GreenStep Cities October Workshop: Climate Smart Municipalities

October 10, 2018 in Communities Author: Abby Finis

GreenStep Cities hosted a workshop on Climate Smart Municipalities with presenters from both Minnesota and Germany. For the past three years, five Minnesota GreenStep Cities communities have partnered with five communities from the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia to advance climate action. At this October workshop, presenters discussed this partnership and innovative electric vehicle practices in both states.    Continue reading »

How to Set Renewable Electricity Goals that Align with Community Priorities

March 27, 2018 in Communities Author: Abby Finis

Solar PanelCommunities can forge their own path to achieve a broad range of benefits from renewable electricity and efficiency by setting clear goals at the outset. Across the country cities are setting 100 percent renewable electricity goals. Is that the right goal for every community? It depends. For some communities, setting such a renewable electricity goal may be at odds with what a community actually wants to achieve. Continue reading »

GreenStep Cities: February Workshop

February 5, 2018 in Communities Author: Abby Finis

The February 2018 GreenStep Cities workshop focused on water quality improvements, with discussions on how Minnesota can reach its goal of a 25-percent improvement in water quality by 2025, in part by reducing water contamination through improving the way salt is used to remove ice. Continue reading »

GreenStep Cities: December Workshop

December 5, 2017 in Communities Author: Abby Finis

The December GreenStep Cities workshop focused on benchmarking for wastewater treatment. After an introduction by GPI’s Abby Finis, the discussion covered the value of benchmarking wastewater treatment, Jon Vanyo, C.E.M., Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (23:50),and Benchmarking Wastewater Treatment Plants, Cheri Schneider (40:19). The workshop concluded with case studies on Energy Reduction Analysis at New Prague Wastewater Treatment Facility, Scott Werner, MNtap (1:11:08), and The Value of Using Benchmarking for Wastewater and City Operations, Tracy Holdel, City of St. Cloud. Continue reading »

How Carbon Disclosure Platforms Can Help Cities Translate Commitments into Action

November 28, 2017 in Communities Author: Abby Finis

Note: This blog is the first installment of a two-part series on carbon disclosure.

Carbon disclosure is the practice of reporting and managing emissions through credible reporting platforms, consistent with global standards and protocols. Cities around the globe have committed to reducing their impact on climate change and are using these entities to monitor and demonstrate their progress. Established disclosure platforms are available to cities to measure their impact while providing insights into their energy use that can be used to identify opportunities for more effective practices and policies. Continue reading »

Measuring the Impact of GreenStep Cities

November 27, 2017 in Communities Author: Abby Finis

Minnesota GreenStep Cities is a voluntary challenge, assistance and recognition program to help cities achieve their sustainability and quality-of-life goals. For the past seven years, cities have been recognized at three step levels for taking and reporting action. In 2016, the program introduced Steps 4 and 5, which allow cities to measure and track the impact of their actions. The following includes highlights of what we have learned so far. Continue reading »