FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 11, 2012
Kristin Lynett, Office of Sustainability, email@example.com, (253) 591-5571
Lorna Sutton, Community Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org, (253) 573-2352
The City of Tacoma has made significant strides in reducing both costs and its carbon footprint by tackling strategies to become a more sustainable city.
Tacoma’s sustainability accomplishments for 2011 include cutting fuel costs by more than $770,000 from 2010 and reducing paper usage by 75 percent. Paper purchases in 2011 were $135,000 less than in 2009.
Fuel savings are attributed to a decrease in use of fuel for fleet vehicles and a reduction in reimbursements for personal vehicle travel. Paper use was slashed by reducing the number of printers and copiers in offices throughout the city, sharing more documents electronically and promoting double-sided printing.
As Tacoma’s sustainability manager, Kristin Lynett encourages and monitors the City’s success in implementing the strategies outlined in Tacoma’s Climate Action Plan. The plan, adopted in 2008, established carbon reduction goals for city government and the community and outlined more than 40 new strategies to achieve those goals.
“Departments all across the City are making progress in becoming more sustainable,” Lynett said. “Although not everything is immediately measurable, we can document many successes and improvements.”
Among the 2011 highlights:
• The City joined Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, Citizens for a Healthy Bay and Go Local to create the Environmental Business Alliance, educating business on how to improve their environmental performance and increase profitability.
• The City supported Bike Month, the South Sound Sustainability Expo and other community events.
• Nearly 100 tree-themed banners were displayed in downtown Tacoma in spring 2011 as part of the Urban Forest Project Tacoma to raise awareness of the importance of trees in the city.
• In partnership with the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, 96 wood-burning stoves were replaced with cleaner devices. Wood smoke particulates contribute more to unhealthy air levels in Tacoma than any other source.
• New lighting was installed at the Tacoma Police Department campus, with LED low-wattage, high-lumen output fixtures replacing high-intensity discharge lights. The new fixtures have lower maintenance costs and use less energy.
• Additions to the City fleet included seven electric and ten hybrid vehicles. Twelve electric vehicle charging stations have been installed for public use, with an additional eight for the City fleet.
• A new 75,000-square-foot Recovery and Transfer Center was constructed at the Tacoma Landfill. The center, built to LEED Silver certification, is designed to facilitate the recovery of salvageable items from garbage.
Also during 2011, the City Council supported sustainability with the adoption of an environmental purchasing policy, a resolution in support of life cycle assessments, a Municipal Green Building resolution, and an amendment to the Historic Preservation Element of the Comprehensive Plan to include a greater emphasis on sustainability.
A report on 2011 sustainability highlights is available at www.cityoftacoma.org/sustainability.