New York City Department of Education

At a Glance


School or School District

Project Type

Sustainability and Energy Management Strategy




Long Island City, NY


Grace McGinnis helped the NYC Department of Education increase its sustainability by evaluating reporting platforms and recommending areas for improvement.


The New York City Department of Education wants to reduce its GHG emissions 30% by 2025 and 80% by 2050. To achieve this, the agency had already hired Energy Managers to oversee energy efficiency projects in schools, increased the number of rooftop solar installations on school campuses, and participated in city and statewide demand response programs. However, developing a strategic plan to track, report and reduce energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions was deemed necessary. EDF Climate Corps fellow Grace McGinnis was brought on to examine the agency’s reporting and improve internal and external stakeholder engagement to increase program effectiveness. 


In order to advance the NYC Department of Education’s momentum on efficiency projects, energy-specific targets and GHG benchmark information needed to be established. As such, Grace calculated historic GHG information to establish a baseline and recommend strategies for organizing benchmarking information. To better organize and update the annual sustainability report, Grace edited the report’s Climate and Energy sections to make it more relatable to external stakeholders. She also developed templates for the report’s other sections using the Global Reporting Initiative’s G4 standards. Grace then interviewed school-based Custodian Engineers about sustainability awareness and energy efficiency practices, and recommended strategies for improving internal communications.        

Potential Impact:

Using Grace’s energy tracking and reporting recommendations, the Department of Education can plan for future emission reduction projects and communicate about its objectives to Custodians, teachers, parents, students, administrators, and partner organizations. By refining the sustainability reporting projects, the agency can increase its transparency and public awareness of school sustainability projects.

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