City of Rochester
At a Glance
Data Analysis, Engagement and Behavior Change, Financial Evaluation and Planning, Sustainability and Energy Management Strategy
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Yukti Malhotra helped the City of Rochester develop its sustainability strategy and analyze the financial feasibility of going green.
Home to Mayo Clinic, the City of Rochester is poised to become the global leader in healthcare as it aggressively pursues its Destination Medical Center development goals. A surge in people and jobs looms on the horizon, and with it, the need for sustainability practices and infrastructure grows imminent. EDF Climate Corps fellow Yukti Malhotra was enlisted to help craft the City’s sustainability strategy and examine the business case for energy efficiency initiatives.
Yukti focused on advancing two projects for the City:
Building a sustainability strategy. No official strategy existed, so to lay the foundation for one, Yukti:
- highlighted short- and long-term sustainability priorities aligned with statewide areas of focus,
- identified opportunities in Rochester’s transition to green transit based on success stories from comparable mid-sized cities,
- created a portfolio of financing options for sustainability projects depending on return on investment priorities, and
- evaluated City Hall employees’ satisfaction with the office environment to inform the design of energy-efficient buildings and to spark staff engagement.
Making the business case for financing green practices and infrastructure. Yukti identified opportunities for funding projects that have both a clear environmental and business case. She suggested investments to green the City’s fleet, upgrade streetlights to LEDs and diminish excessive lighting in City Hall.
With a sustainability strategy framework finally in place, the City of Rochester is better prepared to accommodate the exponential economic growth ahead, and distinguish itself as a beacon of wellbeing in the U.S. and worldwide. In addition, attractive returns on green investments can help open up access to the City’s limited public dollars. Rochester could incur cost savings of over $13 million over 15 years through greening the City’s fleet and transit infrastructure, $2.8 million over eleven years through replacing streetlights with LEDs and ~$65,000 through reducing unnecessary lighting in City Hall alone.