This paper presents CNT’s recent research on a range of innovations for Industrial EcoDistricts in the areas of energy, water, transportation, and waste. Our work looks at district-scale interventions through the lenses of: What is it?, Why do it?, and What does it cost? with practical, real world examples and financing strategies to help implementers and decisionmakers create next-generation industrial districts in their communities.
This paper examines:
Energy: Renewables, Storage, District Energy, Microgrids, Energy Efficiency, and Demand Management
Water: Water Efficiency, Demand Reduction, and Water Reuse
Transportation: Urban, Transit-Served Locations, Goods Transportation, and Logistics
We also discuss the several essential implementation factors, including site selection, governance, engagement, financing, policy, and documenting benefits.
While all of the strategies and technologies we have looked at are being tried in one form or another, for the most part they have yet to be brought to scale. As we begin to reimagine what infrastructure means in our communities, Industrial EcoDistricts present a way to create jobs while saving energy and water, addressing climate change, and creating an economic benefit for businesses and communities.
Jen McGraw, CNT Director of Sustainability Innovation
April 4, 2017
With the recent uptick in manufacturing around the United States, the importance of food manufacturing to local economies has come into focus for its roles in creating jobs and building on the local culinary and cultural assets of a community. With this focus has arrived an interest in supporting food manufacturing entrepreneurs as they start and grow their businesses. As a result, food manufacturing incubators and shared commercial kitchens are sprouting up in cities around the county.
To explore these issues, CNT convened a group of experts in December 2016 to workshop potential energy savings for the Hatchery, a food manufacturing incubator in Chicago. The goals of the workshop and this resulting white paper were 1) to help the Hatchery team make the operations as efficient as possible and 2) to share the workshop findings with the broader food manufacturing incubation industry to build understanding of the best energy saving options for such operations.
Northern Ohio has enough wind, solar and biogas potential to meet all of its electricity needs, but only a small fraction of the region's energy comes from these sources. In spite of its vast untapped renewable resources, production of renewable energy in the 9th Congressional District is not economically viable without supportive state and federal policies and incentives. This paper lays the conceptual and analytical foundation for a new energy economy in Northern Ohio.
The Regional Green Building Case Study Project analyzes the post-occupancy performance and costs and benefits of 25 LEED projects in Illinois related to: measured energy and greenhouse gas emissions, water, commute transportation, construction and operating costs, green premium, health and productivity impacts, and occupant comfort.
On July 13, 2009, CNT Vice President of Policy, Jacky Grimshaw, gave remarks at a press conference held by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. Grimshaw’s remarks were in support of the state capital bill signed by Governor Quinn.
Equity Express Financial Education Workshops give participants the information and support they need to decrease household expenses, increase savings and reduce environmental impacts. They respond to two major crises of our time- economic and ecological- by increasing the wealth of asset-poor households through consumer choices that are both financially smart and promote sustainable living.
The Illinois Smart Grid Initiative (ISGI) involved an ad hoc and voluntary assembly of individuals and organizations interested in improving Illinois’ electric power system and services for consumers. This report identifies several key policy considerations that CNT believes should be examined in future work to develop the smart grid concept in Illinois, including the workshop and collaborative meetings held under the auspices of the Illinois Commerce Commission.
Establishing measurable goals for the City of Ft. Wayne’s energy service is a critical step towards defining a sustainable energy plan. In order to establish realistic and achievable goals, this report sought to define indicators and identify performance standards that have been achieved in other cities with comparable climates and housing types.
The cost of energy is one of the largest, fastest growing, and least predictable components of the operating costs of residential, commercial and industrial buildings. This report sought to identify the significant potential for savings.