Energy group close to 2025 target

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Source: Movers & Makers

December 19, 2022

Another Green Umbrella initiative is showing progress.

The Cincinnati 2030 District has released its 2021 progress report, which details the efforts and successes of members who voluntarily commit to cut emissions from energy, water, and transportation and improve the overall health of the buildings they occupy.

Members of the Cincinnati 2030 District are working to reduce emissions in these categories to take local action towards global goals of 50% carbon reductions by 2030.

District members showed a 31.5% reduction in energy, putting the district within striking distance of the 2025 target reduction of 35%.

“We are proud of the work our members have done since 2020 to reduce emissions related to energy, water and transportation in their buildings,” said Elizabeth Rojas, director of the Cincinnati 2030 District. “By benchmarking their buildings, and making improvements toward energy efficiency and renewable installations, they are leading the way for our region to hit the targets. The work they have done assessing and tackling low-hanging fruit positions them to take advantage of incoming tax incentives to go even deeper in meeting their environmental goals.”

Cincinnati 2030 District Director Elizabeth Rojas and its Data & Program Manager Tom Schultz.

The five-year-old Cincinnati 2030 District’s mission is to create a network of healthy, high-performing buildings to decarbonize Greater Cincinnati. It is an initiative of Green Umbrella, Greater Cincinnati’s environmental collaborative, uniting people and organizations passionate about improving the region’s environmental health. Launched in 1998 but refocused in 2011 as the leading alliance working to maximize the environmental sustainability of Greater Cincinnati, Green Umbrella is home to and incubates other projects like a local food policy council, the Common Orchard Project and the recently launched Regional Climate Collaborative. The regional sustainability alliance has served as the fiscal agent or sponsor for other projects including Tri-State Trails, Red Bike, Taking Root, Adventure Crew and Produce Perks Midwest, all of which are now independent nonprofit organizations. The local food policy council was recently named to a highly competitive national learning network.

A free building walk-through program helped district building owners identify opportunities to reduce energy costs and emissions. Since the program’s introduction, the 2030 District has “walked through” almost 200,000 square feet of space.

For water, reporting members achieved a 31.1% reduction against their own building’s data. Some are achieving this by implementing innovative solutions and products, while others are simply updating older fixtures.

For commuting, the district, in partnership with OKI Regional Council of Governments, compared the results from their first commuter survey, (sponsored by Metro SORTA), with a 2015 OKI baseline. Members saw a reduction of 20.8% in commuting emissions, which were bolstered by the increase in remote work. 92% of those surveyed reported that their commuting miles are made in single occupancy, combustion engine vehicles. However, there is significant interest in electric vehicle incentives from employers and improved bus service to provide lower-emissions options.

Four organizations have received awards for achievements in energy, water, transportation, and occupant health. Those include Pepper Construction for energy, the Cincinnati Art Museum for water, The VA Medical Center for transportation emissions reductions and Fifth Third Bank for occupant health improvements.