City of Rochester
At a Glance
Sustainability and Energy Management Strategy
Matus Muron laid the foundation for establishing a Sustainability Office in the City of Rochester to position the city for smart growth in the future.
Having recently drafted an Energy Action Plan for moving forward with energy efficient infrastructure and planning, the City of Rochester, MN, brought in EDF Climate Corps fellow Matus Muron to assist its planning department with identifying projects for a sustainable energy future. The city has partnered with Mayo Clinic, the largest nonprofit medical group in the world, in considering options around energy efficiency, transportation and “livability” as part of the Destination Medical Center Project.
Matus prioritized his work on projects that were identified in the Energy Action Plan. After initial research and interviews with stakeholders, he discovered that the City was not positioned to implement the majority of projects that did not involve operations, due to organizational deficiencies, fragmentation of community organizations and dis-involvement of the wider Rochester community. As a result Matus, together with another EDF Climate Corps fellow assigned to the city’s Public Works Department, suggested establishing a Sustainability Office that would address the main issue — organizational deficiency. He developed a phase-based approach to the Sustainability Office’s functioning: the focus would first be on managing energy in city operations that bring immediate economic savings and gradually, the office’s role would expand its responsibilities to include community engagement and climate action as to eventually encompass all sustainability initiatives.
Establishing the Sustainability Office, with an initial focus on city operations, will embed the idea of energy management within the city staff and eventually into the community. When the position is filled, the City of Rochester will be better positioned to achieve a sustainable energy future, reach its energy and climate goals, and build its brand as a destination for wellness and health.