We had an amazing December with lots of storms and snow that filled our mountains and gave kids around the neighborhood plenty of opportunities to build snowmen.
But this week the dreaded high pressure took hold and we’re looking at several days, if not a couple of weeks, of inversions. This means that whatever we emit into the air stays there. And pollution doubles every day. Yuck!
This is the time for us all to prioritize ways to reduce our contribution to the haze.
It’s also a fitting time for Salt Lake City to launch a new air quality program.
As you’ll recall, Salt Lake City works hard to create programs, projects, and policies to improve air quality:
We passed one of the first anti-idling ordinances in the state; continue to prioritize electric vehicles for our fleet, as well as offer free charging at City-owned EV stations for the community; implemented a building benchmarking ordinance to measure and reduce emissions from our city’s largest commercial buildings; and just last month the RDA passed an aggressive new sustainability policy to significantly reduce air pollution from new building construction that receives RDA funding. (Learn more about Salt Lake City’s air quality efforts here).
We also aim to reduce emissions by implementing air-conscious internal policies with our 3,000-strong workforce.
And one of the ways we can do this is to encourage best practices within our workforce on days when the air quality is forecasted to be unhealthy.
This is the intention behind the Air Quality Action Day program which launched in December 2021 (and was debuted during our inversion this week).
We’re excited to let you know the winners of the SLC Corp 2018 Clear the Air Challenge. You may recall that this year we organized an internal bracket between SLC Corp departments to complement the statewide competition. The internal winner of the most brackets would ultimately win the “Mayor’s Cup” for their efforts.
by Brooke Taylor
As our readers know, one of SLCgreen’s core goals is to help you adopt tips and practices to make your life more sustainable. Whether that’s reducing your contribution to air pollution, learning how to eat more local food, or understanding what to recycle, all of us have a role to play in making Salt Lake City a more sustainable place to live.
That goes for our own operations as well. One of the major areas of focus for SLCgreen (as the City’s Sustainability Department is known) is helping SLC Corporation adopt best practices when it comes to those same sustainability measures we ask of our community.
That’s why we’re delighted to share with you some elements of our new internal Sustainability Policy, signed in January 2017 by Mayor Biskupski.
This policy affects Salt Lake City’s approximately 3,000 government employees, the community as a whole, our vendors, and the supply chains emanating from those vendors. By vowing to practice the best sustainable methods in all operations from prohibiting Styrofoam cups in break rooms, to carefully tracking our buildings’ energy usage, SLC is setting a community standard—a green standard.
We’d like to note that many of the guidelines in the Sustainability Policy were already in effect through various executive orders and policies, but this is the first time the best practices have been consolidated and turned into a comprehensive document.
If you’d like to read the whole policy, you can find it here.
Otherwise, read on for highlights . . . Read more
by Maggie McCormick
The 12-month program promoting sustainability education and action for city employees, Empower SLC, has come to an end. After 12 themes and nearly 50 weekly topics, we hope the lessons learned will help SLC Corp employees adopt more sustainable practices into their everyday lives.
Empower SLC, which began in April 2016, was designed as a training platform by Sustain3 and implemented by the Sustainability Department for Salt Lake City’s nearly 3,000 employees. Our goal was to encourage sustainable practices amongst city staff. Each month, employees participated in monthly themes, such as waste reduction, energy conservation, water conservation, and clean air transportation, and completed weekly lessons and activities.