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The economic and social benefits of low-carbon cities

The economic and social benefits of low-carbon cities

The Economic and Social Benefits of Low-Carbon Cities

Over half of the population of the world live in urban areas. This means that efforts to meet human development goals and sustain economic growth must be concentrated in cities.

However, the pursuit of more prosperous, inclusive and sustainable urban development is complicated by climate change, which multiplies existing environmental risks, undermines the effectiveness of existing infrastructure, and creates new resource constraints.

This systematic review of the literature focused on three sectors: energy efficiency in buildings, low-carbon transport, and sustainable waste management. Where relevant within each of these sectors, we identified and assessed four categories of co-benefits: public health, employment, congestion, and inclusion.

Key findings show that in almost every sector, the wider benefits of mitigation are comparable with, or greater than, the direct economic returns associated with reduced energy expenditure, transport fares, user fees, and so on.

This report is chock full of multiple benefits from going low carbon: reductions in indoor air pollution, improvements to human productivity, improvements in socio-economic standing, improved health, reduced transportation deaths, reductions in wasted fuel and commute time, creation of more jobs, and healthier work environments to name a few.

Sustainability Spotlight: Tony’s Coffee

Sustainability Spotlight: Tony’s Coffee

How did sustainability start for Tony’s? Our sustainability journey can be traced back to 2002, when we began sourcing Organic, Fair Trade, Shade Grown coffee. Since then, we moved to 100% green power, doubled our roasting efficiency, offset our roastery’s carbon footprint, and continue to support causes that we care about. Our commitment to sourcing…

Sustainability Spotlight: Aslan Brewing Company

Sustainability Spotlight: Aslan Brewing Company

Aslan Brewing Company, a member of Sustainable Connections, is based in Bellingham, WA and was founded in 2012. From the beginning, every decision the Aslan founders made was through the lens of sustainability. When Aslan opened its brewpub doors in May of 2014, team members focused on crafting world-class beer with local ingredients and low-impact…

Sustainability Spotlight: Brio Laundry and Cleaners

Sustainability Spotlight: Brio Laundry and Cleaners

Buckminster Fuller once said, “In order to change an existing paradigm you do not struggle to try and change the problematic model. You create a new model and make the old one obsolete. That, in essence, is the higher service to which we are all being called.” Colleen Unema combined her educator mindset with a…

California testing solar-paneled canals

California testing solar-paneled canals

The Turlock Irrigation District approved a pilot project testing the construction of solar panels over canals in the San Joaquin Valley. Key takeaways: The decision was based on research demonstrating that covering the 4,000 miles of California’s water canals with solar panels could reduce evaporation by as much as 82%, saving up to 63 billion…

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