Forest Preserve District of DuPage County: Clean Energy, Resiliency and Sustainability Plan – Gaps, Barriers, and Opportunities Report

In May 2023, our project team presented a Gaps, Barrier, and Opportunities report summarizing our findings. One noteworthy finding was that the District’s activities have created significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, sequestering emissions through conservation land management. Ecosystem services eliminate the operations emissions of the District and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an additional 900 metric tonnes – this is enough to offset approximately 50 DuPage County households’ annual carbon footprints. Overall, the project team’s findings demonstrate several new opportunities for the District to reduce its carbon footprint even further, increase its resiliency against climate change, and ultimately, continue to invest in long-term restoration, preservation, and stewardship of DuPage County’s Forest Preserves. Our assessment shows that the District is ahead of its peers in minimizing greenhouse gas emissions from the built environment by using efficient equipment and installing renewable energy from solar photovoltaic and solar thermal operations. We highlighted opportunities to continue to improve and considered electrification costs and benefits as part of our report. Additionally, our partnership found opportunities for the District to reduce an additional 50,607 metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere annually. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator, this amount is comparable to removing 10,904 gasoline-powered vehicles from the road for one year – or the same amount of emissions that would be produced by burning 56 million pounds of coal.

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