Eco Policy Blog: Williamsburg at Work

February 14, 2012

While most of our public policy cohort moved to DC in summer 2011 for internships, one of my classmates, Jason Saunders, stayed here in Williamsburg to work on an important sustainability project for the city. I thought it would be interesting for fellow sustainability nerds to know what their city is doing (with the help of WM grad students!) about its environmental impact.

Jason’s project was to conduct an inventory of carbon emissions for the city government. They used data on natural gas, electricity, gasoline and diesel usage and numbers on employee travel from the past three years to come up with the figures. The city’s green efforts have been ongoing for 3-4 years, but this was the first attempt to quantify the effects by looking at emissions data over time. Check out the results – it looks like the green efforts are creating good results. The city’s instruction page is here – you have to download a plugin to view it, then you can open up the performance dashboards and view them all, or just scroll across the top to “Sustainability”.

Besides this project to estimate emissions and other sustainability data, Williamsburg’s green efforts include: eliminating paper documents, a bike/walk to work day (in which the College may try to participate in the future), and retrofitting municipal buildings to be energy efficient, to name a few. Explore their programs and stay informed about what your city government is doing with its resources.

Caitlin Kilpatrick
Master of Public Policy Candidate, Class of 2013
Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy

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