Greenworks 2014 Progress Report Released

We’re very proud to announce that the 2014 Greenworks Progress Report is now available on our website (www.phila.gov/green). The Progress Report outlines some of the tremendous successes the City of Philadelphia and its community, non-profit, and private partners have made in the five Greenworks goal areas (energy, environment, equity, economy, and engagement), as well as the challenges that remain. With the fifth year of Greenworks reporting, we are beginning to understand report on some of the long-term trends that are driving these goal areas, and that will help inform the continued support and advocacy of our stakeholders throughout Philadelphia.

You can read the report at http://www.phila.gov/green/PDFs/Greenworksprogressreport.pdf.

MOS on the Road: Events for the Week of June 16

As we prepare for the release of the 2014 Greenworks Progress Report and the June 30th energy benchmarking deadline, MOS will be participating in several events around the city:

Benchmarking office hours: Non-residential buildings over 50,000 square feet must report their 2013 energy and water usage by June 30, 2014. If you need assistance in completing this process, we’re here to help. Open office hours will be held in the One Parkway Building (1515 Arch Street) on the 18th Floor, Room 18-026 this Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. All office hours sessions run from 2PM to 5PM. Please RSVP at benchmarkinghelp@phila.gov.

Investing In Your Facility @ CBEI: The Consortium for Building Energy Innovation will be holding an event to discuss benchmarking and investment, including an update on CBEI’s work on building retuning, on Wednesday at 9AM. More information is available here or by contacting Kat Hinkel at keh211@engr.psu.edu.

Philly EcoCamp: A series of events promoting sustainability and environment through technology, EcoCamp will be hosting workshops on Friday, including a discussion on building energy data led by Alon Abramson at Penn Institute for Urban Research and MOS staffers Adam Agalloco and Rich Freeh. Learn more and register at www.phillyecocamp.org.

State of the City: An Urban Sustainability Forum: MOS is thrilled to be partnering with USF to release the 2014 Greenworks Progress Report Thursday evening at the Academy of Natural Sciences. This is a free event, but registration is requested.

Watching Waste at Philadelphia Events

The Waste Watchers Program had a strong finish at the Philly Cycling Classic on June 1st, topping off a busy spring season of waste diversion at Philadelphia events. Waste Watchers, a sustaWaste_LemonHillinability initiative created through a partnership among the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, the Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Service, the Office of the City Representative, and the Mayor’s Office of Reintegration Services, started at the Philadelphia Marathon in 2011 to divert waste away from landfills. Waste Watchers operated exclusively at the Marathon until this year when the City received a $50,000 grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies to expand the program to other major Philadelphia events.

The Waste Watchers team recruited over 250 volunteers to educate attendees at the Philadelphia Science Carnival, the Broad Street Run, and the Philly Cycling Classic on how to sort their waste into the proper compost, recycling, and trash receptacles. Waste Watchers did an incredible job diverting waste from landfills, with some even volunteering at two events in one weekend! Their efforts resulted in a 70% waste diversion rate average over the spring events.

Thank you to all of the volunteers who dedicated their time and energy towards waste diversion with admirable enthusiasm!

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Mayor Nutter’s Statement On The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan Proposal

Mayor Michael A. Nutter released the following statement on the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan, which proposes the first-ever carbon pollution standards for America’s power plants.  The proposed regulations call on power plants to cut carbon emissions to 30% below 2005 levels by 2030.  The statement reads as follows:

“I applaud President Obama and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for taking this important, common sense approach to reducing carbon pollution nationwide, mitigating harmful greenhouse gas emissions and, ultimately, moving toward a cleaner environment.

“The proposal presents states and utilities with flexible compliance options, which will allow states to create a plan that works best for them.  It is my hope that Pennsylvania will develop a strong, tailored approach to meet the new standards by utilizing energy efficiency and clean energy technologies.

“In Philadelphia, we work to integrate sustainability principles into the work of City government and are actively advancing climate change adaptation efforts to enhance our resiliency to the changing climate.  Through our Greenworks plan, we are taking the lead at the local level to demonstrate that healthy environments go hand-in-hand with thriving communities and economies.

“Over the past five years, Philadelphia has broken records tied to heat, cold, rain and snow.  And, the effects of this extreme weather has taken a toll on our infrastructure and negatively impacted public safety, public health and the City’s budget. This year alone, our Streets Department will have spent an additional $6.3 million in work fighting winter storms and repairing winter street damage.

“While cities are on the frontline responding to weather events and adapting to climate change, we need Federal action.  The leadership displayed by President Obama in establishing consistent standards and goals is absolutely essential to addressing climate change and carbon pollution.  Once again, I want to thank the President and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy for protecting the health of the public and the environment.”

Philadelphia Joins Open Building Performance Data Initiative

Today, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced a series of initiatives aimed at using open and accessible data to ensure a “clean, secure, and reliable” energy future. As part of this announcement, the City of Philadelphia is pleased to commit to using the Department of Energy’s SEED platform to track and publish building energy data as part of Philadelphia’s municipal and citywide building benchmarking programs.

SEED is a web-based platform that will enable both the city and individual building owners to track their buildings’ energy performance over time. SEED is designed to integrate with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, the EPA tool that has become the standard for energy benchmarking and disclosure policies nationwide.

To learn more about SEED and the other initiatives set forth by Secretary Moniz today, visit the White House blog. Information about Philadelphia’s benchmarking program can be found at www.phila.gov/benchmarking.

Waste-Watchers Get 2013 Marathon Results

It took a bit longer to tally than the runners’ times, but today brings great news from our friends at SCA:

According to the report, of the 29.3 tons of waste generated at the 2013 Marathon, approximately 85.7 percent, or 25.1 tons was diverted from landfill.   This indicates an increase over the 2012 Marathon, where 24.7 tons of waste was diverted.  The City’s projections for the 2013 Marathon were an 85 percent diversion rate.

See the full press release at SCA’s website. The next Waste-Watchers volunteer opportunity will be at the Philly Cycling Classic on June 1st. If you’re interested in helping Philadelphia meet its waste diversion targets at this event, RSVP at this link.

Citywide Benchmarking Results Released

As promised in our last benchmarking-specific blog post, full results of Year One reporting are now available (see below for the results presentation). This report is the culmination of months of hard work by building owners and operators throughout the City of Philadelphia, as well as utility, non-profit, and federal partners.

Among the key findings from this report:

  • Ratable buildings in Philadelphia have an average ENERGY STAR score of 64, well above the nationwide average of 50.
  • Hundreds of buildings fall below this nationwide average, demonstrating the opportunity represented by energy efficiency retrofits.
  • Compliance rates were similar to benchmarking programs in other cities, but improved outreach and guidance will be necessary for Year 2.

The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability looks forward to this continued partnership with building owners in the years to come. The deadline for Year 2 benchmarking is June 30, 2014. If you have questions about the results of Year 1 reporting or compliance with Year 2, please contact our office at benchmarkinghelp@phila.gov.