Houston mayor signs decarbonization policy for city-owned buildings

Houston city skyline, Houston, USA. (Photo by: Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

The City of Houston is working to maintain its promise on reducing emissions while also keeping buildings resilient on Earth Day 2022. 

Mayor Sylvester Turner signed the policy on Earth Day, as part of the recent release of the two-year update on Resilient Houston and the Climate Action Plan (CAP)

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According to a press release from the mayor's office, buildings represent over 40% of both municipal and city-wide emissions, "making them a key lever for achieving the CAP’s emission reduction targets (40% from 2014 levels by 2030, 75% by 2040, and 100% by 2050). 

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The policy further addresses emissions associated with more than 550 Houston buildings through the following means: 

  • Promoting a shift away from onsite combustion of fossil fuels and their associated health impacts
  • Targeting a five percent annual reduction in consumption of energy and water across most of the City’s building portfolio, and decreasing and diverting building waste
  • Promoting readiness for onsite renewable power generation and electric vehicle charging
  • Shifting procurement to lower-impact building equipment and building materials
  • Investing in the City’s workforce and its capacity to manage high-performing buildings, including designating new building decarbonization staff across five City departments

"This Earth Day, we are doubling down on our efforts to reduce the City’s emissions and make City buildings more sustainable and resilient," Mayor Turner said in a statement. "The benefits of this policy change will extend far beyond my term as mayor." 

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"This is the first step, and I am confident that we are setting up the City to be both an example for the wider Houston community and a leader in Texas in designing, constructing, and maintaining buildings that are more resilient, consume less energy, and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions," the mayor added.

To learn more about the policy and what it means for Houston, click here.