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2016 Sustainability Performance Results Released

 

Have you ever wondered how sustainable City of Austin operations are? Since 2010, our office has been tracking information related to key areas of City service delivery in terms of water and energy use, waste, mobility, green building and wellness. Recently, we released the City’s report card for 2016 that shows how we’re doing.

Tracking and reporting the City’s sustainability performance is similar to the way some large corporate organizations, such as Dell or Target, track the sustainability of their business operations. City performance data is calculated by combining data from the operations of multiple City departments to show the overall performance for each metric.

HOW DID WE PERFORM?

 

2013

2014

2015

2016

Carbon Footprint         
Target Not Met
Target Met
Target Met
Target Met
Vehicles & Equipment 
Target Met
Target Met
Target Met
Target Met
Green Infrastructure     
Target Met
Target Met
Target Met
Target Met
Workforce Wellness
Target Not Met
Target Not Met
Target Met
Target Met
Green Building
Target Met
Target Met
Target Not Met
Target Met
Zero Waste
Target Met
Target Not Met
Target Not Met
Target Met
City Right of Way
Target Met
Target Met
Target Met
Target Not Met
Water Use
Target Met
Target Not Met
Target Met
Target Not Met
Energy Use   
Target Met
Target Met
Target Not Met
Target Not Met
Sustainable Purchasing
In Progress In Progress
Target Not Met
Target Not Met

 

View the full report card>

 

WHAT’S GOING WELL?

 

Let’s dive into the data. The City’s performance goals have been met or exceeded in six of the ten categories. In particular, two areas have improved.

Green Building Performance Target: 100% compliance with LEED Silver or better for applicable projects.

The only Capital Improvement Project that was subject to LEED certification requirements – renovation of the Austin City Council offices – achieved LEED CI (Commercial Interiors) Gold.

Zero Waste Performance Target: 5% annual increase in waste diversion per year.

Austin Resource Recovery staff have begun conducting Zero Waste Audits, which are expected to be completed for most of the larger municipal office buildings by the end of 2018. These audits, along with sustained employee educational efforts and other strategies for improvement, have likely contributed to meeting the target.

WHAT NEEDS WORK?

 

Performance has fallen short of the stated goal in four categories. City staff are working to improve upon these indicators through the following actions:

City Right of Way Performance Target: 32 miles of new bike facilities and 13.5 miles of new sidewalks per year.

Funding for new sidewalks through a 2012 bond was exhausted in 2016. However, the passage of the 2016 Mobility Bond has provided a long-term funding source for the categories tracked within this indicator, which could provide for installation of new and improved bike and pedestrian facilities for the foreseeable future. Consistent implementation of the Sidewalk Master Plan, the Bicycle Master Plan, and the Urban Trails Master Plan will ensure meeting these targets in future years.

Water Use Performance Target: 2% water use reduction per year.

Water use reductions in City facilities stayed flat at 27 gallons/square foot. Since water use is the result of many factors, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly why water use stayed flat over the past year. A consultant completed a water efficiency assessment in 2015, specifying where retrofits would have the best return on investment, but funding has not yet been identified for these improvements.

Energy Performance Target: 5% energy use reduction per year.

The costs associated with energy use continue to be significant for City facilities, with over $45 million spent on energy per year. Our office is piloting the use of energy monitoring devices on a few City buildings in order to identify building controls adjustments and behavioral changes, which could reduce energy use and lower costs.

The City’s Building Services Department and other City departments are preparing to implement energy efficiency projects on ten prioritized City facilities beginning in Fall of 2017. Other projects underway include replacement of aging HVAC infrastructure at One Texas Center and the Municipal Building, with completion by the end of 2018.

Procurement Performance Target: 100% recycled content for all paper.

In December 2013, the City Manager set the goal of using 100% post-consumer content for all printer paper and other printed items like stationary and business cards. The City has made great progress in this area, improving from 16% of paper purchases meeting the goal in 2013 to 83% in 2015. Educational efforts will continue with departmental buyers and the City’s office supply vendor to reach our 100% goal.

WHAT’S NEXT?

 

Measuring and sharing information about our performance as an organization helps us showcase our achievements and our challenges so we can track progress towards our sustainability goals. Our office will continue to work with City departments to develop action plants and strategies to address the areas that are falling short of our goals.

 

Want to know more about the City’s sustainability progress? Send us your questions!

 

Tagged: kpi, Sustainability, key performance indicators

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