City of Evanston
United States

Population: 75430
Area of jurisdiction: 20.2 km2

Commitments

  Community Government
Absolute base year GHG reduction target: 13% by 2012 (2005) n/a
Baseline scenario (BAU) GHG reduction target: n/a n/a
Fixed-level GHG reduction target: n/a n/a
Carbon intensity reduction target: n/a n/a
Renewable energy target: 100% by 2012 25% by 2012
Energy efficiency target: n/a n/a
Government and Community: CO2(e) targets

Performance

Community GHG Emissions
Total ( n/a ):  0 tCO2e
Government GHG Emissions
Total ( 2014 ):  10,131 tCO2e

Other available GHG inventories: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

Mitigation actions

100% Green Energy for City Facilities
In 2014, the City of Evanston was recognized by the EPA as one of the top 30 local government users of green power nationwide. The City is using more than 23 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, making up 100 percent of its electricity use. Start year 2014
Sector  
Type Policy/Strategies/Action Plans
Status  
File download
Sustainability Social Media Campaign
In 2011, the Office of Sustainability created a monthly newsletter in order to promote the various sustainability initiatives and events going on in Evanston. Additionally, the newsletter provides "eco-tips" to encourage environmentally-conscious behavior. The newsletter currently has approximately 1800 subscribers. Following the success of the newsletter, the Office of sustainability created the Evanston Green Buzz; a community-interactive website devoted to sustainability-related discussion, news, and events in Evanston. Lastly, we created an Evanston sustainability twitter account called #greenevanston, aimed at sharing up-to-date information, news, and pictures from the Office of Sustainability. Start year 2011
Sector  
Type Education/Awareness Raising
Status Completed
File download
Bicycle Benefits
In an effort to increase bike ridership, encourage helmet use, and support local businesses, members of the Evanston community along with the City of Evanston have begun reaching out to their favorite businesses for the nation-wide Bicycle Benefits (BB) program. This program, which is active in dozens of cities across the US, provides an incentive for people to bike around the community rather than driving cars. To date, four local businesses have registered for Bike Benefits, making Evanston the first city in Illinois to have Bike Benefits. We are continuing our efforts to recruit more businesses, in hopes that one day incentives for biking will be standard. Start year 2014
Sector Transport
Type Education/Awareness Raising
Status In progress
File download
Plastic Bag Ordinance
In July 2014, the Evanston City Council approved an ordinance prohibiting the distribution of point-of-sale disposable plastic shopping bags in Evanston stores larger than 10,000 square feet. The ordinance aims to decrease plastic bag use, as they harm local environments and wildlife, clog storm drains, contaminate recycling processes and are a source of litter. The plastic bag ban will officially take effect in August 2015, and is projected to impact 27 large stores. In order to prepare businesses and residents for the change, the City of Evanston will be doing extensive education and outreach throughout the community, and will distribute reusable bags to residents. Start year 2014
Sector  
Type Policy/Strategies/Action Plans
Status Completed
File download
Evanston Livability Plan
In May 2014, the City of Evanston adopted the Evanston Livability Plan; a community driven blueprint for Evanston's next climate action goal and implementation strategies. It was designed to replace the Climate Action Plan, which was successfully completed in 2013 through the City’s initiatives to reduce its own energy use and by the decision of voters and the City Council to embrace 100% renewable energy for Evanston residents and small businesses. The achievement of Evanston’s first climate action goal — together with the recognition that much more remains to be done to curb climate change — has emboldened Evanston’s sustainability community to set a more ambitious goal for the next four years: a 20% reduction in GHG emissions by 2016 (relative to the 2005 baseline). To achieve this goal, the City of Evanston is focusing on five major areas, as outlined in the Livability Plan: residential green power, business green power, building retrofits, transportation change, and city institutions. Start year 2014
Sector  
Type Policy/Strategies/Action Plans
Status In progress
File download
Mobile Water Station
The mobile water station was created in an effort to encourage the use of reusable water bottles and promote Evanston’s tap water as an important community resource. After borrowing a similar station from the Illinois Section of the American Water Works Association (ISAWWA) and receiving positive community feedback, the Utilities Department decided to create one specifically for Evanston to make drinking tap water easy and convenient at community events, allowing residents will be able to refill their reusable water bottles with refreshing Evanston tap water for free. The mobile water station includes six separate sinks fitted with water bottle-filling faucets or drinking fountains. A 200-gallon water storage tank underneath the station is filled at the Evanston Water Plant before being delivered to its destination, giving the station more flexible mobility. In addition, written on the side of the mobile water station are some “fun facts” about Evanston’s tap water and tips for being a good steward of our precious water supply. Start year 2013
Sector  
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status  
File download
Indoor Farmer and Artisan Food Market
The indoor market extends the selling season for local fresh produce and meats, and provides local food artisans with a place to sell their products during the winter months. Start year 2011
Sector Other Emissions
Type Education/Awareness Raising
Status In progress
File download
Streets Alive!
Streets Alive! began as an initiative of Walk ‘n’ Roll, one of the project teams that emerged from the Evanston150 visioning process. The mission of Walk ‘n’ Roll is to make Evanston safer and more enjoyable for walking and cycling. After a successful pilot project in 2013, Streets Alive! was adopted by Citizen’s Greener Evanston, a 501(C)(3) nonprofit dedicated to making Evanston a more sustainable community— environmentally, economically and socially— and to addressing climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The City of Evanston has become a presenting sponsor of this initiative, ensuring that it can become a regular Evanston tradition. Start year 2013
Sector Transport
Type Education/Awareness Raising
Status In progress
File download
Multifamily Recycling Pilot
In an effort to promote recycling and reduce municipal waste, the City of Evanston is conducting a pilot program to better serve the recycling needs of multifamily residences with 7+ units. The pilot will run from early fall until the end of the calendar year of 2014. The pilot program will provide helpful guidance and resources to property managers in order to help them determine cost effective changes to their waste hauling system while working with their waste hauling contractor. Participating property owners will receive a free waste audit and evaluation to determine the recycling needs of their buildings, recommendations based on the evaluation, and assistance implementing those recommendations. Residents receive free multi-use recyclables collection bags, as well as educational materials about recycling. Start year 2014
Sector Waste
Type Public Participation/Stakeholder engagement
Status In progress
File download
4-STAR Community Certification
In 2013, the City of Evanston participated in the STAR Community Pilot Program, which involved tracking and measuring the community’s sustainability efforts for the entire year. At the end of this process, Evanston became one of only two cities in the nation to receive a 4-STAR community sustainability rating; the highest rating under the new STAR Communities Rating System. Start year 2013
Sector  
Type Assessment/Research
Status Completed
File download
Sustain Evanston Networking Group
This initiative seeks to foster public involvement by making it easy to find out about sustainability initiatives within the community. Site visitors have access to an event calendar, organization directory, and links to volunteer and other engagement opportunities. This network is a resource for the community to get more involved in environmental initiatives. Start year 2013
Sector  
Type Public Participation/Stakeholder engagement
Status  
File download
Protected Bicycle Lanes
As part of a street resurfacing and street scape project, the City of Evanston installed a protected bicycle lane running the full length of the community in the east-west direction. The project also included several green stormwater infrastructure components along the street scape. Due to the success of the Church street protected bike lane, another lane was installed later in 2012 on Davis street; an east-west street in the downtown area. Start year 2012
Sector Transport
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status Completed
File download
Low-income Weatherization Program
The City created a program to help low-income families improve comfort and affordability of their homes with a weatherization program. More than 50 units were weatherized under this program. Start year 2010
Sector Buildings
Type Policy/Strategies/Action Plans
Status Completed
File  
Building Energy Efficiency Projets
The City completed energy efficiency retrofits on several buildings including the water plant, 3 community centers, parking garage and street lights. Improvements included energy efficient lighting and HV/AC improvements. This was part of the federal stimulus EECBG program. Start year 2010
Sector Buildings
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status Completed
File  
ECAP Annual Reporting
The Office of Sustainability has issued an annual update of progress towards the Evanston Climate Action Plan. Some years this has included a formal report (2009 and 2011) and other years it is a presentation. The plan successfully guided the community to its goal of a 13% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions by 2012. Start year 2009
Sector Other Emissions
Type Policy/Strategies/Action Plans
Status Completed
File download
Bike-to-Work Week
Intended to raise awareness of the health and environmental benefits of bicycling for all or part of the commute. This event has continued on an annual basis since its creation. Start year 2011
Sector Transport
Type Education/Awareness Raising
Status Completed
File download
International Car-Free Day
The City's annual celebration of Car Free Day expanded in 2011 to include more focus on public education of the variety of ways people can get to and around Evanston without a car. Start year 2010
Sector Transport
Type Education/Awareness Raising
Status Completed
File download
Community Garden Lottery
The City of Evanston offers residents 220 plots for rent from March through mid-November. Returning gardeners have first priority to renew their contracts, so each year there is a limited number of plots available. A lottery is now used to allocate the available plots. Depending on the overall schedule, weather and availability, the City provides wood chips and a water source at each site as part of the community gardening program. This ensures that more residents will have access to sustainable, healthy produce sources. Start year 2010
Sector Waste
Type Education/Awareness Raising
Status Completed
File  
Evanston Renewable Energy Certificates
The city is greening its energy use with RECs in honor of the inaugural Evanston Green Ball to be held May 18 at the Levy Senior Center in Evanston. The RECs supplied by Constellation Energy, a business unit of Exelon (NYSE: EXC), are Green-e Energy Certified and sourced from wind energy facilities located throughout the United States. Each REC represents the positive environmental attributes of 1 megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity generated by a renewable power plant, and is retired on behalf of customers wishing to promote their environmental commitment. Through the purchase of RECs, the City of Evanston and Constellation Energy are supporting the operation and development of facilities that generate clean, renewable energy. Start year 2012
Sector  
Type Fiscal/Financial mechanism
Status Completed
File  
Evanston Green Living Festival
The Evanston Green Living Festival is co-hosted by the City of Evanston and the Evanston Environmental Association. It brings together families, residents, vendors, sponsors, volunteers, and activists to learn about how they can all lower their impact on the environment. Activities include display booths, keynote speakers, children's stations (including a mini-windmill, a bicycle generator, and songs/shows), and local, sustainable food. Sponsors include local businesses, non-profits, universities, and major corporations. Start year 2009
Sector Waste
Type Education/Awareness Raising
Status Completed
File  
Evanston Green Ball
The City of Evanston co-hosted the inaugural Green Ball with the Evanston Environmental Association. The event was funded by a consortium of more than 25 sponsors and food providers. Participants were given the opportunity to network, learn about the ecology center, and enjoy music, food and art from local residents. Start year 2012
Sector Other Emissions
Type Education/Awareness Raising
Status Completed
File  
One Seed One Evanston
In its founding year, the City of Evanston's One Seed One Evanston project set up a number of stations where local residents could pick up seeds to plant in their home gardens. The project is being conducted in collaboration with the Chicago Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility. One Seed also encouraged residents to start composting at home, helping to reduce local waste and promote reuse of produce materials. The program also encourages education on healthy eating, the food cycle, and gardening for all Evanston residents through a newsletters, social media outreach and public events. Start year 2012
Sector Waste
Type Education/Awareness Raising
Status In progress
File  
Downtown Evanston Farmers' Market
Since 1975, the City of Evanston has been organizing a downtown Farmers Market to promote local, sustainable produce among its citizens. For six months out of the year, over 50 vendors come together in downtown Evanston once a week on Saturday mornings and afternoons. Vendors include meat, produce, art, hygiene, dairy, baking, and desert sellers. There are also four smaller farmers markets, including an Ethnic Market and an all-organic market. Start year 1990
Sector Other Emissions
Type Education/Awareness Raising
Status In progress
File  
Green Building Ordinance
The Green Building Ordinance requires that all new buildings in the City of Evanston be constructed and designed to achieve a minimum of LEED Silver status. This standard applies to City-owned buildings, commercial buildings, and multi-family buildings. Furthermore, interior design renovations must also meet LEED Silver requirements for all buildings above 5,000 square feet. At least one major residential building has started construction using the new guidelines. Start year 2009
Sector Facilities
Type Regulatory
Status Completed
File  
Annual Recycling Fair and Public Works Expo
The City of Evanston, in participation with the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County, hosts an annual Recycling Fair each summer. A wide variety of private organizations, public institutions and city departments/offices participate in hosting the event. Items that are accepted for recycling at the recycling fair include batteries, compact fluorescent light bulbs, hangers, plastic bags, plastic bottle caps, ink cartridges, clothing, shoes, tires, and many electronic items. Free composting bins are also offered to attending Evanston residents. This year, we collected medication recycling for the first time, which allowed us to successfully collect 55 gallons of hazardous pharmaceuticals, 30 gallons of controlled substances, and 65 gallons of recycling from medication containers. Start year 2010
Sector Waste
Type Public Participation/Stakeholder engagement
Status Completed
File download
Sustainability Intern Program
The City of Evanston Sustainability Office has developed a strong and vibrant relationship with the city's Northwestern University. Thanks to collaboration with the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN), Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW), and Students for Ecological and Environmental Development (SEED), the Sustainability Office has been successful at recruiting a large number of proactive young people to intern with the city government. Interns are divided into teams or special roles, including the Energy Efficiency Team, Recycling Team, Summer Camp Team, Communications, and One Seed One Evanston project. In the summer of 2012 alone the Sustainability Office hosted 13 interns, more than any other department or office in the city. The program is expected to continue into the next few years, with ongoing long-term projects. Satisfied interns have already returned for multiple semesters in the past. Start year 2010
Sector Other Emissions
Type Policy/Strategies/Action Plans
Status In progress
File  
Fleetwood WasteBusters Youth Camp
Over the course of summer 2012, three Sustainability Interns worked with a local children's camp to educate Evanston's youngest residents on how they can go green. The children ranged in age from 4-13, and were introduced to a wide variety of topics in waste reduction. Weekly themes included reusing goods, soil use/gardening, reducing waste, landfills, and recycling efforts. Campers were encouraged to engage proactively with their own education; over the course of the program, they created Enviro-Art using recyclable materials, planted seeds in a local garden, and playing trivia/jeopardy games covering recent topics. We are looking for funding to expand this program and be able to pay staff to run it and purchase basic supplies. Start year 2011
Sector Waste
Type Education/Awareness Raising
Status In progress
File download
CUB Energy Project
Collaborating with the Citizens Utility Board, the program uses a free online portal to provide monthly energy data tracking for residents through their ComEd accounts. Personalized data is paired with suggestions for increasing energy efficiency such as switching to CFL light bulbs and upgrading inefficient appliances. Points are allocated to users who follow the tips and decrease their household energy usage from month to month, and can be cashed in at favorite local and national restaurants and shops. Start year 2010
Sector Other Emissions
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status In progress
File  
Big 7 CUB Energy Savers Challenge
The City of Evanston, in collaboration with the seven largest employers in the city (collectively called the "Big 7"), organized an employee-focused contest to see which organization could save the most energy consumption. The participators competed for a whole year, signing up employees to report their home energy consumption through the Chicago Utility Board (CUB) Energy Savers program. Results were then shared with the community, and the winners were announced at a public event. Two participating employees were chosen at random to receive a year's supply of free energy, as well. A followup event is currently being organized by the Big 7 to be executed some time between 2012-2013. Start year 2011
Sector Other Emissions
Type Education/Awareness Raising
Status Completed
File  
Offshore Wind Farm Development
The City of Evanston has sent out a request for information (RFI) on an offshore wind farm to be installed on Lake Michigan. One proposal recommended 20 turbines each operating at 2 MWh. As of now, the Mayor is working with the Governor and Illinois General Assembly regarding permits and regulation for the project. Start year 2010
Sector  
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status In progress
File  
Electric Car Charging Station Installation
The City of Evanston, in partnership with I-Go Car Sharing, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, has begun installing electric vehicle charging stations in various locations around the city. In total, there are seven stations on city property, all of which are free for anyone to use. One station is reserved for I-Go car charging, while the remaining six are open to the public. At the main library location, the two charging stations are situated under a 10 kW solar canopy. Start year 2012
Sector Transport
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status Completed
File download
Installing Photovoltaic Solar Panels on City Hall
The City of Evanston has installed photovoltaic panels on the roof of its Civic Center building, helping to secure a renewable source of energy for municipal operations. Since being installed, the panels have generated 55,800 kWh, which is 5.35% more than the original projection. Start year 2010
Sector Buildings
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status Completed
File  
100% Green Energy for Residential & Small Businesses
The City of Evanston secured a supply of 100% renewable energy for residents and small businesses through the City's electricity aggregation program. For the third straight year, Evanston signed a 100% green energy contract, this time for a 3-year term. Now in partnership with Homefield Energy, the City is able to provide that target of 100% renewable energy to any participating residential or small-business consumers. In total, nearly 30,000 residents are using green energy provided through REC's purchased by Homefield Energy. Start year 2012
Sector  
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status Completed
File download

Adaptation actions

I Heart Evanston Trees
This program was developed as a means of coping with the city's problem with the Emerald Ash Borer, an insect that has been responsible for the loss of a significant portion of Evanston's beloved tree population. Residents are encouraged to donate money towards the purchase of trees to replenish the dwindling ppopulation. In 2013, we successfully met our goal of raising $20,000. This year, we have established a new goal of raising $25,000 to help improve Evanston's tree population. Start year 2013
Sector  
Type Education/Awareness Raising
Status  
File download
Nicor Gas Challenge
Residents and businesses can sign up for a web tool to help them track their household/business energy consumption. Through their participation, awareness is raised of good energy practices and Nicor makes a donation to the city's sustainable programs for every household which participates. Start year 2013
Sector  
Type Education/Awareness Raising
Status  
File download
Grant Application - Evanston Sustainability Academy
The City of Evanston is currently seeking grant funds for a local Sustainability Academy that will run from September through June. The goal of the Academy is to generate the "critical mass" of environmentally-conscious citizens needed to convert others in the community to a more sustainable lifestyle. In the past, participation in Evanston's sustainability efforts has been limited to mostly white, educated, middle-aged, relatively affluent males. To expand the horizon of environmental participation, the City will select 25 residents from diverse neighborhoods across the city, reflecting a broad range in age, socio-economic status, and gender. The Academy's sessions will occur monthly, with one 3-hour long weekday session and one weekend hands-on "experiential" activity. Each month will focus on a different theme from the Evanston Climate Action Plan. Participants in the first year of the program will not be charged for enrolling, as they will also be recruited for feedback and advice on how to improve the program moving forward. We would also expand the initial concept of the Academy to include additional focus on climate change impacts and strategies to improve preparedness of the community. In addition to the initial 25 participants, the grant money would be used to help take the modules from the course "on the road" and give the wider spectrum of the community the opportunity to sign-up for specific components of the Academy with the newly 25 participants helping to recruit and teach the modules. Start year 2014
Sector  
Type Education/Awareness Raising
Status Looking for Funding
File download