GOSHEN — The city of Goshen will spend the summer collecting information about greenhouse gas emissions, one of 13 communities selected to be a part of Indiana University’s first Resilience Cohort.
Findings from the communitywide greenhouse gas inventory will be used to help residents and local officials understand the city’s emissions profile and help create an action plan to reduce emissions, increase energy efficiency and improve air quality.
Findings from the local government operations inventory will be used to help Goshen employees identify greenhouse gas reduction strategies for the municipality.
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, organizers said. 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 and the amount of waste generated within the city boundary.
“We are excited to start this process,” Mayor Jeremy Stutsman said. “The more data we have, the better we can manage our budgets and plan for the future. An energy-efficient community will help us save dollars in the future, provide a better quality of life and help protect the next generation of community members.”
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, Goshen 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. Goshen received an extern placement: Bronson Bast is a graduate student at the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University pursuing Master of Public Affairs and Master of Science in Environmental Science degrees. He is also the president of the Energy Leaders Student Association, a student organization dedicated to the professional development of students interested in the energy sector.
“I am thrilled that the Resilience Cohort was launched this summer as part of the Indiana Sustainability Development Program,” said Andrew Predmore, director of Sustain IU. “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.”
Goshen officials expect the inventories will be done by the completion of the Resilience Cohort on Sept. 15.
Other Resilience Cohort participants include Bloomington, Carmel, Columbus, Delaware County/Muncie, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Gary, Greencastle, Michigan City, Oldenburg, Richmond and West Lafayette.