's leadership, the City is responding with innovative preparedness measures. Below is an outline of the key facts and actions that Mayor Becker addressed in his speech.

“We need to look at climate change from a broader perspective. I am proud of the important progress we have made to reduce Salt Lake City’s carbon footprint as well as our efforts to adapt to the real and pressing effects of climate change,” said Mayor Becker. “The resilience of our built environment must be considered in all development moving forward. People want a community that’s sustainable and livable.”

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Success Story: The Greening of Grand Rapids

by Heidi Stukkie Aug 18, 2012

Photo credit: ADAM BIRD, reposted from the Rapid Growth website.

 

Reposted with permission from the Rapid Growth website:

Recent national awards have positioned Grand Rapids as an environmental leader known for its commitment to sustainability, energy efficiency and climate protection. The city’s focused efforts to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions began a few years ago and are already showing significant cost savings and numerous social and environmental benefits.   

Earlier this summer, the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) awarded Mayor George K. Heartwell first place in the large city category of the 2012 Mayors’ Climate Protection Awards. The award recognizes mayors for their innovative practices to increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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New Residential PACE Launch Is a Success in Southern California

by PACENow Aug 13, 2012

Guest blog post from PACENow:

The Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) Financing Program, sponsored by the Western Riverside Council of Governments (WRCOG), was launched in Riverside County (CA) in September 2011 for commercial projects and three months later in December for homes.  HERO is shaping up as a success on both residential and commercial fronts.

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How Self-Reliant Cities Use Raw Materials

by Neil Seldman, Institute for Local Self-Reliance Jun 17, 2012

Mattress recycling in Eugene, OR, creates jobs and reduces waste.

Guest Blogger: Neil Seldman, Institute for Local Self-Reliance

The recycling movement is yielding excellent results throughout the United States. In a range of innovative new ways, local governments are connecting the dots between resource conservation, sustainability, and local economic development. They are saving money, increasing local self-reliance, creating local jobs, and strengthening their local economies through recycling, reuse, composting and local food initiatives. Read on for success stories from communities across the country, and how you follow their lead.

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Houston Mayor Parker Announces Green Office Challenge Winners

by City of Houston Apr 25, 2012

City of Houston Creates Largest Challenge in U.S.


Houston green office challenge awards 2012 1 (credit: Richard J. Carson)

Mayor Annise Parker (right) congratulates members of Smith and Associates Green
Team, which took home the Overall Winner honors for "Greatest Implementation of
Green Building Innovations." Photo credit: Richard J. Carson

 

The City of Houston, in partnership with ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, the Clinton Climate Initiative and over 25 Houston nonprofits, announced the winners of the City’s first annual Green Office Challenge on Wednesday, April 18, 2012. The Houston Green Office Challenge officially began January 1, 2011 becoming the nation’s largest.

Since that time, the City of Houston has provided training opportunities and other resources, including financial incentives, to assist office building owners, property managers, management districts and tenants to increase their environmental and economic performance in the areas of energy conservation, waste reduction, water efficiency, cleaner transportation choices and property management/tenant engagement.

“The Green Office Challenge has been a success because of community commitment,” said Mayor Annise Parker. “More than 375 buildings and tenants participated representing approximately 75 million square feet.” In just the last year, with 176 buildings achieving LEED status, Houston rose from number seven to number four in the nation with the most LEED certified buildings and is quickly closing in on a top three spot. 

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Arlington County Businesses Save $2 Million With Green Games

by Arlington County Mar 26, 2012

Arlington county green games 2012

On Thursday, March 22, 2012, Arlington celebrated the accomplishments of its Inaugural Green Games competition for the commercial office sector.  More than 100 buildings and offices, representing roughly 15 million square feet – or one third – of Arlington’s office space competed for one year in a race to reduce waste, energy and water use, and set other environmental goals.

By deploying energy-efficient, no- to low-cost, and sustainable practices, Green Games participants realized a collective savings of $2M and prevented the release of 10,000 tons of CO2, or the equivalent of taking 1,996 passenger vehicles off the road for one year. Companies that showed the greatest achievements across areas such as energy and water use, waste diversion and transportation choices over the year were honored by Arlington County during the ceremony.

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