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Report outlines city’s sustainability efforts to combat climate change

Report outlines Indianapolis sustainability efforts to combat climate change

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The 2023 Indianapolis Thrive Report focuses on eight elements of sustainability and resiliency as ways to build up the community against climate change.

Those topics include the built environment, the economy, energy, food and urban agriculture, natural resources, public health and safety, transportation and land use, and waste and recycling.

The Indianapolis Office of Sustainability says it’s worked with community stakeholders to move the needle over the last year.

One of the bigger highlights of the report includes the number of green buildings in the city, currently at 451. The 2025 goal calls for 498.

“It could be incorporating electric vehicle charging infrastructure, bike parking, maybe it’s close to a bus stop or a trail,” said Lindsay Trameri, the community engagement manager at the Indianapolis Office of Sustainability. “And then also, the actual building itself, so looking at the HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) system, are there low-flow faucets?”

The report says the Indianapolis Department of Public Works plans to hire five climate-dedicated employees to focus on stormwater, infrastructure, and forestry.

“Part of this is incorporating green infrastructure, and these are things like rain gardens,” Trameri said.

Citizens Energy Group is nearing the end of DigIndy, a 20-year project to create a new tunnel system to keep stormwater and sewage from mixing.

“If it rains and rains a whole, whole lot or if there’s a lot of snow and that snow melts, it can overflow into our waterways,” Trameri said.

When it comes to green transportation, the city already surpassed its 2025 goal with over 4,000 registered electric cars. Biking and walking were other concerns.

“The city has had a huge commitment to increasing bike lanes, but also trails and greenways, and also working to maintain the bike lanes that already exist,” Trameri said.

Indianapolis does not have universal curbside recycling. The Office of Sustainability hopes to change that by 2026 and add a compost option.

“We are very aware that Indianapolis has a huge opportunity when it comes to our circular economy and diverting more waste,” Trameri said.

The city government says it is making a lot of progress to be net zero on emissions by 2050.