New online tool shows Minnesota’s progress toward sustainability goals

The state of Minnesota is launching a new online tool to track the progress towards its sustainability goals. The website, sustainability.mn.gov, is believed to the first of its kind in the nation, according to a press release.

The online dashboard tracks cabinet-level agency progress toward improving vehicle and building energy efficiency, reduce water use, maximize reuse ad recycling, and tracking greenhouse gas emissions and avoiding costs.

“This dashboard gives Minnesotans an inside view at each state agency’s sustainability progress,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan, in a statement. “The State is setting a new standard for accountability in sustainability that measures real progress in conserving energy and water to combat climate change, and also saves money.”

Governor Tim Walz’s Executive Order 19-27 requires all state agencies to achieve six sustainability goals:

15% reduction in water use by 2025,
30% reduction in vehicle fossil fuel consumption by 2027,
30% reduction in energy intensity per square foot by 2027,
30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025,
25% increase in sustainable purchasing by 2025, and a
75% combined recycling and composting rate by 2030.

Data from 24 state agencies are analyzed to determine the state’s progress.

“The Walz/Flanagan Administration has set a bold vision to reduce Minnesota’s carbon footprint and lead the nation in addressing climate change,” said Department of Administration Commissioner Alice Roberts-Davis, in a statement. “The dashboard and annual report track overall progress towards meeting our goals and enables data-driven decision making.”

The second annual State of Minnesota sustainability report from the Department of Administration’s Office of Enterprise Sustainability shows the state government has improved in four of six areas since 2017. That included water use, solid waste, sustainable purchasing, and greenhouse gas reduction.

However, two areas, fossil fuel use, and energy consumption showed declines in 2018. The report cited a warmer summer and a colder winter as a cause.

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