In 2019, the Environmental Resilience Institute (ERI) launched the Resilience Cohort to help local governments in Indiana measure greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Now, a report (an accessible version of the report is also available) summarizing the results of the program, including 19 community-wide GHG inventories and nine local government operations inventories across the 14 communities, is available to view.
The 2019 Resilience Cohort Summary report provides the total GHG emissions calculated for each community-wide and local government operations inventory. The report also includes a breakdown of how different sectors contribute to overall emissions as well as links to any community reports that were released to the public. Additionally, the report includes the per capita emissions—or the average amount of emissions per person—for each community-wide inventory.
Though the inventory results are not directly comparable due to differences in inventory scope, data availability, and data sources, they give community leaders yardsticks they can use for various purposes, including identifying opportunities for energy efficiency and developing climate action plans to reduce local emissions.
“Completing a greenhouse gas inventory is a significant and fundamental first step to understanding where greenhouse gases are coming from, how much energy a community consumes, and how many emissions are released as a result of the fuel sources used to create electricity,” said ERI Director Janet McCabe.
The community-wide inventories included GHG emissions from transportation, energy use, trash sent to the landfill, water and wastewater, and other activities. The results from the inventories demonstrate opportunities to reduce emissions across multiple categories, with transportation, residential energy, and commercial energy being the largest sources of emissions across the 2019 Resilience Cohort communities.
In addition to the community-wide inventories, seven cohort members completed local government operation inventories to provide a more detailed look at the GHG emissions produced by their day-to-day activities. The findings highlight opportunities for local governments to address emissions from the movement and treatment of water and wastewater, a top GHG source for five of the seven local governments.
“It is incredible what these local governments have accomplished, and we are thrilled to highlight their work in this report,” said Andrea Webster, who manages the Resilience Cohort for the Environmental Resilience Institute. “Many of these communities are already using the information from their inventories to decide which projects and policies they can implement to achieve the greatest emissions reductions. I am confident that many of their peers will soon follow suit.”
2020 Resilience Cohort participants are applying their inventory results to choose GHG reduction targets, identify strategies for reduction, and draft a climate action plan to be approved by elected officials. One tool some communities are using to inform climate adaptation planning during this process is the Hoosier Resilience Index.
View the 2019 Resilience Cohort report View a text alternative of the report
2019 Cohort members included: Bloomington, Carmel, Columbus, Delaware County/Muncie, Evansville, Fishers, Fort Wayne, Goshen, Gary, Greencastle, Michigan City, Oldenburg, Richmond, and West Lafayette.
The Resilience Cohort program is managed by ERI with support from ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability and Sustain IU’s Indiana Sustainability Development Program (ISDP).
About the Prepared for Environmental Change Initiative
The Indiana University Prepared for Environmental Change Grand Challenge initiative brings together a broad, bipartisan coalition of government, business, nonprofit and community leaders to help Indiana better prepare for the challenges that environmental changes bring to our economy, health and livelihood. Announced in May 2017, Prepared for Environmental Change is working to deliver tailored and actionable solutions to communities across the state of Indiana.