City of Evansville takes stock of greenhouse gas emissions as part of IU Inaugural Resilience Cohort

(June 4, 2019) — The City of Evansville will spend the summer collecting information about community-wide and local government operations greenhouse gas emissions as one of thirteen communities selected to be a part of Indiana University’s first Resilience Cohort.

Findings from the community-wide greenhouse gas inventory will be used to help residents and local officials understand Evansville’s current emissions profile and to help City employees create an action plan to reduce emissions, increase energy and improve air quality.

Findings from the local government operations inventory will be used to help City employees identify greenhouse gas reduction strategies for municipal activities.

A greenhouse gas inventory is a fundamental first step for Hoosier cities, towns, and counties committed to combating the climatic changes communities in Indiana are already experiencing, such as heavier rainfalls in spring and winter, more river and flash flood events and more freeze-thaw events wreaking havoc on transportation infrastructure and potholes. The inventory process will provide 2017 data on the amount of energy consumed, the diversity of energy supplied to the grid, vehicle fuel use within the City boundary, the amount of waste generated within the City boundary and more.

“We’re excited Indiana University chose Evansville to take part in its first Resilience Cohort,” said Mayor Lloyd Winnecke. “We’re hopeful the results of the inventories will help us understand how to be better environmental stewards and place the City on a path towards environmental sustainability.”

The Resilience Cohort was established by the Environmental Resilience Institute, an Indiana University Prepared for Environmental Change Grand Challenge initiative. The Cohort is made up of 13 Indiana cities, towns and counties that will complete their inventories this summer. As part of the Cohort, Evansville has access to technical resources, a peer network, and training through ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, a nonprofit that specializes in helping local governments with emissions inventories.

“We are delighted that these 13 Indiana communities have chosen to take a critical early step on the path to reducing carbon emissions and enhancing air quality,” said Ellen Ketterson, Director of IU’s Environmental Resilience Institute. “The findings from these greenhouse gas inventories will provide a roadmap for local officials to address emissions produced in their own backyards, improve public health, and strengthen the resilience of Hoosier communities.”

A partnership with Sustain IU’s Indiana Sustainability Development Program is providing eight of the 13 communities with summertime externs – IU students – to help with the data collection and processing. Evansville was one of the eight communities to receive an extern placement, Erin Lasher. Lasher is an Evansville native and studies Environmental Sustainability Studies and Geography at IU. She previously was an intern for the Indiana Recycling Coalition in 2018.

Director of Sustain IU Andrew Predmore commented, “I am thrilled that the Resilience Cohort was launched this summer as part of the Indiana Sustainability Development Program. Not only are these students developing professionally through these work experiences, but they are also making real sustainability contributions by doing the foundational work needed to seriously address the challenges posed by climate change.”

The City of Evansville anticipates that the inventories will be done by the completion of the Resilience Cohort, September 15, 2019.

Other Resilience Cohort participants include Bloomington, Carmel, Columbus, Delaware County / Muncie, Fort Wayne, Gary, Greencastle, Goshen, Michigan City, Oldenburg, Richmond, and West Lafayette.

About the Prepared for Environmental Change initiative:

The Indiana University Prepared for Environmental Change Grand Challenge initiative brings together a broad, bipartisan coalition of government, business, nonprofit and community leaders to help Indiana better prepare for the challenges that environmental changes bring to our economy, health and livelihood. Announced in May 2017, Prepared for Environmental Change is working to deliver tailored and actionable solutions to communities across the state of Indiana.