“If you cannot measure it, you cannot control it.”
To develop a sustainability PLAN and IMPLEMENT it, the first step is to asses where we are, and then explore what is possible, make a plan, measure our progress, and update our plan as needed, so that we can reach our ultimate goal of sustainability.
As a first step in creating a plan to cut climate change emissions, we wanted to asses our energy use – the greatest source of climate change emissions. Equally important, our dependence on fossil fuels has made us vulnerable to energy interruptions, and it is draining financial resources from our community.
In 2007 Greenfield joined ICLEI’s Cities for Climate Protection Program to assess our energy use. ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability is an international organization, connected with the United Nations. They offer guidance and software to help towns measure the energy that we all use in our communities. Click here to see Greenfield’s 10 Step process – and where we are in that process. To find out more about ICLEI and its many programs, go to www.icleiusa.org. For example, in 2010 they published the Sustainable Planning Tool Kit. And more resources are coming soon.
Key Findings of Greenfield Energy Audit:
The most startling finding was that in FY2008, our community as a whole spent over $86 million on energy, for lighting, heating and transportation. $68 million of those dollars left our community! Read more by clicking above or below.
Greenfield Energy Audit -- Complete document, 112 pages
Greenfield Energy Audit – Executive Summary, 6 pages download PDF
Greenfield Energy Audit – June 2009, 57 pages + 55pg Appendix
download PDF (9MB)
Chapter by Chapter: Greenfield Energy Audit
Table of Contents
Credits and Acknowledgements
- Introduction download PDF
- Inventory Methodolgy – What we did download PDF
- Government Energy Audit FY01 & FY08 & Appendix 2 download PDF
- Community-Wide Energy Audit FY01 & FY08 & Appendix 3 download PDF
- Greenfield/ICLEI step #5: Setting Goals download PDF
- Greenfield/ICLEI Step #6: Assessing our Options and Setting Milestones download PDF
- Measuring Our Progress Toward Sustainability download PDF
- Conclusions download PDF
Appendix: Greenfield Energy Audit
- Mayoral Resolution to join ICLEI, February 2008 download PDF
- Government Energy Audit Charts download PDF
- Community-wide Energy Audit Charts & Fuels Tutorial download PDF
- Annual Energy Report to Mayor from DPW, August, 2008 download PDF
- Resources for residents (Note: see Taking Personal Action – More Good Stuff for most up-to-date resources) download PDF
- Existing and Potential Renewable Energy Resources download PDF
Goals Set for 2050
As a direct result of the Greenfield Energy Audit, in January 2009, Mayor Christine Forgey announced two long range goals for 2050.
Measuring Our Progress
Progress reports toward our 2050 goals are posted here.
In February 2012 we published our second annual Greenfield Energy Use Report Card, which showed progress toward our goals. See below for graphic. To read analysis of our efforts and read our news release click here.
For an anecdotal list of things Greenfield has accomplished to date, such as building a zero-net-energy affordable housing project, please click here.
In 2013-2014 everyone in Greenfield was invited to participate in writing a Sustainability Master Plan.
This plan, Sustainable Greenfield, was published in January 2015.
In Massachusetts, towns are required to have Master Plan no more than 10 years old to receive state grants. Greenfield’s Master Plan was written in 2001, so we needed to update our plan.
In Greenfield, the Planning Board takes the lead on Master Planning.
Their efforts are supported by the Planning Department. The Planning Department’s web site has posted the 2001 Greenfield Master Plan, as well a several other more recent documents, such as the 2008 Greenfield Community Development Strategy that will also be helpful in the planning process. To find Greenfield’s planning documents click on the “publications” link and look for Planning Documents heading. The planning Department site also has a link to the Greenfield Redevelopment Authority, which has a document posted called the 2006 Bank Row Urban Renewal Plan, which is critically important to the planning process. Another useful document was written in 2008 for the Community Development Block Grant Program called Greenfield Community Economic Development Strategy.
The following elaborates on the above.
(Adapted from FRCOG guidance document by GGEC)
Public Meetings and Surveys. While the Planning Board takes the lead in the process, public participation is key to the success of the project. This is an opportunity for everyone to share their vision of the future. Ideas should be lofty and visionary such as “equality for all,” and others should be very specific, such as “I see a bus that circles the town and runs every 10 minutes” Ideas are often also gathered by surveys.
Distill these Ideas. The staff and consultants pull out key:
- Goals & Guiding Principles (big lofty ideas)
- Goals for each “chapter”
- List of possible Initiatives – these are the specific ideas
Data Collection & Analysis: This involves
Taking an inventory of existing resources, conditions, and problems and preparing reports, charts, graphs etc. to make this information understandable, and assist with the next step
Assessing future needs and conditions
Evaluating/Prioritizing Community Recommendations. This can done by staff, consultants, or staff/and citizen teams. This process involves sifting through the ideas and organizing them:
- What is already happening and working?
- What sounds like a good idea, but we need more research?
- What’s Interesting, but probably won’t work for whatever reason?
Draft Plan written: Write draft document including goals, guiding principals, recommended actions, and implementation plan.
Plan taken back to the Community for final approval: By law, the Planning Board votes to adopt the plan. Often the Town Council is asked to endorse the Plan, but a vote is not required by law.
Implementation: The Town staff implements the plan. The plan often stipulates a reporting process to the community, such as an annual progress report.