The City of St. Louis today released its first measurement of the total amount of its environmental emissions and where they are coming from. It creates the City's first benchmark for improvement.
"It is important that we know our impact on the environment so we can measure our progress, focus where we can make the most improvement, and know which initiatives are working and which are not," said Mayor Francis Slay.
Mayor Slay was today joined by Paul Dickinson, the Executive Chairman of the London-based Carbon Disclosure Project, Dr. Tim Keane, the Executive Director of the Center for Sustainability at St. Louis University, and John Sondag, the President of AT&T Missouri, to show how the City is utilizing technology to minimize its impact on the environment.
The City of St. Louis released the results of its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Inventory. The study was done in partnership with St. Louis Community College, ICLEI –Local Governments for Sustainability, and HOK. It gives the City a snapshot of its emissions in 2005 to create a benchmark.
The study showed the following:
- Airport facilities: Lambert-St. Louis International Airport represented 40% of the greenhouse gas emissions for City government. (That does not include the impact from the airlines themselves.) That did not come as a surprise. The Airport keeps its lights on 24 hours per day. Since 2005, the Airport has implemented a number of successful energy and emission-reduction initiatives, such as cutting-edge use of alternative fuels. Lambert has the largest compressed natural gas fleet in the state. It is also performing energy-efficient renovations to the facility.
- Water Delivery Facilities: At 32.6%, the City's Water Division has the second-highest share of emissions. That comes from the large amount of electricity to pump and deliver water. Since 2005, the Water Division has upgraded some of its aging infrastructure and has invested in leak detection and repair to minimize waste .
- Building and Facilities: The City's buildings come in third at 26.2%. The City has recently commissioned energy audits and is performing energy retrofits to some of its buildings to reduce energy use.
"We now know the three primary places where we need to focus our attention to get results," said Mayor Slay. "The next time we do the inventory, we will be able to show a comparison."
By using the 2005 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory as a baseline, the City of St. Louis is now able to chart a course based on solid data, and help measure the impact on and success of various sustainability initiatives.
"These sustainability initiatives are a win-win," said Mayor Slay. "We have set a goal of significantly reducing emissions, reducing our energy usage, and saving money."
The City also is one of ten cities chosen to participate in the ICLEI Star Community Index Beta project, thanks to generous financial support from The St. Louis University Center for Sustainability and AT&T. The Star Beta project will help track the City's sustainability efforts and will test the proposed national sustainability framework and, in particular, the new sustainability software platform that is being developed for the Star Community Index.
Office of the Mayor