City of Chicago
United States

Population: 2722389
Area of jurisdiction: 606 km2

Commitments

  Community Government
Absolute base year GHG reduction target: 25% by 2020 (1990) 25% by 2020 (1990)
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: 25 (Boundary is State of IL)% by 2026 10% by 2015
Energy efficiency target: 5% by 2015 (2011) 10 (for municipal buildings)% by 2015 (2011)
Government and Community: CO2(e) targets

Performance

Community GHG Emissions
Total ( n/a ):  0 tCO2e
Government GHG Emissions
Total ( 2010 ):  0 tCO2e

Other available GHG inventories: 2005, 2010

Mitigation actions

Divvy Bikes: 2nd largest bikeshare system in the U.S.
The launch of the Divvy bike share network has rolled out rapidly and proven popular with residents and visitors of all of types. In under 3 month of operation, riders on Divvy bikes traveled over 1 million miles during which time Divvy also became the second largest bikeshare system in the U.S. The Divvy system will ramp up to 300 stations and 3,000 bikes by this fall, and by next spring, will be in 400 neighborhood locations with 4,000 bikes. Local companies and community organizations have become partners in the program, encouraging their employees and members to join Divvy through corporate and community memberships. Over 85 companies spanning industries from real estate, technology, and the non-profit community, signed up for Divvy Corporate memberships, providing a fun, unique perk while promoting employee health and wellness. Start year 2013
Sector Transport
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status In progress
File download
Retrofit Chicago Residential Partnership
The City has launched Retrofit Chicago as its umbrella to accelerate energy efficiency throughout Chicago. The third phase of Retrofit Chicago brings together non-profit groups, utility companies, and city government programs to accelerate the number of retrofits being completed in single family and multi-unit apartment buildings, which account for half of the city’s energy consumption. The Residential Partnership has enabled nearly 5,000 residents to make energy efficiency upgrades. Start year 2012
Sector Residential
Type Policy/Strategies/Action Plans
Status In progress
File download
Retrofit Chicago Commercial Buildings Initiative
The City has launched Retrofit Chicago as its umbrella to accelerate energy efficiency throughout Chicago. To support transformative infrastructure projects the City has created the Chicago Infrastructure Trust, a non-profit with a focus on bringing private capital to innovative city projects. Energy-efficiency retrofits of municipal assets under the City’s Retrofit Chicago initiative are the first projects the City plans to bring to the Trust, with potential for more than $200M investment in energy-efficiency retrofits across hundreds of buildings, schools, and other assets. Retrofit Chicago is also helping large commercial and smaller residential buildings to access retrofit resources, with immediate impact. 32 large private buildings representing 28 million square feet have committed to a 20% energy reduction within 5 years, and Retrofit Chicago’s Residential Partnership has enabled nearly 5,000 residents to make energy efficiency upgrades. Start year 2012
Sector  
Type Policy/Strategies/Action Plans
Status In progress
File download
Energy Benchmarking and Disclosure ordinance
Chicago City Council approved an ordinance, introduced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, that will require the city’s largest buildings to benchmark their energy use and authorize the City to disclose the energy efficiency for these buildings publicly. Under the new regulation, the approximately 3,500 commercial, residential, and municipal buildings over 50,000 square feet will be required to track and verify energy consumption using Portfolio Manager, a free web-based tool administered by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Covered buildings will report energy use data annually to the City through an automated process and be required to have their data verified by a licensed architect, engineer or other professional recognized by the City every three years. The City will publish an annual report on energy efficiency. The ordinance will also allow the City to publicly disclose individual building energy performance, starting in June 2015. Benchmarking and disclosure will accelerate Chicago’s energy efficiency market. A recent study by the US Environmental Protection Agency cited average energy savings of 7% for buildings that used Portfolio Manager from 2008-2011. If the buildings covered by this ordinance make energy efficiency improvements that result in just 5% of energy savings, this will result in a $250 million investment. This investment will not only create jobs, it will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by removing the equivalent of at least 50,000 cars from the roads. Start year 2013
Sector  
Type Regulatory
Status In progress
File download
Local wind power procurement
In July, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that his administration negotiated a deal with energy suppliers to secure 5% (250,000 MWh) of the electricity provided through its municipal aggregation program from Illinois wind farms. This deal doubles the amount of wind energy Chicago consumers received through ComEd. According to a study released by the Perfect Power Institute at the Illinois Institute of Technology, the City’s aggregation agreement with Integrys Energy Services has achieved a significant reduction in emissions that contribute to global warming, including a 16 percent reduction in carbon emissions representing the equivalent of taking 100,000 cars off of the road, and a 98% reduction in ozone depleting and acid rain causing nitrogen oxide emissions. Start year 2013
Sector  
Type Organizational/Governance
Status  
File download
Municipal Electricity Aggregation, largest in United States history
The electric aggregation supply agreement between Integrys and the city of Chicago is the largest in United States history, worth an estimated $300 million. Reducing energy costs for nearly 1 million customers by approximately 20%, the coal-free aggregation contract dramatically changes the power supply mix going from over 40% coal power under the previous regime to zero in 2013. Looking forward, energy efficiency and renewable generation as an alternative resource in the supply portfolio to provide sustained local investments in distributed local renewable energy that will result in additional savings and local job creation in the growing sustainable economy. Start year 2013
Sector  
Type Fiscal/Financial mechanism
Status In progress
File download
Greencorps Chicago Youth program
Greencorps Chicago Youth Program, the nation’s largest city-run summer green career training program for youth, launched in Summer 2013. 600 Chicago public school students from 15 high schools received training and delivered projects focused on two areas: horticulture, including urban agriculture, and biking related mechanical skills. Over 90 adults served as instructors and mentors. During the school year 140 of the students will continue with part time employment and ongoing mentoring. Start year 2013
Sector  
Type Public Participation/Stakeholder engagement
Status In progress
File download
Method will build its first manufacturing facility in Pullman
Method, the world’s largest green cleaning company and one of the nation's fastest growing companies, announced it will build its first ever manufacturing facility in Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood. This will bring about 100 new manufacturing jobs to the city. Method creates naturally derived home, fabric and personal care products, is committed to designing innovative, safe, environmentally conscious products, and is a certified B Corporation, with social and environmental change as a company objective. Start year 2013
Sector Commercial
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status In progress
File download
Batteries and Energy Storage research hub
Argonne National Laboratory led a multi-partner team that was selected in December 2012 for an award of up to $120 million over five years to establish a new Batteries and Energy Storage Hub. The Hub, to be known as the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), will combine the R&D firepower of five DOE national laboratories, five universities, and four private firms in an effort aimed at achieving revolutionary advances in battery performance, advancing next generation battery and energy storage technologies for electric and hybrid cars and the electricity grid. Start year 2012
Sector  
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status In progress
File download
SunShot Initiative Rooftop Solar Challenge
City of Chicago has received a $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as part of the SunShot Initiative Rooftop Solar Challenge. The City, together with its solar-development partners the Illinois Institute of Technology, the Environmental Law and Policy Center and West Monroe Partners will use the grant funds to support an initiative to transform Chicago into a national leader in residential and commercial rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) development. The work of the grant produced a one stop shop, reducing soft costs for all types of solar installations, including a 1-day permit turnaround time for small projects such as a typical single family home. New permitting guidelines, access to reduced permit fees, a zoning policy and improved utility interconnection are all available on the City’s new solar portal solar.cityofchicago.org. Small installations will save $2,000 to $4,000 each and larger installations will save even more. Start year 2011
Sector  
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status In progress
File download
Construction and Demolition Debris Ordinance
Through the City’s construction and demolition debris ordinance, general contractors in Chicago have reduced over 90% of debris that would have otherwise been sent to landfill, greatly impacting Chicago’s waste stream sent to landfills. This action fits within the reduced waste and industrial pollution strategy which aims to reduce 2.03 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year  
Sector Waste
Type Regulatory
Status Completed
File download
Citywide Expansion of Curbside Recycling
The blue cart recycling program provides bi-weekly recycling collection services to residents who live in single family homes, two-, three- and four-flat buildings. The expansion adds 340,000 households and is scheduled to be complete by the fall of 2013, bringing curbside recycling to all 600,000 Chicago households. In October of 2011, Mayor Emanuel implemented a managed competition for recycling services in an effort to create efficiencies and reduce operational costs to taxpayers. In one year, the competition decreased recycling costs by $4.7 million and paved the way for the citywide recycling expansion. The City projects an annual $19.2 million investment for citywide recycling operations, compared with $31.1 million without adopting managed competition—a 38 percent decrease. This action fits within the reduced waste and industrial pollution strategy which aims to reduce 2.03 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year 2013
Sector Waste
Type Policy/Strategies/Action Plans
Status Completed
File download
Waste Reduction and Recycling
Lowered waste sent to landfills by over 7%; Completed a citywide Waste Characterization Study; Entered into an agreement with Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to reuse soil and rubble; O’Hare Modernization Program recycled and re-used 95% of all construction-demolition materials; and, Currently recycling 83% of construction & demolition waste of regulated city projects. This action fits within the reduced waste and industrial pollution strategy which aims to reduce 2.03 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year  
Sector Waste
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status In progress
File  
Rail Transit Improvements
In 2011, the City invested $1 billion in its Red Line to eliminate slow zones; created new stations for the Green Line station at Cermak Road and Washington/ Wabash; completed a rehab of the Clark and Division, Loyola, and Wilson stations; and installed 400 LED bustracker signs. In May of 2013, Chicago launch the full reconstruction of the Red Line South branch aiming to provide faster, more comfortable and more reliable service. The rebuild of the tracks will eliminate slow zones, cutting commute times from 95th Street to Roosevelt Road by up to 20 minutes. In addition to a faster and smoother ride, some stations also received improvements ranging from new canopies, paint and lighting upgrades to new benches and bike racks. Expected to complete in only 5 months time, the work is part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Building a New Chicago program, which is updating infrastructure critical to the city—and includes improvements that will help ensure that CTA continues to serve customers as effectively as possible. This action fits within the improved transportation options strategy which aims to reduce 3.61 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year 2011
Sector Transport
Type Fiscal/Financial mechanism
Status In progress
File download
Bus Rapid Transit
Received $35 million federal grant to implement bus rapid transit. This action fits within the improved transportation options strategy which aims to reduce 3.61 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year  
Sector Transport
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status In progress
File  
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
Electric vehicles (EV): 280 EV charging stations will be installed in the Chicago area, with 220 located within the city; as of January 2012, 138 stations have been installed; 350Green, the company leading the installations, leveraged $2 million in public money to raise another $6.9 million in private investment; therefore, only 22 percent of the project’s funding originates from public sources; and this project directly creates 50 jobs. This action fits within the improved transportation options strategy which aims to reduce 3.61 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year  
Sector Transport
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status In progress
File  
Hybrid Fleet Vehicles
Added more than 40 hybrid cars and 200 hybrid sport utility vehicles to the municipal fleet. This action fits within the improved transportation options strategy which aims to reduce 3.61 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year  
Sector Transport
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status Completed
File  
Alternative Fuels Grant
Chicago received the $15 million Chicago Area Alternative Fuels Deployment Project Grant; Used over 250,000 gallons of biodiesel in municipal fleets annually This action fits within the improved transportation options strategy which aims to reduce 3.61 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year  
Sector  
Type Fiscal/Financial mechanism
Status Completed
File  
Car Sharing
Chicago is home to two car sharing companies provide over 600 shared vehicles; and, building an electric vehicle infrastructure project to install 280 electric vehicle charging stations. This action fits within the improved transportation options strategy which aims to reduce 3.61 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year  
Sector Transport
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status In progress
File  
Bicycle Infrastructure
The Chicago Streets for Cycling 2020 plan lays out a goal for installing a 645 mile bikeways network by 2020, building on the Mayor's Transition Plan goal of over 100 miles of protected bikeways by 2015. Over 34 miles of bikeways were installed in 2012, with an additional 35 miles on track to be complete by year end 2013. This accelerated pace puts Chicago beyond the expected mark at this stage of implementation. With the successful launch of Divvy bikeshare, people have easy access to this increasing network of facilities, reinforcing demand for new bikeways. This action fits within the improved transportation options strategy which aims to reduce 3.61 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year 2011
Sector Transport
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status In progress
File download
Clean Energy Trust
The Clean Energy Trust awarded $250 thousand in prizes to Midwest clean energy companies. This action fits within the clean and renewable energy sources strategy which aims to reduce 5.33 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year  
Sector  
Type Fiscal/Financial mechanism
Status Completed
File  
Smart Grid Investment
Chicago has invested $1.1 billion in upgrading smart grid over the next ten years, beginning in 2011. This action fits within the clean and renewable energy sources strategy which aims to reduce 5.33 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year 2011
Sector Facilities
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status In progress
File  
Grid CO2 Intensity Reduction
The carbon intensity of the electric grid in Chicago has been reduced by 9.1% from 2005 through 2010 due to a decline in coal (6%) and an increase in renewable and nuclear sources (2%). This action fits within the clean and renewable energy sources strategy which aims to reduce 5.33 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year 2005
Sector  
Type Policy/Strategies/Action Plans
Status Completed
File  
Largest Urban Solar Farm in U.S.
Partnered with Exelon and SunPower to develop the nation’s largest urban solar power plant, capable of generating 10 megawatts of energy. Exelon’s 10-megawatt solar field is the largest urban solar power plant in the United States. Its 32,292 solar photovoltaic panels generate 14,000 megawatt-hours of electricity annually. This action fits within the clean and renewable energy sources strategy which aims to reduce 5.33 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year  
Sector Facilities
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status Completed
File download
Better Buildings Program
The Managed Energy Services Agreement (MESA) model leverages $90 million in financing for commercial buildings as part of the Better Buildings program that Chicago is employing. This action fits within the energy efficient buildings strategy which aims to reduce 4.6 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year  
Sector Buildings
Type Policy/Strategies/Action Plans
Status Completed
File  
Green Office Challenge
Round 3 of Chicago Green Office Challenge launched in 2013, a friendly competition among local businesses to reduce energy, water, and waste while saving money. Since Round 1 was launched in 2008 by ICLEI, the model has been copied by 11 cities across the U.S. Start year 2008
Sector  
Type Public Participation/Stakeholder engagement
Status In progress
File download
Chicago Conservation Corps
The City operated a Chicago Conservation Corps (C3) educational outreach and leadership program. The C3 program provides educational programming and resources to support environmental stewardship and action across Chicago by recruiting, training and supporting a network of volunteers. C3 is run in collaboration with seventeen non-profit and municipal partner organizations across Chicago. The City also promotes environmental education through the Chicago Center for Green Technology (CCGT). Core CCGT programs include Green Tech U and educational programming; the Green Building Resource Center and CCGT interpretation; a volunteer and intern program; and, a green building technologies materials showcase. Start year  
Sector Other Emissions
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status Completed
File  
Recycling Facility
The City owns and operates a recycling collection and disposal facility, the Household Chemicals and Computer Recycling Facility, at Goose Island. In addition to electronic materials, this site accepts household chemical and hazardous waste and offers a material exchange program to pick-up usable items such as paint. This action fits within the reduced waste and industrial pollution strategy which aims to reduce 2.03 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year  
Sector Waste
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status Completed
File  
Grid Collection of Waste
The City will save 500,000 gallons of diesel fuel per year through grid collection of waste, which is currently being planned and implemented. This action fits within the reduced waste and industrial pollution strategy which aims to reduce 2.03 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year 2012
Sector  
Type Policy/Strategies/Action Plans
Status  
File download
Transit Oriented Development Policy
The City's new, 2011, transit oriented development (TOD) policy expands locations and incentives. This action fits within the improved transportation options strategy which aims to reduce 3.61 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year 2011
Sector Other Emissions
Type Policy/Strategies/Action Plans
Status Completed
File  
Calumet Open Space Reserve Plan
The City of Chicago is investing in preserving natural areas through, e.g., the Calumet preserve with the Calumet Open Space Reserve Plan. The City of Chicago acquired this 117-acre Van Vlissingen Prairie, two-thirds of the 195-acre Indian Ridge Marsh complex, and is in the process of acquiring 460 acres at Hegewisch and Big Marsh. This action fits within the energy efficient buildings strategy which aims to reduce 4.6 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year  
Sector Other Emissions
Type Policy/Strategies/Action Plans
Status Completed
File  
Brownfields Redevelopment
The City is cleaning and revitalizing brownfields throughout its building assets. For example, the City has cleaned up large facilities including the Michael Reese hospital. Through its model facility, Chicago Center for Green Technology, set upon a cleaned brownfield site, Chicago promotes green technologies and green building, by displaying current green technologies, where materials can be sourced, and how companies can go about utilizing them. The Chicago Center for Green Technology is the most comprehensive educational resource in the Midwest for green technology and design, and sustainable building and living practices. The Center promotes and advances sustainable homes, workplaces and communities to enhance the quality of urban life through educational programming and training, research and demonstration and by acting as a resource network. It is also the first rehabilitated municipal building in the nation to receive the LEED™ Platinum rating by the U.S. Green Building Council. The building has gone on to become a national model for sustainable design and technology. By promoting these practices on a building that was cleaned and retrofitted on a brownfield site, the City is leading by example. This action fits within the reduced waste and industrial pollution strategy which aims to reduce 2.03 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year  
Sector Other Emissions
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status In progress
File  
Reducing At Grade Crossings
Through the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) program, a partnership between U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the State of Illinois, City of Chicago, Metra, Amtrak, and the nation's freight railroads, the City is lessening at grade crossings. This project will continue to drive: improved passenger rail service; reduced freight rail congestion to boost regional and national economic competitiveness; reduced motorist delay due to rail conflict at grade crossings; enhanced public safety; increased economic development; created and retained jobs; improved air quality; and, reduced noise from idling or slow-moving trains. This action fits within the improved transportation options strategy which aims to reduce 3.61 MMTCO2e by 2020; Specifically, this initiative drives action 23: improve freight movement. This action will reduce 1.61 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year  
Sector Transport
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status In progress
File  
Transit Schedule Upgrades
Through Bus Tracker and Train Tracker, the City delivers real time information about bus and train arrival and departure times from smart phones or any cellular device. In addition, the City is installing real time signs at train stations and other landmarks throughout the city to encourage the use of public transportation. This action fits within the improved transportation options strategy which aims to reduce 3.61 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year  
Sector Transport
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status Completed
File  
Hybrid Buses
Hybrid buses make up over 10% of the City's bus fleet. This action fits within the improved transportation options strategy which aims to reduce 3.61 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year  
Sector Transport
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status Completed
File  
City Staff Transit Incentives
Staff are eligible for financial incentives for public transit, therefore encouraging them to use public transportation for commutes through partial refunds on city Chicago Transportation Authority transit card purchases. This action fits within the improved transportation options strategy which aims to reduce 3.61 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year  
Sector Transport
Type Education/Awareness Raising
Status Completed
File  
Biodiesel and Ethanol Fuels
Chicago uses biodiesel and ethanol fuels for a portion of its fleet. As a pilot program, Chicago is utilizing eco-driving measures to train staff on saving fuel during driving trips. The behavioral trainings have resulted in measurably less fuel use per trip. This action fits within the improved transportation options strategy which aims to reduce 3.61 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year  
Sector Transport
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status In progress
File  
Police Bikes
Chicago Police Department provides bicycles as an alternative means for police transport for street enforcement. This action fits within the improved transportation options strategy which aims to reduce 3.61 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year  
Sector Transport
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status Completed
File  
Renewable Outdoor Lighting
The Chicago Park District, City sister agency, is utilizing renewable outdoor lighting on a trial basis throughout its properties. With success, this work will be scaled. This action fits within the clean and renewable energy sources strategy which aims to reduce 5.33 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year  
Sector Facilities
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status In progress
File  
LED Traffic Signals
Through retrofitting traffic signals, the City has installed 900 light-emitting diode (LED) lights. This action fits within the energy efficient buildings strategy which aims to reduce 4.6 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year  
Sector Facilities
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status Completed
File  
Energy Savings Performance Contracts
The City's ESCos are underway. The City continues to drive additional ESCo projects. This action fits within the energy efficient buildings strategy which aims to reduce 4.6 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year  
Sector Buildings
Type Fiscal/Financial mechanism
Status In progress
File  
Renewable Energy Purchasing
The City has committed to purchase 20% of its energy from renewables. Sister agency, the Chicago Public Schools, has committed to purchasing 20% of its energy from renewables, and sister agency, the Chicago Park District, has agreed to purchase 25% of its energy from renewable sources. This action fits within the clean and renewable energy sources strategy which aims to reduce 5.33 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year  
Sector  
Type Regulatory
Status In progress
File  
Chicago Infrastructure Trust
To support transformative infrastructure projects the City has created the Chicago Infrastructure Trust, a non-profit with a focus on bringing private capital to innovative city projects. Energy-efficiency retrofits of municipal assets under the City’s Retrofit Chicago initiative are the first projects the City plans to bring to the Trust, with potential for more than $200M investment in energy-efficiency retrofits across hundreds of buildings, schools, and other assets. This action fits within the energy efficient buildings strategy which aims to reduce 4.6 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year 2012
Sector  
Type Fiscal/Financial mechanism
Status Looking for Funding
File download
Building Energy Retrofits Funding
Chicago has invested $4.4 million in state-funded retrofits for City buildings. This action fits within the energy efficient buildings strategy which aims to reduce 4.6 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year  
Sector Buildings
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status In progress
File  
LEED Building Mandate
Chicago requires its buildings to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver statuses. In 2011: With 251 completed Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) projects, Chicago leads as U.S. city with the most LEED-certifications, more than twice as many projects as the first runner up; Merchandise Mart became the world’s largest LEED-EB (LEED for Existing Buildings) certified building in November 2007; and, Chicago has 13 Green Seal-certified hotels and 2 LEED-certified hotels. This action fits within the energy efficient buildings strategy which aims to reduce 4.6 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year  
Sector Buildings
Type Regulatory
Status In progress
File  

Adaptation actions

Sustainable Urban Infrastructure Guidelines
Chicago launched the Sustainable Urban Infrastructure Guidelines, a citywide approach for integrating environmental performance goals into infrastructure design, as well as a five-year implementation plan for all publicway design projects, accounting for over 25% of space in the city. The Guidelines are organized around eight environmental categories: water; energy; materials & waste; placemaking; economics; commissioning; urban ecology; and climate and air quality. Each category has three to six environmental objectives which are implemented through over 60 specific requirements and 35 policies. Start year 2013
Sector  
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status In progress
File download
Green Stormwater Infrastructure Strategy Initiative
Mayor Emanuel announced the launch of the Green Stormwater Infrastructure Strategy Initiative, dedicating $50 million of current spending on upgrades and improvements to the city's water and sewer infrastructure over the next five years to investments in green infrastructure. These projects will ultimately create an additional 10 million gallons of natural stormwater storage, which could reduce runoff by 250 million gallons annually. This is one of the largest voluntary investments in this type of infrastructure in the country, and expands Chicago’s push to embed sustainability citywide. Start year 2014
Sector  
Type Policy/Strategies/Action Plans
Status In progress
File download
Deep Tunnel and Reservoir Plan
Chicago’s deep tunnel and reservoir plan (TARP), its large civil engineering project operated by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, aims to reduce flooding in the metropolitan Chicago area, and to reduce the harmful effects of flushing raw sewage into Lake Michigan by diverting storm water and sewage into temporary holding reservoirs. Start year  
Sector Infrastructure
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status In progress
File  
Transit Authority Climate Impact Study
The Chicago Transit Authority has conducted a federally-funded climate adaptation study to help increase resilience of its infrastructure, operations, and ridership to observed and projected impacts of climate change. Start year 2012
Sector Infrastructure
Type Assessment/Research
Status In progress
File download
Green Alleys and Permeable Pavements
Chicago Climate Action Plan has: Impacted 265 development projects with the stormwater management ordinance, resulting in 20% increase in permeable area per site and increase of 55 acres of permeable surface area; Installed 120 green alleys, resulting in the conversion of 32,000 sq. ft. of pervious and reflective surfaces. Start year  
Sector Infrastructure
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status Completed
File  
Cool Roof Grant Program
Chicago also offered a Cool Roof grant program from 2007 to 2010. The grant gave a rebate to Chicagoans replacing traditional dark roofs with reflective surfaces. Approximately every 100 square feet of conventional dark pavement or roofing replaced by new, highly reflective surfaces would offset the effects of one ton of CO2e emissions from being released into the atmosphere. Note: Completed and no longer under way. Start year 2007
Sector Infrastructure
Type Fiscal/Financial mechanism
Status Completed
File  
Reflective Roofs
In 2003, Chicago passed an ordinance that required new construction or roof repairs to use reflective materials. In 2009, the code began using more stringent Energy Star standards. For low-slope roofs, initial reflectance must be at least 0.65 albedo when installed, and dip no lower than 0.5 albedo three years after installation. An albedo rating of 0.5 or higher means the surface would be light gray or white. Start year 2003
Sector Infrastructure
Type Regulatory
Status In progress
File  
Green Roofs
In 2011, Chicago maintains the following leading statuses: Green Roofs: Chicago has an estimated 358 green roofs totaling over 5 million sq. ft.; Chicago led the way for the 7th year in a row, on the Top Ten US Metropolitan Regions List, as city with the most square feet of green roof area installed; and, FedEx’s O’Hare Airport green roof is the largest airport green roof in the United States, covering nearly 175,000 sq.ft. Start year  
Sector Infrastructure
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status Completed
File  
Urban Forest Agenda
Launched the Urban Forest Agenda in conjunction with the Chicago Trees Initiative; Planned or completed more than 7 million sq. ft. of green roofs. The City has increased its tree canopy to 17% of its land area, when, in 2003, trees covered 11%. Start year  
Sector Terrestrial Ecosystems
Type Policy/Strategies/Action Plans
Status Completed
File  
Extreme Weather Operations Plan
As part of the City’s Extreme Weather Operations Plan, the City is preparing for its target asset of protecting its people;. For example the City is improving customer service for stranded passengers in anticipation of frequent and high intensity storm events; Example milestone: Develop a plan to improve the passenger assistance program. Other initiatives include: Ensure that cooling centers have adequate back-up generation with emergency generation in place. Start year  
Sector Human health
Type Policy/Strategies/Action Plans
Status In progress
File  
Greencorps and Community Garden Assistance
With a focus on green infrastructure development and job training and creation, the City runs the Greencorps program, the City’s green job training program serving low-income populations with barriers to employment in green sectors. This also includes a community garden assistance program built on sustainability by training gardeners and ensuring a commitment to maintain and sustain gardens. Start year  
Sector Food Security
Type Education/Awareness Raising
Status In progress
File  
Sustainable Backyards Program
The Sustainable Backyards (SusBY) program is the City’s program that encourages Chicago residents to manage backyards sustainably, especially through the implementation of green infrastructure that reduces storm water runoff. Core functions include marketing, outreach and education and distribution of rainbarrel, compost bin, and native plants and trees rebates. Improving the program in 2013, online rebates are now available through a new webportal, allowing for faster and more reliable service to residents. Start year  
Sector Water Resources
Type Public Participation/Stakeholder engagement
Status In progress
File download
Water Infrastructure Upgrades
The City is raising water rates to replace over 1,500 miles of water pipes and sewer lines. Conservation incentives improved with non-profit exemption removed and price consistent to cost. This action fits within the energy efficient buildings strategy which aims to reduce 4.6 MMTCO2e by 2020 Start year  
Sector Water Resources
Type Technical/Infrastructure investment
Status In progress
File  
Community Gardens Ordinance
To focus on eliminating food deserts, the City passed a 2011 ordinance to increases community garden plot sizes to 25,000 square feet and permits sales in residential areas. With a focus on removing barriers, the City hopes to encourage community garden uptake. Start year  
Sector Food Security
Type Regulatory
Status Completed
File