City staff presented the idea of measuring the City’s emissions to Mayor Scott Fadness. With mayoral approval, the City joined the Environmental Resilience Institute’s 2019 Resilience Cohort with 13 other Indiana local governments. The 2019 Cohort provided technical assistance and support to 14 Indiana communities as they conducted community-wide greenhouse gas inventories. As members of the Cohort, the City received resources and weekly webinar trainings from ERI and ICLEI. ICLEI is a nonprofit organization that helps local governments make improvements in sustainability and resilience, with a core focus on greenhouse gas measurement and tracking. For more than 25 years, ICLEI has helped communities reduce emissions and become healthier, stronger, more equitable, and more prepared.
The City chose to conduct both a local government operations inventory and a community-wide inventory. The community-wide inventories measured emissions generated by activities within Fishers’ city limits, such as waste generation, electricity usage, and transportation. The government operations inventories provided a more detailed look at emissions associated with the operation of City government, such as the City’s vehicle fleet, energy usage, and processes used in the City’s water and wastewater facilities. The City conducted inventories for the years 2015 and 2018 to get a sense of how emissions changed over a short timeframe. Fishers used the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories, an internationally accepted document that outlines the steps for completing a community-wide inventory, and they used the Local Government Operations Protocol for measuring the emissions under its own roof.
Following the steps outlined in the protocol documents, the City reached out to local businesses, energy utilities, and other stakeholders to gather data such as electricity use, fuel type and use, the amount of waste in landfills, and wastewater and water treatment processes. In instances where stakeholders were unable to provide local data, the City scaled down statewide or regional data. The City then entered the collected data into ICLEI’s ClearPath software to calculate emissions. At the conclusion of the inventories, staff presented the information to City officials.
A one-time fee of $500 was required for participation in the Resilience Cohort, which was covered by the City budget.
The process took six months from the time the project began to the presentation of results.