Prioritizing Energy Efficiency through the Philadelphia 2030 District

By Katie Bartolotta

Posted October 22, 2019

On Tuesday, October 22nd, the Philadelphia 2030 District celebrated two years of progress in energy, water, and carbon reductions with Green Building United members and twenty-two 2030 District representatives from the US and Canada.

The Philadelphia 2030 District, which is part of the broader 2030 District Network, is a voluntary effort by property owners and managers to meet ambitious energy and water use reduction goals and contribute toward districtwide transportation emissions and stormwater goals. These are essential steps to help Philly stay on track to reach Mayor Kenney's citywide 80x50 goal - reducing carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050 to help slow the impacts of climate change. 

Achieving Philadelphia's climate goals will require an aggressive set of strategies for decarbonizing the building sector. An energy efficiency-first strategy can help accelerate carbon emissions reductions while providing important co-benefits to residents. The Philadelphia 2030 District exemplifies this strategy. 

Green Building United signed on to the initiative in October 2017 and since has welcomed 15 property partners and 47 committed properties totalling 22 million square feet committed to the district. 

“Philadelphians are already feeling the local impacts of climate change in the form of heatwaves, frequent heavy rainstorms, and severe weather throughout the year. We’re excited to share the progress that’s been made to reduce local carbon emissions by improving the efficiency of the city’s largest buildings with residents and with a global community,” says Katie Bartolotta, the Philadelphia 2030 District Director. 

All together, the buildings participating in this initiative have improved their performance by reducing their energy and water use against their baselines and incorporating green stormwater infratstructure.


Districtwide Performance

  • 29.8% reduction in energy use

  • 20% reduction in districtwide water use

  • 43.3 verified Greened Acres

  • 69,906 avoided MTCO2e

The building owners who participate in the Philadelphia 2030 District receive support through invitations to bi-monthly partner meetings, education and training opportunities from Green Building United, and confidential building-level performance reports. 

Following the progress report celebration, Philadelphia will host the 2030 Districts Network Summit from October 23rd - 25th.  The District Network will share best practices in cutting carbon emissions from cities’ urban centers. 

“We’re delighted that Philadelphia, one of the fastest-growing 2030 Districts in the Network, is hosting our annual summit. We look forward to learning from Philadelphia’s early successes and for the other 2030 Districts to share their own unique insights on how to meet the initiative’s goals,” says Catherine Olteanu, Chief Executive Officer of the 2030 Districts Network. 


Click here to read the full Philadelphia 2030 District Report.


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