It seems every other week there are reports about how we as a nation are failing the environment. Between pollution and climate change, the way human beings regard nature is disappointing. However, there is a bright spot for a more optimistic future. Renewable energy continues to be a guiding force in major industries. Cities across the country continually adapt to better, more environmentally-friendly standards and are improving their use of energy. Among 34 major cities, Boston ranks as the top one in America for energy-efficiency.
According to a report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Boston is the leader in sustainable initiatives. Using a scorecard by the organization, the Massachusetts capital ranks 76.75 out of 100 points, the highest of any other city in the nation. Boston boasts a large amount of energy and environmental services, including transportation, renewable energy, and taking action on climate change. Alternative energy has proven to boost economies, creating thousands of jobs. Out of around 12,550, solar power is the biggest segment, accounting for almost 60 percent of workers. It is committed to a sustainable future with investments in these areas and more.
Mayor Thomas M. Menino is passionate about environmentally friendly innovations. His commitment to greater sustainability is reflected in the programs he supports and goals he wants to achieve. In 2009, he created Renew Boston, an initiative that involves a network of providers in alternative and efficient energy who coordinate efforts to achieve big goals. For example, they aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. They also want to lower usage of electricity by 200 megawatts by 2017. “I always believed that mayors have a responsibility to push the envelope on reducing greenhouse gas emissions”, he said. “That’s why I created aggressive greenhouse gas emissions goals.” An ambitious man, Menino is also offering incentives to homeowners who make energy-saving upgrades. A home can get $3,000 in subsidies for improving insulation.
Boston and the state of Massachusetts continue to set the bar with goals and programs for improved energy-efficiency and independence. With bike-share systems, LED street lights, initiatives to reduce waste, and conserving wetlands, this city leads the way. They are definitely ideas to get inspired by and work to make a reality. With several industries making upgrades and plans to become more environmentally friendly and cutting down waste, it improves the quality of life for it citizens. Health issues are reduced and people lead happier, less stressful lives. Massachusetts has a great reputation for quality healthcare and a good standard of living. Becoming more energy efficient is also a smart move for business. Adapting to greener policies and goals shows a company or brand stays informed of current ideas and innovations. It reflects a broader shift towards standards better suited for the environment. It not only reduces energy and waste, but cuts down future costs, saving people money when they invest in solar panels or LED lights.
Boston is number one and is showing other cities how it’s done.