This past fall, the City of Chicago released an action agenda filled with goals strategies to make Chicago more sustainable by 2015.
“A sustainable Chicago is a city that spends less on energy use with each passing year, creates good-paying jobs in up-and-coming industries, responsibly maintains and upgrades its infrastructure, and ensures every Chicagoan has the opportunity to live a healthy and active lifestyle,” says Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
In order to reach this goal, the city government is promoting the growth of green industry and finding ways to reduce the city’s energy and water waste.
The Shedd Aquarium is making efforts to become greener too. Currently, it’s in the process of becoming the country’s first smart-powered aquarium, and hopes to cut its energy spending in half by 2020. The historic Chicago attraction has teamed up with the City of Chicago, the Citizens Utility Board, the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition, and the Institute for Sustainable Energy Development to create an energy roadmap for the aquarium.
So far, they’ve already switched out old light bulbs with LED bulbs, saving nearly $7000 of electricity annually, but there’s more to come. Solar panels, expected to save $100,000 over the year, will also be installed, as well as systems to audit energy use.
“It’s really going to provide visibility and a better understanding of the benefits of smart energy practices,” said Mark Harris, president and CEO of ISTC. “So, it’s a phenomenal effort that will help not only the Shedd, but other institutions.”