Marin County App to Track Sustainability

Web Site Tracks Progress Toward Climate Action Goals

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Posted: Wednesday, March 4, 2015 4:30 pm

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. -- A partnership of 16 jurisdictions in Marin County has launched a new interactive sustainability tracker illustrating progress being made by local governing bodies, residents and businesses toward reducing emissions and increasing sustainable practices.

The Marin Sustainability Tracker includes 12 metrics gauging a community’s level of consumption and implementation of sustainability measures related to energy, waste, transportation, water and greenhouse gas reductions.

The Marin Climate and Energy Partnership was created in 2007 to address various energy and climate-related issues on a county-wide basis. The partners include 11 cities, three public utilities, a transportation authority and the county itself.

The interactive map allows a user to see how a city or town is doing in comparison to other local jurisdictions over time and provides additional information on how each member of the community can take further action to help reduce emissions and meet California’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020.

Metrics tracked include community and household energy consumption, the rate of solar energy installation, the conversion of conventional streetlights to LED streetlights, the number of electric vehicle charging stations in each town, and the amount of waste landfilled and water consumed each year.

“We’re thrilled to provide this tool and we hope it inspires people to take more action to meet our communities’ sustainability goals,” said Cory Bytof, MCEP chair.

“The Marin Sustainability Tracker shows, for example, that household energy use has hardly dropped at all since 2005. So, while Marin County and local jurisdictions have made some excellent, early progress on other measures such as reducing the amount of waste sent to our landfills, we still have a way to go on residential energy consumption,” Bytof said. "This interactive map is a fun and engaging way to track progress and to create some friendly competition between Marin communities as we continue to work together to create a more healthy and sustainable Marin."

Bytof, who is sustainability and volunteer program coordinator for the city of San Rafael, has served as chairman of the MCEP for the past two years. The partnership was originally formed with the help of a grant from the Marin Community Foundation and operates on member dues of $2,000 per jurisdiction and a variety of other grants.

Bytof said the tracker was developed by "two young guys in the Bay Area" who were paid to custom-build the online application. The data behind the app is primarily utility data updated annually and data from the county-wide greenhouse gas inventory updated every five years.

While the target audience includes county residents, Bytof said the tool is also intended to help elected officials and city staff track how the county and local jurisdictions are progressing toward the greater goal.

Marin County emissions totaled more than 2.3 million metric tons in 2005. In order to meet the county's state-mandated target, emissions must drop 15 percent by the year 2020.

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