Client: Baltimore City Office of Sustainability
Completed: 2009, 2010
Baltimore City completed its Sustainability Master Plan in 2009. The plan identifies seven (7) categories, twenty-nine (29) goals and one hundred and thirty-one (131) strategies. In order to track the City‘s progress in meeting its goals, Doo Consulting was engaged to establish appropriate metrics where none were identified and to locate sources that could provide reliable data. Doo Consulting completed this work for the first and second year of the report.
Doo Consulting was selected to identify and work with appropriate municipal, private and community leaders to identify metrics for each goal category (Cleanliness, Resource Conservation, Energy Efficiency, etc.) that would indicate progress and improvement over time. The intent was to create a baseline such that it would be possible to capture updated information in each subsequent year. The data would demonstrate improvement, and/or opportunities to revise programs, or create new ones to meet the goals. In the second year of the program, the project team reached out to the initial contacts, and received additional information from other organizations that were also playing a role in particular areas such as education, energy efficiency and greening communities. Lorraine Doo identified appropriate metrics that would help document progress across many programs. She also identified alternative metrics that would be relevant for future reports, and proposed revising the process for subsequent years.
As a result of this project, the City has been able to publish two annual reports, and have the data posted on the City‘s public facing Sustainability website. This data can now be used by City staff and the public to understand the Plan’s goals, their impact on communities, and where additional efforts must be made. Baltimore City has made numerous efforts to be “data driven” and has a prominently known program called “CitiStat” which enables it to track issues and progress in areas such as crime, fires, responsiveness to complaints and the like. The sustainability report serves as the same kind of tool for City and community leaders. For example, energy efficiency is an issue in every community—for City buildings as well as individual residences. The City‘s goal is to reduce energy use in City facilities by 15% by 2015. The City has now been able to track its use for two years through this project, and has data that can be used to target poor performing buildings, identify strategies for improvement, implement them, and have progress tracked. The cost savings potential for the City is significant.
Through this project, the City is tracking efforts to meet each of its sustainability goals and collaborating with relevant agencies and partners to measure progress. Improvements will be quantifiable and will support effective programs. There are many opportunities for the City to use this report to help relevant organizations understand the baseline data, the goals, and how disparate organizations can contribute towards the same end, and be part of the solutions.
Doo Consulting Role: Project Manager