2016 Year in Review
The beginning of a new year is a good time to take note of all the achievements we’ve made over the past 12 months. It was a banner year for Sustainability in SLC– from our office becoming a full Department, to launching a new market program, to establishing ambitious clean energy goals.
We publish an annual report detailing our major accomplishments for the year. You can read the highlights from 2016 below, or download the full report here.
Thank you to our many partners who’ve helped us along the way. And happy New Year from all of us at SLCgreen!
Notable achievements in 2016 include:
Air Quality and Climate Change:
- Mayor Biskupski and the City Council adopted a Joint Resolution committing to 100% renewable energy for the community electricity supply by 2032, as well as an 80% reduction in community greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. The resolution also committed to 50% renewable energy for internal electricity use by 2020.
- We launched the Utah Climate Action Network at an April 2016 event. The Network is a partnership across multiple sectors with the mission of “Fostering diverse conversation, leadership, and coordinated action to ensure a collaborative response to climate change and its impacts on the people, economies, and prosperity of Utah.”
- In the summer and fall, SLCgreen collaborated with the University of Utah and Utah Clean Energy on a discounted electric vehicle program, U Drive Electric. Participating EV dealers along the Wasatch Front offered discounts on plug-in vehicles, resulting in more than 130 all-electric and plug-in hybrids being sold or leased to community members.
- SLCgreen procured installation services for solar arrays that will be installed on seven separate SLC municipal buildings in 2017, including five fire stations, a police facility and the Regional Athletic Complex restroom.
- As part of our Joint Resolution on climate goals, our office helped finalize a Clean Energy Cooperation Statement between Salt Lake City and Rocky Mountain Power.
- This summer also saw the launch of the Urban Greens Mobile Market to add eight new points of sale in the Glendale/Poplar Grove area. The goal was to increase access to healthy, local food for residents living in food deserts – areas of low access to supermarkets or outlets that sell fresh, nutritious food.
- We were pleased to continue our partnership with the Green Urban Lunch Box (GULB) to harvest fruit trees. To date the program has donated almost 150,000 pounds of fruit.
Business and Multi-family Recycling:
- SLCgreen and the Division of Waste & Recycling launched outreach for the new Business Recycling ordinance.
Internal Policy and Employee Engagement:
- In March, our department launched Empower SLC, an online platform to engage City staff (numbering ~3,000!) on a range of sustainability issues, including: Air Quality, Energy, Transportation, and Waste & Recycling. The platform is both educational and action-oriented, with suggestions for employees to reduce their impact at home and at work.
- Also in the spring, Salt Lake City was chosen as one of five cities to participate in the Healthy Babies Bright Futures’ Bright Cities initiative to reduce toxic neurochemical exposures to infants during their first 1,000 days. We collected data from all City departments and are in the process of completing a report specifying how to mitigate or eliminate exposures.
- In July, Mayor Biskupski made the Division of Sustainability a full Department!
Communications: SLCgreen attended 30 community events in diverse areas of Salt Lake City, to provide educational material on sustainability, the City’s recycling programs, the Urban Greens Market, and ways residents can be involved in reducing their environmental impact.
e2 Business Program: Mayor Biskupski hosted the e2 program night/Green Drinks collaboration at the City & County Building with nearly 100 in attendance. The e2 program recognizes local businesses committed to the environment, and continues to offer resources and tools for those who are looking to take their sustainability practices to the next level.
Top priorities for 2017 include:
- Installing solar on seven separate municipal facilities
- Installing electric vehicle charging ports at 11 separate public locations.
- Finalizing pathway to meet 50% renewable energy goal for municipal operations by 2020.
- Continuing the Urban Greens Mobile Market in low food access neighborhoods.
- Launching Phase 2 of Healthy Babies Bright Futures’ Bright Cities initiative, implementing priority recommendations identified in Phase 1.
- Convening a collaborative air quality group to advance local air quality initiatives.
- Continuing waste pilot studies for alternative methods capable of handling food waste.
- Finalizing and publishing the Climate Positive 2040 plan, which details the ways the City will meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gases 80% compared to 2009 levels by 2040.