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Mayor Biskupski’s State of the City Sustainability Highlights

We’ve accomplished a lot in the last year! From a Cooperation Statement with our electric utility, to a new community garden, to a  mobile farm stand, to the announcement of ambitious climate goals, Salt Lake City has made great strides in 2016. Read on for Sustainability highlights from the Mayor’s State of the City. 

mayors-state-of-city-2017

Last year our City took critical action to address the issues of climate change and protecting our environment.

Through a Joint Resolution the city pledged to have 100% of our city’s energy needs met by renewables by 2032. And we will reduce our total carbon footprint by 80% by 2040.

When I took office one-year ago, one of the biggest negotiations awaiting me was with our energy supplier, Rocky Mountain Power. Under the leadership of Vicki Bennett, Director of the Department of Sustainability, we negotiated an unprecedented 5-year franchise agreement.

This agreement takes into account our city’s energy goals, and allows the City the ability to better chart our progress.

We also became one of the largest subscribers to Rocky Mountain Power’s Subscriber Solar program.

Now, after months of stakeholder engagement meetings we have another opportunity to take a major leap forward.

Two weeks ago my office transmitted to the City Council a new building energy ordinance. The ordinance will require buildings over 25,000 square feet to “benchmark” their energy usage, helping to reveal where they can make reductions.

Commercial buildings are responsible for 60% of Salt Lake City’s carbon footprint, so this ordinance has the potential to make a big impact. It has the potential of eliminating over 98 tons of pollutants from Salt Lake City’s air each year.

Benchmarking allows building owners and managers to identify if their buildings are good candidates for efficiency improvements, helps reduce energy waste, and saves money.

This ordinance helps building owners do the right thing by becoming partners in our fight for clean air.

I urge the Council to review and adopt this ordinance as soon as possible.

Salt Lake City continues to be recognized nationally for the work we are doing to protect our local and global environment.

From helping to clear our air, to steadfastly defending the watershed areas, which provide safe, and reliable drinking water to the Valley, we will continue to lead the state in sustainability efforts.

To view the full State of the City speech, visit the Mayor’s site. You can also download the Sustainability Department’s complete 2016 Year in Review.

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