North Texas Daily

Denton discusses plans for a cleaner future

Denton discusses plans for a cleaner future

Denton discusses plans for a cleaner future
October 17
13:00 2022

The Denton Sustainability Framework Advisory Committee discussed the Sustainability Solutions Group’s Climate Action and Adaptation Plan and the Sustainability Framework Fund at a meeting on Sept. 23.

Carol Fraser, the U.S. business development lead and consultant for SSG, presented the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan to the committee. The presentation outlined how the company is going to see its plan through.

“Part of what we do is work with [Denton’s] communications and engagement staff and make sure that we’re using the channels that you already have to reach people,” Fraser said during the meeting. “And then […] in our pre-engagement process we do talk to a variety of people from different groups and ask, ‘Well, what hasn’t really worked before? What might potentially work here?’”

SSG will begin by gathering data on Denton’s emissions by fuel type and sector, according to the presentation. Fuel types refer to the difference in emissions from propane, natural gas, diesel, gasoline and grid electricity. Sectors refer to the number of emissions made by things like waste, transportation, residential areas and industrial areas.

Using this emission data, SSG will be able to make predictions about what will happen if no changes are made to improve sustainability. Finally, SSG will work with the Sustainability Framework Advisory Committee to come up with solutions that will benefit the city and its residents.

The other topic of discussion was the Sustainability Framework Fund Workplan, presented by Katherine Barnett, the sustainability manager and a university alumna.

“We have the work plan that we are still working on that was approved in March of 2022,” Barnett said during the presentation. “And for the additional funding, we have approximately $4 million for [2022-2023].”

The $4 million in funding that Barnett mentions is not immovable, it is more like a projection of what the Sustainability Framework Fund will generate. The money will not be dropped into the fund all at once, it will be spent as the money accrues over time.

Denton adopted the Simply Sustainable Framework in 2020. This framework outlines different focus areas with several goals for each. Each focus area also includes potential strategies that could be used to achieve its goals.

These eight focus areas include:

  • Water.
  • Air quality and greenhouse gas management.
  • Energy conservation and efficiency.
  • Land use and open/natural space.
  • Transportation.
  • Education, communication and community.
  • Material resources management.
  • Resiliency and public health.

Denton’s collaboration with SSG started fairly recently, said Michael Gange, director of environmental services and sustainability and university alumnus.

“So, we issued a public request for proposal SSG is one of the firms that responded,” said Gange. “We took that as a recommendation to council on July 19 of 2022, and the council recommended approval of going into contract with SSG on July 19.”

SSG has been around for over 15 years, has completed hundreds of sustainability projects and has published research. The organization has also developed multiple open-source tools such as ModelHealth, CityInSight and Plan4DE.

SSG members and associates have also conducted several webinars that can be viewed on their website.

Featured Image: The Denton City Hall sign sits in front of the building on Sept. 30th, 2022. Photo by Gabe Houser

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Kevin Keigher

Kevin Keigher

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