HUD wants multifamily to tackle climate crisis

Posted On: March 21, 2022

The climate crisis has the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) full attention. In fact, HUD has teamed up with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the Better Climate Challenge. Together, the agencies challenge multifamily organizations reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. According to the DOE-released fact sheet, “partnering organizations commit to reducing their scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by at least 50% within 10 years.”

What are Scope 1 & Scope 2 emissions?

Human activities that release large amounts of carbon dioxide and GHGs lend to the climate crisis. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designates two types of emissions.

Firstly, scope 1 emissions come from “sources controlled or owned” by the multifamily organization. This type includes company-owner boilers, furnaces, and vehicles.

Next, we’ll discuss scope 2 emissions. These discharges are “indirect” and happen due to purchasing “electricity, steam, heat, or cooling.” These types of GHG emissions typically occur at the source, for example, a power plant.

climate crisis
Source: WRI/WBCSD Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard (PDF)EXITEXIT EPA WEBSITE

What can multifamily do about the climate crisis?

To combat the climate crisis, multifamily organizations can increase energy efficiency on their properties. For example, when an HVAC system dies, you can replace it with a more energy-efficient model. Motion detector lights can also help conserve energy. Both tactics will reduce scope 1 emissions.

Reducing scope 2 emissions may be a difficult task for many companies. One way to accomplish this goal is to switch to renewable energy like solar or wind power. If these forms of energy are not available, Climate Smart Business suggests you turn off the lights or install LED bulbs.

Eligible organizations

Organizations in the U.S. with at least two multifamily buildings and 250 units can join the Better Climate Challenge. You read more about the program here. Organizations can also email the DOE to join.

climate crisis


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