Larchmont, NY, Reduces Green House Gas Emissions Ahead of Schedule Using ICLEI’s Five Milestones Framework

The Village of Larchmont achieved 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in 2013,surpassing a target to reduce emissions 20% below 2005 levels by 2015.

Having completed all milestones of the ICLEI Five Milestones for Emissions Management framework, Larchmont receives the Five Milestones Award coinciding with Climate Week NYC, 26 September, 2018.

26 Sept., 2018, New York City The Village of Larchmont, in the Town of Mamaroneck, NY, has surpassed its target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20% below 2005 levels by 2015. In recognition of this achievement, today the Village received the Milestone Award from ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA (ICLEI USA), coinciding with Climate Week NYC. A 2017 GHG inventory update performed by the Larchmont Environmental Committee with support from ICLEI USA, and using the ICLEI ClearPath tool, showed that emissions in 2013 were already 25% lower than 2005 levels. This action signals Larchmont’s achievement of all five of ICLEI’s Five Milestones of Emissions Management.

ICLEI USA’s Five Milestones of Emissions Management framework builds on the organization’s 25 years of experience as the largest city network of communities working on local emissions management. More than 1,000 communities nationwide have utilized ICLEI’s tools and methods to build more sustainable, climate-ready communities, and The Five Milestones framework offers a systematic approach for analyzing baseline greenhouse gas emissions, selecting an emissions reduction target, developing and implementing a climate action plan, and monitoring emissions reduction progress.

Larchmont joined ICLEI in 2008, and achieved the first three milestones in 2009 by (1) developing a baseline year 2005 inventory of municipal electricity and fuel use that was converted to a carbon-dioxide-equivalent total; (2) setting the goal to reduce emissions to 20% below 2005 levels by 2015; and (3) producing A Climate Action Plan: Local Action to Reduce Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions “designed to increase energy efficiency and reduce emissions in the operation of municipal buildings, streetlights and traffic signals, parks and vehicle fleet while raising public awareness of solutions to global climate change . . . via a long-term public education program.” The plan included a push for solar generation, increasing the number of fuel-efficient vehicles in the municipal fleet, installing bike lanes and racks, switching to LED lighting solutions, a deep-energy renovation of the library, and improvements to the HVAC systems in the Fire Department. All actions are either achieved or under way.

Volunteers used ICLEI’s ClearPath tool to enter municipal and fuel data for alternate years through 2013, and when the process was completed, analysis showed that Larchmont’s goal had been surpassed in only eight years: Village emissions in 2013 were already 25% lower than 2005 levels. The Environmental Committee has now recommended that an automated system be instituted for ongoing real-time monitoring of energy and emissions as Larchmont strives to continue lowering GHG emissions.

Lorraine Walsh, Mayor of Village of Larchmont, said: “Larchmont has been actively committed to sustainability practices for a long time. As a result of the hard work of a dedicated group of volunteers, we were among the first Westchester towns to implement a plastic bag ban for retail check-out and begin a food waste composting program. We owe our success in reaching the GHG reduction target to this persistent base of volunteer residents.”

Angie Fyfe, ICLEI USA Executive Director said: “As Executive Director at ICLEI USA, I am proud to present the Five Milestones of Emissions Management Certificate to Larchmont Mayor Lorraine Walsh, the Board of Trustees, the staff, and volunteers in recognition of their efforts to reduce the Village’s carbon footprint by 25% since 2005 — exceeding their initial reduction target of 20%.  Larchmont is a shining example of a small community that leverages its assets: an engaged citizen-city collaborative and ICLEI resources to both address carbon emissions and adapt to climate change impacts.  We are excited to continue to support Larchmont as you continue your climate action and share your knowledge with other municipalities in the region and worldwide as a member of ICLEI’s global network of cities committed to building a sustainable future.”

Carol Casazza Herman, Village of Larchmont Board Trustee, said: “There’s a role for everyone in our volunteer environmental committee.  However, to undertake the Five Milestones framework, it helps to have someone in the mix who has technical skills, someone comfortable handling data, or someone with professional environmental skills. For instance, we were fortunate that one of our members, Bruce McFarlane, had data management skills.”

Millie Magraw, Village of Larchmont Environmental Committee Member, said: “The work we did using ClearPath and other ICLEI tools armed the Department of Public Works, the Village managers, and elected officials with the numbers. The real value of ICLEI was to show us where we stood, develop the baseline and set us up for better management.”

Read more about Larchmont’s emissions management story in the full ICLEI USA post:

About the Larchmont Environmental Committee [LEC]

Composed entirely of volunteers, many of whom have been active members for over a decade, along with a proactive Trustee-liaison, the LEC advises the Board of Trustees on environmental issues affecting the Village; development of sound policy and practices, and interaction and liaison with other community and government organizations.

LEC members have been at the forefront of regional environmental efforts. In 2006, Trustee Marlene Kolbert served on the Westchester County Global Warming Task Force, which, in 2008, issued the Westchester Action Plan for Climate Change and Sustainable Development recommending countywide strategies for energy, transportation, land use, water resources, waste, and green purchasing. LEC members collaborate with the Mamaroneck Sustainability Collaborative, Sustainable Westchester, and other environmental organizations.

LEC members have organized large, well-attended forums inviting elected officials, municipal staff, community leaders and citizen volunteers to share information and plans, and produced numerous public programs, including expos and film festivals, to introduce members of the community to ecological practices. Notable among them was the very successful Solarize Larchmont-Mamaroneck project, a discount buying program for residential solar electricity in 2015.

In Larchmont, the LEC was instrumental in passage of anti-idling legislation; purchase and placement of recycling containers around the business districts; establishing a pesticide-reduction/elimination policy for Village grounds and buildings; and enacting a ban on use of plastic bags for retail checkout in Village stores. Recently, they have waged a campaign to increase compliance with a summer ban on use of gas-powered leaf blowers, and they actively support a volunteer-led Zero Waste Initiative to encourage composting of food waste and use of fully compostable products. They look forward to working on a Healthy, Pesticide-Free Yards project emphasizing use of native and adaptive/non-invasive plants; looking at the energy efficiency of community buildings, improving green building codes, and developing ways to make the community more resilient in the face of climate change.

About ICLEI USA

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network of more than 1,750 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development. Active in 100+ countries, we influence sustainability policy and drive local action for low emission, nature-based, equitable, resilient and circular development. Our Members and team of experts work together through peer exchange, partnerships and capacity building to create systemic change for urban sustainability. ICLEI USA is the lead author, supported by groups of city and carbon accounting experts from various fields, in the development of industry standards for local government GHG emissions accounting.  Along with its ClearPath emissions management tool, the development of the U.S. Community Protocol, the Local Government Operations Protocol, and the Recycling and Composting Protocol positions ICLEI USA as the experts in local government carbon accounting.

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn