Sustainability

Sustainability Goals & Metrics

The City of Duluth works to use resources responsibly and protect the natural environment. One of the primary commitments we have made is to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by 80% by 2050.

To help us gauge our progress, the city has participated in several programs which are outlined below. Each of these programs focuses on different aspects of sustainability, from GHG reduction pledges by Mayor Larson to collaborations with partner cities in other countries. Read about each program and the awards we have received for meeting their standards below!

Community-wide greenhouse gas emission data, compiled by the  Regional Indicators Project link (2008 - 2013 only available for Duluth; updates coming soon) https://www.regionalindicatorsmn.com/

Coming soon: The City’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory is being converted to an accepted carbon protocol for accounting and verification. It will be posted soon!

 

Climate Mayors

Duluth Mayor Emily Larson joined America’s Pledge on Climate Change in June 2017. This is an initiative organized in the wake of the White House’s withdrawal from the Paris Accords. This initiative aims to facilitate coordination between leaders in both private and public sectors by organizing events to showcase different efforts, working to quantify the effect of such efforts, and helping to organize options for reducing emissions and achieving the goals of the Paris Accords.

http://climatemayors.org/

 

Green Step Cities MN

MN GreenStep Cities is a 5 step voluntary challenge, assistance and recognition program to help Minnesotan cities achieve their sustainability and quality-of-life goals. Duluth has been a GreenStep city since 2014 and reached Step 4 in 2020, placing it in the top 30% of participating cities.

City Detail | GreenstepCities

America's Pledge

Duluth Mayor Emily Larson joined America’s Pledge on Climate Change in June 2017. This is another initiative organized in the wake of the White House’s withdrawal from the Paris Accords. This initiative aims to facilitate coordination between leaders in both private and public sectors by organizing events to showcase different efforts, working to quantify the effect of such efforts, and helping to organize options for reducing emissions and achieving the goals of the Paris Accords. 

https://www.americaspledgeonclimate.com/

Great Lakes Climate Adaption Network

The Great Lakes Climate Adaption Network was formed in 2015 as a way to ease cooperation between local government staff in the Great Lakes region, including cities in Canada as well as the US, on addressing the challenges presented by our changing climate in this region. This network focuses on consistent updates from involved communities in order to ease collaboration, and on the development of relationships with non-governmental organizations to work together towards a more resilient future.

https://www.usdn.org/uploads/cms/documents/glcan_network_info_may2016.pdf

SolSmart Certification (2017)

Duluth was one of 11 communities to be awarded a SolSmart Advisor through a Department of Energy grant. Over the course of 6 months, Duluth worked with an advisor to address solar “soft costs” and barriers to the use of solar energy in the city, as well as apply industry-leading best practices, allowing the City of Duluth to be officially granted the designation of SolSmart Gold in September of 2017, with a total of 215 points in SolSmart’s rating system.

For more details on how to go solar, check out the “Gong Solar” tab in the “Residents” page.

The City of Duluth would like to thank the Solar Foundation, the Department of Energy SunShot program, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for the assistance and the opportunity to participate in the SolSmart Program.

https://solsmart.org/

Imagine Duluth 2035 Commitments

Imagine Duluth 2035 is a comprehensive plan that outlines goals for community development in 6 key areas. This plan takes an innovative approach to development while keeping sustainability and long-term community health at the forefront. The 6 key areas include; Energy & conservation, housing, transportation, economic development, open space, and land use.

https://imagineduluth.com

Climate-Smart Municipalities

Climate-Smart Municipalities is a three-year program, started in 2016, that is organized by the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment and the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia with the goal of pairing together municipalities from the two states in order to work together towards the common goal of increasing energy efficiency. Each pair is also connected with researchers from the University of Minnesota as well as German institutions, providing them with the analysis and expertise necessary to appropriately address the issues they face.

http://environment.umn.edu/news/five-minnesota-cities-chosen-for-climate-smart-exchange-program-with-germany/