The Ithaca 2030 District recently released its third annual progress report. As the report shows, the Ithaca 2030 District in 2021 once again surpassed the 2020 reduction target for energy and, for the first time, went beyond the 2030 target for water.
Buildings make up 73% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the City of Ithaca, with commercial buildings accounting for 48 percent, so achieving the city-wide goal of carbon neutrality by 2030 depends in great measure on dramatically reducing the carbon footprint of our buildings.
The flagship program of TCCPI, the Ithaca 2030 District is a voluntary effort by property owners and tenants to improve the energy and water performance of their buildings as well as to bring about cuts in commuter transportation emissions.
District property members, by committing to the goals of the 2030 District, are not only having a positive effect on the environment; they are also saving money on utility costs, improving the well-being of those who live and work in their buildings, and stimulating the local economy.
The Ithaca 2030 District has grown considerably in the last 16 months, due in part to the reopening of downtown as well as the excitement generated by the City’s building decarbonization campaign.
Currently, there are 30 commercial property owners, 40 buildings, and 522,375 square feet of committed space, compared to 25 property members, 29 buildings, and 375,371 square feet at the end of 2020. This annual report focused on the 27 property members, 33 buildings, and 417,089 square feet that belonged to the District for most of 2021.
The District reduced its energy consumption by 21.8% from the baseline. In addition, it realized savings of 51.4% in water use. The one area where the District lost ground was commuter transportation emissions. The increase in driving to work in 2021 as downtown reopened, along with a decline in the number of remote workers, resulted in a rise in transportation emissions to a level well above the 2020 target, even exceeding the level of emissions generated before the onset of the pandemic in 2020. Clearly, commuter emissions will be a major area of concern as the City of Ithaca works to achieve its goal of community-wide carbon neutrality by 2030.
Besides the annual district-level report, each of the property members is provided access to a confidential interactive, online dashboard that measures the energy and water performance of their individual buildings. These dashboards are regularly updated so that building owners and tenants can monitor their progress towards the individual 2025 and 2030 energy and water targets.
Check out the full 2021 report for details about the growth and progress of the Ithaca 2030 District.