Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Greening Allegheny County

Today Allegheny County released a comprehensive baseline inventory of the county’s carbon footprint for the year 2008, along with ways to achieve Dan Onorato’s executive order for a 20% reduction in carbon emissions, energy consumption and water usage by 2015.

77,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent is the number, with 86% of that coming from operating the county’s 139 buildings and facilities. Sustainability Manager Jeaneen Zappa says the action plan includes some very specific recommendations to achieve a 5% reduction each year: replacing windows, improving the efficiency of heating and cooling systems, de-commissioning buildings like the old morgue that are no longer being used.

Transportation savings can be achieved by converting the fleet from 6-cylinder to 4-cylinder vehicles and by using zip cars on an as-needed basis, says Zappa. Other recommendations include improving water and wastewater efficiency, increasing recycling, using more efficient streetlights, and increasing the purchase of electricity from renewable sources by 5% a year.

View the full report here.

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