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Atlanta_ GA


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									                                        City of Atlanta, GA

Overarching Sustainability

In October 2010, Mayor Kasim Reed unveiled Power to Change, a plan that will guide the City
of Atlanta’s sustainability efforts for the next several years. As part of the plan, Mayor Reed
has set the aggressive goal of making Atlanta a top 10 city for sustainability. He charged the
City of Atlanta’s Division of Sustainability to implement the plan, to continue instituting
sustainability practices into Atlanta city government, and to expand into promoting
sustainability in the community.

Climate Change and Energy
Former Mayor Shirley Franklin was one of the first signatories to the U.S. Mayors Climate
Protection Agreement. Under this agreement the city pledged to reduce its emissions by 7%
below 1990 levels by 2012. Mayor Franklin’s legacy of supporting green practices will not be
forgotten with newly elected Mayor Kasim Reed who has pledged to continue moving
towards this goal through energy and water conservation projects funded through federal
stimulus grants and other funding.

In December 2009 the Division of Sustainability was proud to announce that Atlanta city
government had reduced carbon emissions by 5.6% between 2007 and 2008. This is a major
step towards the goal of reducing overall emissions in the city seven percent by 2012. We
have tracked our emissions through the city’s performance management system, ATLStat.

The City of Atlanta has undertaken a range of energy and water use efficiency initiatives to
drive these reductions. We are switching to more energy efficient indoor and outdoor
lighting, including LED traffic lights. Building efficiency practices are mandating lighting
sensors, improving the maintenance system, installing automatic sensory faucets and setting
citywide policies on temperature settings. Specific reductions achieved include the following:
 9.5% reduction in electricity use by Department of Watershed Management (related to
11% reduction in volume of drinking water and wastewater treated)
 58% reduction in natural gas use at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport due to
replacement of gas chillers with electric chillers; and
 4% reduction in electricity use in other departments, including 10% savings in City Hall due
to 4-5 months of aggressive savings measures undertaken by the Office of Enterprise Assets

We are moving to take our energy and climate change programs to the broader community.
This year we will launch energy efficiency incentive programs for the residential and
commercial sectors. We will also kick off a city-wide Climate Action Plan through support
from ICLEI local governments for Sustainability, Georgia Tech, and range of local stakeholders.

Water Conservation
Residents of the city are doing an exceptional job at reducing our water consumption. In
2009, residents of the City of Atlanta saved 29.12 million gallons of water a day, over 2006
usage. This is a total of 10.6 billion gallons saved in 2009 alone. In fact, since 2001, Atlanta’s
population has increased by more than 29 percent, but our water withdrawals from the
Chattahoochee River, Atlanta’s primary water source, have decreased by more than 20
percent, because of conservation, leak repairs and projects to decrease water loss and waste.
The City continues to repair about 750-800 leaks per month. When the Department was
under private operation, the figure was 750 a year!

Major Sustainability Initiatives
1. Paper Use Reduction –The Department of Planning and Community Development has an
automated Electronic Plan Review process eliminating paper and storage and reducing
necessary travel. Also, City Hall has undergone an effort to decrease the amount of junk mail
by cancelling subscriptions and reducing the amount of returned mail by purging mailing lists.
2. BeltLine – Launched in 2006, this public-private project will be realized in a 22-mile loop of
parks, greenspace, trails and transit around the city and ultimately serve as a bundle of
solutions to the very challenges that threaten to limit Atlanta’s health and prosperity – traffic,
deficient greenspace and recreation, and inequitable economic development.
3. Connect Atlanta – Transportation planners and key stakeholders in both the public and
private sector have developed the city’s first-ever comprehensive transportation plan which
incorporates expanded MARTA, light rail, BRT, and expanded HOV and express bus systems.
4. Green Building – The City has passed an ordinance requiring all new city construction and
major renovations to be Silver-LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)
certified. One example is the new LEED Gold Certified Public Safety Headquarters.
5. Recycling – The City has a recycling program for all single-family homes and major city
buildings and mandates recycling for all large events in city parks. The City also has a
hazardous materials collection program in which e-waste and fluorescent light tubes are
recycled. As a part of the City’s Demolition Waste Recycling program, Hartsfield-Jackson
Atlanta International Airport recycles everything on demolition and new construction sites
and has used the recycled material on projects like its newest 5th runway.
6. Green Fleet – Atlanta is right sizing and right typing its fleet, revoking take-home policies,
and has a shared car program for city employees. Additionally, the City is buying more fuel-
efficient cars and alternative fueled vehicles in new purchases.
7. Commute Alternatives Program – The City has incorporated workplace flexibility practices
across its workforce of nearly 8,000. Most every employee is eligible for some Alternative
Work Schedule (AWS) arrangement; from an award winning Compressed Work Week
program in our court system, to the Telework Program that allows our employees to work
remotely. The city also subsidizes transit passes for its employees and employs bike
accessibility and walk able surfaces throughout city facilities.
8. Outdoor and Landscape Greening – In 2003, the City of Atlanta built the first municipal
green roof in the Southeast. Additionally, eleven new playgrounds were installed in 2007 by a
certified environmentally-responsible company that uses at least 80 percent recycled,
recyclable and biodegradable materials.
9. Green Business Development- The City of Atlanta’s development authority works to attract
and incubate green businesses. The range of incentives are offered and administered
including Solid Waste Facility Bonds, Industrial Revenue Bonds, Clean Renewable Energy
Bonds, New Market Tax Credits, Renewal Community Commercial Revitalization Deduction,
Renewal Community Environmental Clean-Up Cost Deduction, and tax increment financing.

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