2030 By The Numbers

By Katie Bartolotta

Posted November 7, 2018

Today, Green Building United shared the results from the Philadelphia 2030 District first year of data reporting.

The Philadelphia 2030 District is a voluntary, private-sector-led effort by the owners, managers, and developers of the city’s largest properties to achieve deep reductions in energy use, water use, and transportation emissions.

The initiative seeks to improve efficiency in the building sector in Philadelphia with the goal to lower costs, reduce carbon emissions, improve indoor air quality and tenant comfort, and improve the resiliency of the city’s new and existing building stock.

As an initiative that prides itself on tracking and measuring impact, we thought we’d recap our findings by the numbers.

Why does Philadelphia need a 2030 District?

60% Carbon Emissions from the Building Sector

With buildings accounting for more than 60 percent of carbon emissions in Philadelphia, the 2030 District presents the region’s best opportunity to reduce its impact on climate change.

50,000 Square Feet for Benchmarking and Disclosure

Since 2012, Philadelphia’s benchmarking and disclosure law has required buildings 50,000 square feet and larger to publicly report their energy and water use. This law has created a wealth of data and awareness about how the city’s largest buildings are performing. The Philadelphia 2030 District seeks to turn this awareness into action by supporting some of the city’s largest buildings in voluntary efforts to reduce their environmental impact while saving money.

80% Reduction by 2050

Progress toward meeting the goals of the 2030 District contributes toward the City of Philadelphia’s goal to reduce citywide carbon emissions 80 percent by the year 2050.

new website

rittenhouse 2030 meeting

What have we achieved?

19.97 Million Square Feet

Twelve property partners have committed 39 buildings to meeting the goals of the 2030 District. Office is the most common building use type, accounting for 77% of the committed square footage.

24.1% Reduction in Energy Use

Participating properties in the 2030 District strive to reduce their energy use by 50% from the national median site energy use intensity (EUI). A property’s baseline is based on 2003 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) data and represents how a median building with similar characteristics (size, use type, climate zone, occupancy, etc.) is expected to perform. The buildings committed to the goals of the 2030 District EUIs are 24.1% lower than the national median.

44,583 Metric Tons of Avoided Carbon

The reduction of 454,569,349 kBtus by the participating properties is equal to 44,583 metric tons of avoided carbon dioxide equivalent when taking into account the fuel sources and applying the appropriate emissions factors. That’s equal to one year of energy use from 4,814 homes or one year of driving from 9,547 passenger vehicles.

Where are we going?

134.5 Million Eligible Square Feet in the District

The 19.97 million square feet committed to the Philadelphia 2030 District only represent 15% of the eligible square feet within the district boundaries. As the district matures, our goal is to continue to recruit the majority of eligible square footage in the district to meeting the reduction goals, while also diversifying the building use types participating in the district. The larger the district grows, the greater the potential impact on energy, carbon, and cost savings.

525,560 Metric Tons of Avoided Carbon &
$162 Million in Utility Savings

Powering Our Future is a playbook for how the City of Philadelphia can meet its goal to reduce citywide carbon emissions 80% by the year 2050. To demonstrate the impact of each strategy—including the impact of the Philadelphia 2030 District—OOS modeled both the potential carbon reductions and annual cost savings. Per Powering Our Future, achieving the goals of the Philadelphia 2030 District would save 525,560 metric tons of carbon and would save a whopping $162 million in utility costs each year.

Legacy Partners

Platinum Partners

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