As our City continues to move forward, it is critically important we prioritize the environment and sustainability in everything we do. Salt Lake City has adopted bold clean energy goals, including:
- 100 percent renewable energy by 2032, and
- 80 percent reduction of carbon emissions by 2040
Climate Positive 2040, the City’s clean energy plan, serves as a guiding platform to reach our goals, and offers a holistic approach for Salt Lake City government, businesses and households to reduce carbon pollution and build resiliency to impacts and vulnerabilities in a warming world.
Our Department of Sustainability has been incredibly busy to make our energy goals a reality. Below is a list the City’s recent accomplishments and progress towards a clean energy future.
Air Quality and Climate Change
- Published Climate Positive 2040, a comprehensive plan detailing strategies, programs, projects, and collaborations led by Salt Lake City to address climate change and build partnerships across the state. Climate Positive was honored by the 2017 Green Business Awards in the Government Initiative category.
- Unveiling 28 public Level 2 charging stations for electric vehicles
- Partnering with Utah Clean Energy and the Utah Climate Action Network to advance the conversation around climate change in Utah.
- Installed solar panels on 7 government facilities.
- Worked with Salt Lake City Fire Department on two Net Zero fire stations– the second and third in the country.
- Published an updated Municipal Energy Benchmarking & Greenhouse Gas Emissions report with data from 2016, highlighting energy performance across City facilities and departments along with the carbon footprint of City operations.
- The City’s wastewater treatment plant reduces carbon emissions by collecting methane gas and using it to generate energy. In 2017, it generated nearly 6,000 megawatt hours of power for the facility through this process.
- Our wastewater treatment facility last year repurposed 4,000 tons of biosolids, which prevented them from reaching and overburdening our landfill.
- Since 2012, the SLCPU street lighting utility has replaced almost half of all City street lights with highly energy-efficient LED lamps. We are halfway to meeting a City goal of converting all street lights by 2021.
- Through a robust water conservation program, SLCPU has seen water usage decline by almost 25 percent since the year 2000. Our customers’ daily per capita water consumption was 285 gallons in 2000. In 2016, customers consumed 193 gallons per day.
Waste & Recycling Division
- Hosted and coordinated three collection events for hard-to-recycle materials.
- Expanded the Master Recycler program: increased participation three-fold; created more accessible scheduling options for participants; revised and added new class topics to the program.
- Continued to reduce emissions and save operational costs through the procurement of cleaner City fleet vehicles, including 26 CNG and 8 clean diesel trucks which collect the waste and recyclables for the residents of Salt Lake City.
- Opened up a new community garden as part of the 9-Line Project with the help of Wasatch Community Gardens.
- Launched a microgrant fund for farmers.
- Opened up unused city land for a new urban farm with The International Rescue Committee in Salt Lake City‘s New Roots in Salt Lake City program.
- Brought back the Urban Greens Market for a second year, with our incredible partners Green Urban Lunch Box and Real Food Rising
- Worked with The Green Urban Lunch Box to harvest tens of thousands of pounds of fruit from our urban forest.
- Passed a commercial building energy benchmarking ordinance to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions
- Launched the #PesticideFreeSLC campaign with Healthy Babies Bright Futures and began piloting such methods on two city parks with the help of Salt Lake City Parks & Public Lands Division.
E2 Business Program
- Conducted over 40 consultation appointments, complete with updated Mayor-signed certificates, for e2 business members.
- Mayor Biskupski hosted more than 50 business members at e2 program night at Squatters.
- E2 members collaborated on the creation of the Salt Lake City Business Recycling toolkit.
In addition, Salt Lake City has received national recognition for its sustainability efforts. Mayor Biskupski is an active participant in several U.S. mayors’ initiatives on climate change, including serving as co-chair of the Sierra Club’s Mayors for 100 % Clean Energy, Vice Chair of the Conference of Mayor’s Alliance for a Sustainable Future, and Climate Mayors, a collective of more than 300 mayors representing 60 million constituents.
You can read more highlights from Sustainability’s Year in Review Report, found here.
Contributed by SLCgreen, Salt Lake City Public Utilities, and the Mayor’s Office.