Philadelphia to Take Part in SEED Collaborative

Mayor Kenney announced today that the City will take part in the Standard Energy Efficiency Data (SEED) Collaborative, a free open-source database platform to track the energy performance of buildings throughout Philadelphia.

The SEED platform will help the City’s Office of Sustainability manage energy benchmarking data for nearly 2,000 commercial, municipal, and school buildings, along with 800 multi-family properties to be added to the program in the coming year.

“Philadelphia is an early leader in the benchmarking and disclosure of building energy information, and making use of the SEED platform will only improve that report,” Mayor Kenney said.  “We look forward to being an example for other cities as they look to increase sustainable energy use and limit greenhouse gas emissions.”

In cooperation with the Department of Energy, Office of Sustainability will work to integrate SEED with existing benchmarking reporting platforms, including the city’s groundbreaking data visualization tool ( and custom energy performance profiles emailed to every building owner that participates in the program.

“By participating in the SEED Collaborative, Philadelphia will have the opportunity to guide the development of the SEED tool and contribute toward the DOE goal of doubling American energy productivity by 2030,” said Christine Knapp, Director for the Office of Sustainability.

The city’s Greenworks sustainability plan has emphasized building efficiency as a key component of climate action; buildings account for 60 percent of the city’s carbon footprint, as compared to just 19 percent for transportation.

Philadelphia Releases Growing Stronger: Toward a Climate-Ready Philadelphia

climate ready

Today, the City of Philadelphia released its first climate adaptation report, Growing Stronger: Toward a Climate-Ready Philadelphia. An important first step toward preparing for a warmer, wetter future, the report details the impacts of climate change on municipal operations, assets, programs and policies and lays out actions that the City can take to mitigate those impacts.

“While world leaders are gathered in Paris to negotiate an international agreement, we are focused on what we can and need to do at the local level,” said Katherine Gajewski, Director of Sustainability for the City of Philadelphia. “The effects of a changing climate are already apparent in Philadelphia. We need to understand what climate change will look like on the ground and how to advance smart, proactive initiatives that will help us to prepare. Climate actions often come with a host of co-benefits that we are eager to identify and incorporate into how we make decisions and investments.”

Growing Stronger is the culmination of a multi-year planning process convened by the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability with the participation of a broad set of City departments and agencies. The report includes:

  • Detailed climate projections for Philadelphia: MOS worked with climate scientists to develop detailed projections of the warmer and wetter climate the Philadelphia region can expect over the next 85 years.
  • Vulnerability assessment for city-owned assets: Data provided by City departments allowed MOS to evaluate how climate stressors (extreme heat, an increase in winter precipitation, and sea level rise, among others) will impact existing city-owned assets.
  • Early implementation adaptation strategies: While ensuring Philadelphia continues to grow and thrive as the climate changes is a long-term process, Growing Stronger identifies strategies the City can undertake now to build resilience into existing programs and future assets.

The report is available online at:


Philadelphia Farmers’ Markets

Did you know that the number of farmers markets in Philadelphia has more than doubled in the last five years? In almost every corner of the city, farmers markets are serving up fresh produce, local goods, cooking classes, and food education.

Conveniently located in the shadow of City Hall, Dilworth Park Farmers’ Market sells produce, fresh bread, honey, and herbs.

Conveniently located in the shadow of City Hall, Dilworth Park Farmers’ Market sells produce, fresh bread, honey, and herbs.

Providing walkable access to affordable, healthy food was an integral part of the Greenworks Philadelphia sustainability plan, and in 2009 Greenworks set a goal of bringing local food within a 10-minute walk of 75 percent of residents (expanded to all residents in the 2012 report update).

Want to find a farmers market near you? Greenworks’ interactive map offers an interactive way to explore Philadelphia’s markets, co-ops, and more. Philly Food Finder, developed by the Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council, provides additional information about using SNAP benefits at the markets.

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

  • 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, 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 Have a great summer!




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 or contact

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 ( 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