Boston – April 9, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the Greenovate Boston Mayor’s Carbon Cup, a voluntary recognition program for large hospitals, universities, and commercial building portfolios committed to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 35% by 2020. In order for the City of Boston to reach its citywide target of reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHGs) by 25% by 2020, large building portfolios will need to lead by aiming for a higher GHG reduction target.
“A cleaner, greener, and more prosperous future, as outlined in our Climate Action Plan, requires leadership from every sector.” said Mayor Walsh. “CarbonCup pledges and winners will represent the cream of the crop for our large buildings, demonstrating what’s possible in energy efficiency, while greening our city and creating quality jobs.”
The Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO) establishes the reporting framework for easy participation in the Mayor’s Carbon Cup. Those pledging to the Carbon Cup commitment must enroll at least 1 million square feet, with additional tiers of recognition for those enrolling greater than 2 million or 5 million square feet. Pledges may choose 2005, or the next earliest available year with energy data, as a baseline. Through BERDO, the City will track year-over-year progress towards the goal.
“Commercial buildings comprise over half of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions.” said Brian Swett, Chief of Environment, Energy Services, and Open Space. “Getting our biggest property owners enrolled could cut emissions by over a hundred thousand metric tons of GHGs, equivalent to ten thousand homes taken off the grid.”
Investment in energy efficiency is also a driver of the local economy. Getting five to ten building portfolios enrolled could also save businesses and institutions tens of millions of dollars in energy costs over the lifetime of the projects, while injecting tens of millions more dollars into the local economy for contracting and retrofit work.
The City is seeking initial pledges and possible Carbon Cup winners to be announced at the Greenovate Boston Community Summit on May 31. Over the summer, the City will work with initial participants to finalize guidelines for reporting and accounting, and continue to source new participants. The CarbonCup is a part of the larger Renew Boston Commercial/Industrial Strategy for saving energy and bringing down the GHG footprint of Boston’s institutions and businesses. Guidelines can be found at http://greenovateboston.org/resources/actions/mayors-carbon-cup/. Interested entities should contactinfo (at) greenovateboston (dot) org.
The City of Boston also remains committed to energy efficiency and lowering the greenhouse gas footprint of its own municipal buildings. NSTAR Gas and Electric, a subsidiary of Northeast Utilities, today presented Mayor Walsh a one million dollar rebate check for City energy efficiency projects completed through 2013 and early 2014. These projects include lighting replacements at East Boston High School and the Family Justice Center, as well as the installation of over 6,500 high-efficiency LED streetlights in a continuation of the long-term project to retrofit all street lights throughout the City. These projects are projected to reduce the City’s GHGs by over 3,000 metric tons – the equivalent of taking nearly 700 cars off the road.
“Northeast Utilities and NSTAR Gas and Electric are proud to continue its strong partnership with the City of Boston in lowering both municipal and residential energy costs,” said Jim Hunt, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Community Relations for Northeast Utilities.
Since 2010, municipal energy projects have saved taxpayers over $3.3 million per year. Through the Renew Boston residential program, over 23,000 energy assessments and 6,000 insulation and home weatherization jobs have been completed. Boston was named the number one city in the country for energy efficiency policies and programs by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy in 2013.
About Greenovate Boston
Greenovate Boston is a collective movement to ensure a greener, healthier and more prosperous future for the city by meeting Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050. Propelled by creativity and drive, Greenovate Boston will encourage continued sustainable growth within the city, making Boston the greenest in the United States. Visit http://greenovateboston.org for details.
Mayor’s Press Office
Press.Office (at) cityofboston (dot) gov