Posted: June 11, 2008
A partnership of Mayor Michael B. Coleman’s “Get Green Columbus” program and The Ohio State University’s Center for Resilience has created a new greenhouse gas emissions inventory tool to help communities monitor and manage emissions.
“We can all do more to track and reduce our emissions, and it makes a difference to our homes, our neighborhoods, our cities and our world,” said Coleman, who signed the U.S. Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement in 2007, committing Columbus to reduce greenhouse gases.
The new, Microsoft Excel-based tool, called CFAR for Carbon Footprint Assessment and Reduction, was developed by industrial systems engineering graduate student Kieran Sikdar, who is an intern with the City of Columbus. It will be distributed free of charge to central Ohio communities, enabling them to capture their emissions data, establish goals and track reductions over time.
“Cities around the world are responding to the urgent problem of global warming by pledging to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Estimating a baseline is the first step that enables them to set reduction goals,” said Joseph Fiksel, executive director of Ohio State’s Center for Resilience and a senior research scientist in the Department of Industrial, Welding and Systems Engineering. “This is the first software tool that is open source’ and freely available to cities, making it easier for them to get started on greening’ their operations.”
The City of Columbus has finished conducting its baseline greenhouse gas emissions inventory using the new tool and found that the two major emission sources are the operation of City buildings and water treatment plants. The City’s Climate Action Committee is now using the tool to measure the impact of current and future greenhouse gas reduction projects and establish realistic reduction goals.
The availability of this public domain municipal emissions inventory tool has fostered partnerships with the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, an organization that works to solve regional growth and development issues; Ameresco, an energy services company; and climate-conscious cities within central Ohio. Ameresco has joined MORPC’s Center for Energy & Environment and will offer its services free of charge to cities interested in conducting a baseline emissions inventory.
The carbon footprint assessment is being conducted for interested MORPC members by the Center for Energy & Environment with the help of Ameresco. Upper Arlington is the first community to be assessed; the report will be posted on HUwww.morpc.orgUH by the end of June.
The Center for Resilience is now applying CFAR to provide customized carbon footprint assessments for corporations.
More details about the Center for Resilience are available online at www.resilience.osu.edu.Joan Slattery Wall (614) 292-4064, email@example.com