Sustainability and Energy Management
Sustainability is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. By ensuring environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and economic prosperity, a sustainable city offers widespread benefits that enhance the quality of life for all residents, present and future. In alignment with Goal 5 of the City of Durham’s Strategic Plan, the General Services Department is committed to the stewardship of the City’s physical and environmental assets through thoughtful planning and operations that ensure the long-term viability of the City’s infrastructure, facilities, and environment.
At the heart of the General Services Department’s mission is building and maintaining the City properties that make Durham a great place to live, work, and play. As a team we construct, deliver, and maintain sustainable, high-quality, visually appealing infrastructure. When it comes to environmental sustainability, all divisions within the department work together with a focus on energy efficiency and climate change mitigation.
Our current sustainability initiatives for FY 2020-21 include:
- Developing a Carbon Neutrality and Renewable Energy Action Plan with the assistance of GDS Associates, Inc.
- Implementing the City’s Sustainability Roadmap
- Conducting ASHRAE Level 2 energy audits in our buildings to identify energy-saving opportunities
- Exploring participation in Duke Energy’s Green Source Advantage Program to obtain electricity generated by solar energy
- Installing solar arrays on two existing City buildings
- Converting all City buildings to high-efficiency LED lighting
- Installing electric vehicle charging stations for public and City fleet use
- Publishing an annual City Energy Report to benchmark local government energy use and make energy data available to the public
- Planting up to 1500 new trees in the City’s right-of-way annually – 85% in historically under-represented communities
- Partnering with the Parks and Recreation Department to promote public art throughout the City
- Implementing litter prevention campaign in public schools
- Investigating options for natural burials in our City cemeteries