Measuring Philadelphia’s Carbon Footprint

inventory screenshotIncreasingly people and organizations, from individual residents to multinational corporations, are becoming interested in how much they contribute to the greenhouse gas emissions changing our climate. The City of Philadelphia is no different. As outlined in our Greenworks Progress Report released last month, the City has been tracking emissions both from its own operations and assets as well as the carbon footprint for Philadelphia as a whole for several years.

This week, we’re diving more deeply into this data with two new reports available at http://www.phila.gov/green:

  • Municipal Greenhouse Gas Inventory: The City of Philadelphia is the single-largest property owner — and emitter of greenhouse gases — in the city. This report assesses the carbon footprint for those assets owned and operated by the municipal government in 2013*.
  • Citywide Greenhouse Gas Inventory: To plan programs and policies designed to reduce Philadelphia’s overall impact on global climate change, a reliable baseline of citywide carbon emissions is essential. This report covers the most recent complete dataset available, 2012*, and outlines greenhouse gas emissions by sectors including buildings, transportation, and process emissions from industrial sources.

Appendices to both reports with additional data are available on our resources page.

Among the key takeaways from these documents:

  • Buildings continue to be the primary source of carbon emissions in Philadelphia. While smokestacks and traffic jams are more visible reminders of our society’s reliance on carbon-intensive fossil fuels, more than 60 percent of Philadelphia’s citywide emissions result from building energy usage in our homes and businesses.
  • A cleaner grid is reducing our emissions profile. The carbon intensity of electricity produced by PJM (the regional power grid that serves Philadelphia) decreased between 2005 and 2010 (the most recent data available) thanks to declining coal usage and an uptick in natural gas and renewable energy sources.
  • Tracking emissions is a key part of planning Philadelphia’s climate future. The City is committed to continuing to update its greenhouse gas inventories on a regular basis, both to educate the public and to inform policy discussions that will influence the future of Philadelphia’s carbon footprint.

*Both the municipal and citywide inventories rely on data sources that are updated infrequently and with a significant time delay; this is why 2012 and 2013 inventories are only now being published.

Greenworks 2015 Progress Report — and Map! — Released

Today we’re pleased to announce the release of the Greenworks 2015 Progress Report — the final sustainability report released under Mayor Nutter’s administration. You can read the full update right here.

To accompany the release of the report, MOS has partnered with Azavea to develop www.GreenworksMap.com, a new digital platform showcasing much of the sustainability work completed during the Greenworks implementation period (2009-15). Users can see Greenworks projects and initiatives in a citywide map-view, zoom to a particular neighborhood or address, and filter by areas of interest. The Map will be available to partners to use and will be updated regularly as new projects are implemented.

Greenworks is a collaborative effort among the Office of Sustainability, other City departments and agencies, the private and non-profit sectors, and Philadelphia’s residents. To continue this work, we need your ideas and support. Please continue to be in touch with us on Twitter @GreenworksPhila, on Facebook, and at mos@phila.gov. Have a great summer!

 

 

 

Project Applications Open for 8th Annual Philly Spring Cleanup

The City of Philadelphia is pleased to announce the 8th Annual Philly Spring Cleanup to be held Saturday, April 11, 2015 (rain date, Saturday, April 18, 2015).

2015 Partner Application

Dedication like yours, along with the can-do attitude of thousands of volunteers all over the city, is exactly what we need to meet our goals. Got a project in mind for this year’s Philly Spring Cleanup? There are two ways to submit it for approval:

1. Online:

Click here to complete the application online*.
* If you have registered online in past years, you will need to generate a new password for 2015 by clicking “Need a New Password?” All of your profile information has been saved.
Or

2. Mail

Download the application here (pdf)
Mail completed application to:
Donald Carlton
Deputy Streets Commissioner
City of Philadelphia – Streets Department
730 Municipal Services Building
1401 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Application Deadline: March 27, 2015

We will be posting all projects on the website as early as February to get volunteers signed up, so please submit your applications as soon as possible.

Supplies for Your Cleanup Project

The City will offer a limited number of supplies to assist with your Cleanup projects. These items include:

  • Trash bags
  • Rakes
  • Paint & Brushes
  • Gloves
  • Shovels
  • Brooms
  • Recycling Bins

In addition, we will help support your projects by directing volunteers to your sites, collecting trash and recyclables from your Cleanup and assisting you in planning your project. We are unable to provide special ordered supplies.

Keep Up The Sweep Up!

We’re out to put an end to litter and illegal dumping – not just on Cleanup day, but permanently. And the more partners like you that help us, the better. The UnLitter Us rally cry was heard loud and clear. It led to community education programs, stricter enforcement, and block-by-block cleaning events. Let’s join hands to make our neighborhoods and our City as beautiful as they can be.

Questions?

The Philly Spring Cleanup 2015 is a great start, but we need to keep it going all year long. If you have any questions, or if you would like to learn how you could support litter prevention efforts beyond the Spring Cleanup, please contact phillyspringcleanup@phila.gov.

Using the Benchmarking Tool to Visualize Greenhouse Gas Emissions

In his State of the Union address last night, President Obama made a strong statement in support of addressing the reality of climate change head-on. Philadelphia has been tackling the crisis though a series of measures as part of Greenworks, including a focus on building energy use, which accounts for 60% of citywide greenhouse gas emissions.

One of the building-level metrics that we have not been able to capture until now is how much carbon is being emitted in Philadelphia’s largest buildings. Just launched last week, the Benchmarking Data Visualization tool not only provides assistance to building owners and operators to understand how their building’s energy use compares to its peers, but can also provide carbon emission comparisons.comparison

Using the mapping tool, the user can change the usage to show emissions among the benchmarked buildings.  The user can then filter the buildings according to building sector and choose a category to show buildings of a certain size, type or age.  A building owner, manager or tenant can search and compare their building emissions to up to three peer buildings.

You can also visualize greenhouse gas emissions from these buildings using the chart tool. Here, you can visualize building carbon emissions by sector, building age, building size and individual building emissions.

comparisonstats by building type

For more information about the Philadelphia’s energy benchmarking program and the Year Two Energy Benchmarking report, please visit www.phila.gov/benchmarking or contact benchmarkinghelp@phila.gov.

Philadelphia Releases Energy Benchmarking Visualization Tool

For the past few months, MOS has been working with local geospatial analysis firm (and B-Corp!) Azavea to help visualize the results from the second year of Philadelphia’s energy benchmarking program for large commercial buildings. Today, we’re thrilled to announce the result: a new web-based tool to assist building owners and operators understand how their building stacks up to its peers around Philadelphia.

Azavea screenshotThe Benchmarking Data Visualization tool is available on Philadelphia’s energy benchmarking website (www.phila.gov/benchmarking) or by clicking here. The tool has two primary components:

  • Mapping and Comparison: Building owners, managers, and tenants can find their building by searching for the property address or Office of Property Assessment ID number. After selecting a property, users can generate a report on the building’s benchmarking results or compare to up to three peer facilities around the city.
  • Charts and Graphs: In this section of the tool, users can see benchmarking data visualized by building type, individual performance, and (for facilities owned and operated by the City of Philadelphia) over time through a series of interactive graphing functions.

Azavea has designed the tool to be as user-friendly as possible. The goal of Philadelphia’s benchmarking and disclosure policy is to improve building performance by making energy data in the city’s largest buildings transparent and open to the public. Like other cities, MOS made this data public via spreadsheet last fall; this visualization tool represents the next step in opening this data up to the widest possible audience.

In addition to launching this tool, MOS is also releasing the full report from the second year of energy benchmarking in Philadelphia. This report follows the Executive Summary of results released last fall, and is available for download at www.phila.gov/benchmarking.

Looking Forward to 2015

As we look back on another year of implementation of Philadelphia’s Greenworks plan, we’re thrilled by the progress our city has made thus far and excited to get to work in 2015, the last year in the plan’s original timeline. If you want to read our past reports to see the progress to date, you can check out our recently updated Resources page, which includes the original 2009 plan and each of our annual progress reports. Look for the final report this summer, and have a happy and safe New Year!

Greenworks thumbs

Recycle Your Tree This Holiday Season

It’s always the season for recycling!

Have you ever thought about recycling your Christmas tree? Philadelphia offers a variety of tree recycling options after the holidays.  For over 25 years, the Streets Department’s Sanitation Division has provided citizens with an environmentally friendly alternative for used trees. Real Christmas trees are biodegradable, meaning they can easily be reused or recycled into useful products such as mulch, woodchips, and compost.

If you are considering recycling your tree after the holiday season, you must bring it to one of the designated sites listed below. Trees left on the curb for regular trash pickup will not be recycled. Before you drop off your tree at one of the designated tree-cycling locations, please remember to remove all decorations, tinsel, and lights, and ensure that trees are untied!

Thanks for your commitment to a more sustainable holiday in Philadelphia!

Locations, dates, and times for 2015 Christmas tree recycling:

  • Streets Department Sanitation Convenience Centers: Open 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday through Saturday.
    • 3033 S. 63rd Street
    • Domino Lane & Umbria Street
    • State Road & Ashburner Street
    • 2601 W. Glenwood Avenue
  • 23 Saturday Only drop-off sites throughout the city: Saturday, January 10th and Saturday, January 17th from 9:00am to 3:00pm. Click here to find the most convenient location.
  • Community-sponsored treecycling events:

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

  • 9:30am-12:30pm: Corner of Memphis St. & Susquehanna Ave. (NKCDC, EKNA, FNA, ORCA)
  • 10:00am-4:00pm: Columbus Square Park at 13th & Reed Streets (PSCA, LoMo)
  • 10:00am-4:00pm: Orianna Hill Dog Park @ 3rd & Poplar Streets (NLNA)
  • 10:00am-4:00pm: Clark Park @ 43rd & Chester Ave (UCGreen, UC District)
  • 10:00am-4:00pm: Markward Rec Center @ Taney & Pine Streets (FSRP)

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

  • 9:30am-12:30pm: Boy Scouts Headquarters Parking Lot @ 22nd & Spring Streets (LSNA)
  • 9:30am-12:30pm: Norwood Fontbonne School on Sunset Ave. (GRINCH)
  • 10:00am-4:00pm: Eastern State Penitentiary @ 22nd & Brown Streets (FESPP
  • 12:00pm-4:00pm: Ridge Ave. & Scotts Lane (EFCG)
  • 1:00pm-4:00pm: Gabbie’s Garden on Chew Ave. (EMAN)