2019 Resilience Cohort GHG Inventory Report

Please note – Although we have compiled these data into one report, it is not accurate to compare one community’s emissions to another. Each community has different amounts of industry, different roads going through its boundaries, experiences different weather patterns, and has access to different datasets. 

Published April 2020

Introduction

In 2019, Indiana University’s Environmental Resilience Institute (ERI) launched the Resilience Cohort, a program that guided 14 Indiana cities, towns, and counties through the process of conducting community-wide greenhouse gas inventories. The Cohort was supported by staff at ERI and ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability through strategy consulting, webinar training, and technical assistance. Some Cohort participants participated in Sustain IU’s Indiana Sustainability Development Program (ISDP) and hosted an IU student extern for 10 weeks during the Cohort program to help with the inventory process. For many participants, this was the first GHG inventory conducted in their community, providing a fundamental benchmark for local governments committed to reducing carbon emissions and increasing energy efficiency city- or county-wide. Participants conducted their inventories using one of the two accepted methodologies: the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC) and the US Community Protocol for Accounting and Reporting Greenhouse Gas Emissions (US Community Protocol). Additionally, seven communities conducted local-government operations inventories alongside their community-wide inventories to provide a more detailed look at government-specific emissions.

A greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory quantifies the amount of GHGs released by man-made sources within a defined boundary in a twelve-month period. The GPC and US Community Protocol measure carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) emissions. Carbon dioxide is the most common and well-known GHG, so total emissions are often reported in terms of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). Each GHG has a different global warming potential (GWP), or measure of how much heat each greenhouse gas traps in the atmosphere within a defined time period. These GWPs are used to convert each greenhouse gas into a carbon dioxide equivalent so each GHG can be measured using a standard unit. Conducting a greenhouse gas inventory is an important first step for local governments to understand community emission sources and to set a benchmark to guide and track GHG reductions.

For the community-wide inventories, local governments collected data on energy use (e.g., amount of electricity and natural gas used in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors), solid waste sent to the landfill (e.g., tons of waste), water use and treatment (e.g., the volume of digester gas produced per day), and transportation (e.g., vehicle miles traveled estimates) occurring within the defined boundary, among other sources. Communities that conducted government operations inventories collected data on employee commutes (e.g., estimated miles traveled), government solid waste generation (e.g., tons of solid waste sent to the landfill), government building energy use (e.g., amount of electricity and natural gas used), and fuel used by the city, town, or county fleet, among other sources. These data were converted to CO2e, the standard unit of measurement for carbon footprints. Each community choose how to report their results; some opted for public reports and press conferences, some posted the results on their websites, some shared it with a local news agency, and some are still deciding whether or not to publicly release the data.

2019 Cohort members included: Bloomington, Carmel, Columbus, Delaware County/Muncie, Evansville, Fishers, Fort Wayne, Goshen, Gary, Greencastle, Michigan City, Oldenburg, Richmond, and West Lafayette. This report outlines each community’s high-level results and links to any detailed reports that were released to the public.

Communities who received ISDP externs were Bloomington, Carmel, Delaware County/Muncie, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Gary, Goshen, and Michigan City.

Please note – Although we have compiled these data into one report, it is not accurate to compare one community’s emissions to another. Each community has different amounts of industry, different roads going through its boundaries, experiences different weather patterns, and has access to different datasets. In addition, some communities included sources that others did not. Examples of optional emission sources include industrial products, industrial processes, agricultural, livestock, boats, and more.

Community Results

All 14 Cohort members completed one or more community greenhouse gas inventory. The communities chose their own report year, and many completed an inventory for more than one year. This section outlines the results of these inventories.

As you review the results, please remember that greenhouse gas emissions inventories are estimates. Although researchers are working on new accounting methodologies, obtaining a perfectly accurate accounting of emissions is not possible with current technologies. Nevertheless, the results of a greenhouse gas inventory should not be discounted. The process and results allow communities to obtain standard measurements which can be tracked and reduced over time.

Each community’s results include a pie chart providing a breakdown of emissions by sector, as well as a table detailing total CO2e emissions, population, and per capita CO2e emissions. Population estimates used in this report were obtained from the US Census Fact Finder on January 16, 2020.

Bloomington

Inventory year: 2018  |  Full Report

In 2018, an estimated 1,290,030 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) were emitted within Bloomington city limits.

Table 1. Bloomington's total and per capital greenhouse gas emissions
Inventory YearTotal CO2e (MT)PopulationPer Capita CO2e (MT)
Bloomington (2018)1,290,03084,98115.18

Carmel

Inventory years: 2015 and 2018

Carmel completed community inventories for 2015 and 2018. In 2015, an estimated 1,257,697 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) were emitted within Carmel city limits. In 2018, an estimated 1,305,419 metric tons of CO2e were emitted within Carmel city limits. Emissions increased by an estimated 3.79% between 2015 and 2018 (1.26% per year), while population grew 6.02% over the same time period (2.01% per year).

Table 2. Carmel's total and per capital greenhouse gas emissions
Inventory YearTotal CO2e (MT)PopulationPer Capita CO2e (MT)
Carmel (2015)1,257,69792,74713.56
Carmel (2018)1,305,41998,33213.28

Columbus

Inventory year: 2018

In 2018, an estimated 1,178,199 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) were emitted within Columbus city limits. 

Table 3. Columbus's total and per capital greenhouse gas emissions
Inventory YearTotal CO2e (MT)PopulationPer Capita CO2e (MT)
Columbus (2018)1,178,19947,54324.78

Delaware County

Inventory years: 2015 and 2017

Delaware County completed community inventories for 2015 and 2017. In 2015, an estimated 1,537,204 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) were emitted within Delaware County limits. In 2017, an estimated 1,566,357 metric tons of CO2e were emitted within Delaware County limits. Emissions increased by an estimated 1.90% between 2015 and 2017 (.95% per year), while population declined .32% over the same time period (-.16% per year).

Table 4. Delaware County's total and per capital greenhouse gas emissions
Inventory YearTotal CO2e (MT)PopulationPer Capita CO2e (MT)
Delaware County (2015)1,537,204115,76513.28
Delaware County (2017)1,566,357115,38913.57

Evansville

Inventory year: 2017

In 2017, an estimated 1,552,387 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) were emitted within Evansville city limits. 

Table 5. Evansville's total and per capital greenhouse gas emissions
Inventory YearTotal CO2e (MT)PopulationPer Capita CO2e (MT)
Evansville (2017)1,552,387118,28813.12

Fishers

Inventory years: 2015 and 2018

Fishers completed community inventories for 2015 and 2018. In 2015, an estimated 1,250,455 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) were emitted within Fishers city limits. In 2018, an estimated 1,266,986 metric tons of CO2e were emitted within Fishers city limits. Emissions increased by an estimated 1.32% between 2015 and 2018 (.44% per year), while population grew 5.25% over the same time period (1.75% per year).

Table 6. Fishers' total and per capital greenhouse gas emissions
Inventory YearTotal CO2e (MT)PopulationPer Capita CO2e (MT)
Fishers (2015)1,250,45588,70814.10
Fishers (2018)1,266,98693,36213.57

Fort Wayne

Inventory year: 2017

In 2017, an estimated 2,940,637 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) were emitted within Fort Wayne city limits.

Table 7. Fort Wayne's total and per capital greenhouse gas emissions
Inventory YearTotal CO2e (MT)PopulationPer Capita CO2e (MT)
Fort Wayne (2017)2,940,637265,45511.08

Gary

Inventory year: 2017

In 2017, an estimated 12,580,068 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) were emitted within Gary city limits.

Table 8. Gary's total and per capital greenhouse gas emissions
Inventory YearTotal CO2e (MT)PopulationPer Capita CO2e (MT)
Gary (2017)12,580,06875,881165.79

Goshen

Inventory year: 2017  |  Full Report

In 2017, an estimated 562,476 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) were emitted within Goshen city limits.

Table 9. Goshen's total and per capital greenhouse gas emissions
Inventory YearTotal CO2e (MT)PopulationPer Capita CO2e (MT)
Goshen (2017)562,47632,99717.05

Greencastle

Inventory year: 2018

In 2018, an estimated 153,140 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) were emitted within Greencastle city limits.

Table 10. Greencastle's total and per capital greenhouse gas emissions
Inventory YearTotal CO2e (MT)PopulationPer Capita CO2e (MT)
Greencastle (2018)153,14010,53014.54

Michigan City

Inventory year: 2017

In 2017, an estimated 595,414 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) were emitted within Michigan City limits.

Table 11. Michigan City's total and per capital greenhouse gas emissions
Inventory YearTotal CO2e (MT)PopulationPer Capita CO2e (MT)
Michigan City (2017)595,41431,11619.14

Muncie

Inventory years: 2015 and 2017

Muncie completed community inventories for the years 2015 and 2017. In 2015, an estimated 535,999 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) were emitted within Muncie city limits. In 2017, an estimated 525,704 metric tons of CO2e were emitted within Muncie city limits. Emissions decreased by an estimated 1.92% between 2015 and 2017 (.96% per year). Population declined .26% over the same time period (-.13% per year).

Table 12. Muncie's total and per capital greenhouse gas emissions
Inventory YearTotal CO2e (MT)PopulationPer Capita CO2e (MT)
Muncie (2015)535,99969,1347.75
Muncie (2017)525,70468,9517.62

Oldenburg

Inventory year: 2017

In 2017, an estimated 9,517 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) were emitted within Oldenburg town limits.

Table 13. Oldenburg's total and per capital greenhouse gas emissions
Inventory YearTotal CO2e (MT)PopulationPer Capita CO2e (MT)
Oldenburg (2017)9,51765714.49

Richmond

Inventory year: 2018

In 2018, an estimated 845,320 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) were emitted within Richmond city limits.

Table 14. Richmond's total and per capital greenhouse gas emissions
Inventory YearTotal CO2e (MT)PopulationPer Capita CO2e (MT)
Richmond (2018)845,32035,35323.91

West Lafayette

Inventory year: 2017

In 2017, an estimated 411,173 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) were emitted within West Lafayette city limits.

Table 15. West Lafayette's total and per capital greenhouse gas emissions
Inventory YearTotal CO2e (MT)PopulationPer Capita CO2e (MT)
West Lafayette (2017)411,17347,5938.64

The results of these inventories demonstrate an opportunity for activities that contribute towards reduced emissions among all categories, but especially in transportation, residential energy, and commercial energy across all communities. Partnerships with transit agencies, local employers, neighborhood associations, and local nonprofits will lead to reductions in all of these categories. The cities of Columbus, Gary, Goshen, Richmond, and West Lafayette will need to work closely with their industrial sector to reduce their top emissions category. The results of the inventories also demonstrate a need for every resident to take steps to reduce their personal carbon footprint.

Government Operations Results

Seven cohort members completed local government operations greenhouse gas inventories in addition to their community-wide inventories. Government operations inventories provide a more detailed look at emissions produced by the day-to-day activities of municipal and county governments.

It is not accurate to compare greenhouse gas inventories to one another. Each community followed the Local Government Operations Protocol, but opted to include or exclude different categories depending on data availability. Additionally, greenhouse gas emissions inventories are estimates; obtaining a perfectly accurate accounting of emissions is not possible with current technologies. Nevertheless, the results of a greenhouse gas inventory should not be discounted. The process and results allow communities to obtain standard measurements which can be tracked and reduced over time to measure their own progress.

Bloomington, Carmel, Evansville, Fishers, Fort Wayne, Gary, and Goshen completed local government operations inventories. This section shows the results of these inventories.

 

Bloomington

Local govenment inventory year: 2018

In 2018, measured City of Bloomington operations emitted an estimated 28,245 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). 

Bloomington Local Government Operations Sector Contributions (2018)
  • Water and wastewater - 59%
  • Buildings and facilities - 14%
  • Transit fleet - 10%
  • Vehicle fleet - 9%
  • Street lights and traffic signals - 5%
  • Employee commute - 3%

Carmel

Local government inventory years: 2015 and 2018

Carmel completed government operations inventories for the years 2015 and 2018. In 2015, measured City of Carmel operations emitted an estimated 29,881 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). In 2018, measured City of Carmel operations emitted an estimated 30,916 metric tons of CO2e. Note that Carmel’s 2015 government operations inventory did not include employees’ commute, while the 2018 inventory did. 

Carmel Local Government Operations Sector Contributions (2015)
  • Water and wastewater - 73%
  • Buildings and facilities - 13%
  • Vehicle fleet - 8%
  • Street lights and traffic signals - 6%
Carmel Local Government Operations Sector Contributions (2018)
  • Water and wastewater - 64%
  • Buildings and facilities - 16%
  • Vehicle fleet - 8%
  • Employee commute - 7%
  • Street lights and traffic signals - 5%

Evansville

Local government inventory year: 2017 
Article Covering Results

In 2017, measured City of Evansville operations emitted an estimated 47,692 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).

Evansville Local Government Operations Sector Contributions (2017)
  • Water and wastewater - 31%
  • Buildings and facilities - 26%
  • Street lights and traffic signals - 21%
  • Vehicle fleet - 10%
  • Employee commute - 6%
  • Transit fleet - 5%
  • Solid waste - 1%

Fishers

Local government inventory years: 2015 and 2018

Fishers completed government operations inventories for the years 2015 and 2018. In 2015, measured City of Fishers operations emitted an estimated 12,923 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). In 2018, measured City of Fishers operations emitted and estimated 13,562 metric tons of CO2e.

Fishers Local Government Operations Sector Contributions (2015)
  • Water and wastewater - 55%
  • Buildings and facilities - 23%
  • Vehicle fleet - 21%
  • Solid waste - 1%
  • Street lights and traffic signals - Less than 1%
Fishers Local Government Operations Sector Contributions (2018)
  • Water and wastewater - 54%
  • Buildings and facilities - 23%
  • Vehicle fleet - 22%
  • Solid waste - 1%
  • Street lights and traffic signals - Less than 1%

Fort Wayne

Local government inventory year: 2018

In 2018, measured Fort Wayne operations emitted an estimated 55,958 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).

Fort Wayne Local Government Operations Sector Contributions (2018)
  • Water and wastewater - 37%
  • Buildings and facilities - 22%
  • Street lights and traffic signals - 18%
  • Vehicle fleet - 17%
  • Transit fleet - 6%

Gary

Local government inventory year: 2017

In 2017, measured City of Gary operations emitted an estimated 94,830 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). 

Gary Local Government Operations Sector Contributions (2017)
  • Solid Waste - 38%
  • Water and wastewater - 24%
  • Buildings and facilities - 23%
  • Street lights and traffic signals - 10%
  • Vehicle fleet - 3%
  • Transit fleet - 2%

Goshen

Local government inventory year: 2017
Full Report

In 2017, measured City of Goshen operations emitted an estimated 11,246 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). 

Goshen Local Government Operations Sector Contributions (2017)
  • Buildings and facilities - 82%
  • Vehicle fleet - 11%
  • Water and wastewater - 7%

The results of the local government operations inventories completed in the 2019 Resilience Cohort demonstrate an opportunity for greenhouse gas emissions reduction initiatives in all categories, but especially in the movement and treatment of water and wastewater, which was the top category of greenhouse gas emissions for five of the seven communities completing local government operations inventories. The Environmental Resilience Institute looks forward to working with these communities to discuss reduction strategies.

Conclusions and Next Steps - The 2020 Resilience Cohort

The 2019 Resilience Cohort resulted in the completion of 19 community-wide and 9 local government operations greenhouse gas inventories in 14 Indiana communities, most of which had not previously conducted an inventory. These inventories will serve as baselines to track increases and decreases in future emissions and will help communities identify which strategies will be most effective at reducing emissions within their jurisdictions.

Following the success in 2019, the 2020 Resilience Cohort will guide communities through the process of developing a greenhouse gas reduction plan, commonly known as a climate action plan. Participants will analyze the results of their inventories, select a greenhouse gas reduction target, identify greenhouse gas reduction strategies, collect and integrate community input, draft a custom climate action plan, and work with their mayors, city councils, or other oversight entities to adopt a final version. Many communities will also choose to use the Hoosier Resilience Index to integrate climate adaptation planning into their final documents. The development of a climate action plan will provide Indiana communities with a tangible set of steps they can take to reduce their emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change.

We are very proud of what these Indiana communities completed in 2019, and we are thrilled that many of them decided to continue to the next step. In addition, new communities are coming forward to take the first step to measure their emissions, following in the footsteps of the first Resilience Cohort.

The Environmental Resilience Institute is very appreciative of the financial support provided by the McKinney Family Foundation and Earth Charter Indiana to achieve the results reported above.