Carbonetworks Tapped to Track Chicago's Journey to World's Greenest City

Carbonetworks Tapped to Track Chicago's Journey to World's Greenest City

Chicago -- Image CC licensed by Flickr user urbanfeel

Carbon software firm Carbonetworks will help the Windy City navigate its Chicago Climate Action Plan as it tries to reduce its carbon footprint 80 percent by 2050.

The five-year-old company, with clients in more than 40 countries, will work as CCAP's strategic technology partner and help streamline CCAP's overall environmental performance tracking.

Its cloud-based energy management system will help Chicago measure and assess its emissions, energy and water use, waste, and green power consumption. The company will also recommend potential courses of action to reduce impacts, and direct the city to appropriate vendors to handle specific projects or initiatives.

“We are honored to join Chicago in its quest to become the ‘greenest’ city in the world,” Carbonetworks CEO and President Michael Meehan said in a statement Wednesday.

“Chicago has already established itself as a pioneer by bringing together local businesses, residents, non-profits, and other stakeholders to collaborate on solutions to the climate change crisis," Meehan continued. "Our technology network will help CCAP improve this collaboration by delivering relevant applications, information, services, and content aimed at reducing carbon emissions and other environmental impacts in the most cost-efficient manner.”

CCAP was able to secure nearly $100 million in stimulus grants to make the city and its economy greener. Its roadmap has five planks: energy efficient buildings, green power, low carbon transportation, less waste and industrial pollution, and adaptation to the inevitable effects of climate change.

These five strategies have garnered the city consistent headlines in recent years. For example, it launched a green roof improvement fund and green roof grant program to help pay to install plants, soil and other vegetation on small and large roofs throughout the city. Hundreds of the green roofs, which can reduce city temperatures and electricity bills, have been installed, with the long-term goal of 6,000 green roofs by 2020. A separate project aims to make hundreds of miles of alleys more environmentally friendly.

Meanwhile, the retrofitting of more than 15 million square feet of public buildings to improve efficiency and a sizeable stock of LEED-certified buildings have earned the city a reputation as a green building trailblazer. A city program aims to retrofit 65,000 residential units every year, along with 9,000 commercial and 200 institutional retrofits to improve efficiency by 30 percent.

As's Jonathan Bardelline explained in February, the city is home to the headquarters of 10 wind companies, while the Chicago Manufacturing Center has helped mroe than 300 companies find $17 million in efficiencies.

Image CC licensed by Flickr user urbanfeel.