Most energy-efficient U.S. cities
Mayors and local legislators in America’s largest cities continue to take novel steps to reduce energy costs for consumers and businesses, increase their resilience, and lower pollution through increased energy efficiency, according to the second edition of the City Energy Efficiency Scorecard, released in late May by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
According to the ACEE report, available here, Boston is still the most energy efficient city in the nation, earning 82 out of 100 points, five more points than their 2013 score. 51 cities in total were ranked. The top 10 are the following:
8. Portland, Oregon
4. San Francisco
3. Washington D.C.
2. New York City
Nine of the top 10 cities improved their scores from 2013.
Washington, Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Seattle improved the most compared to the 2013 City Scorecard. Many of them showed double-digit improvements in their scores because they took deliberate action. Los Angeles, for example, established a strong energy savings goal, and Chicago enacted a new commercial building benchmarking ordinance.
Other cities also improved their scores since the last edition, for example, several in the Southeast United States. Atlanta, the leader in the Southeast, improved by 5 points by improving in local government operations, building policies, energy and water utilities, and transportation policies. Charlotte also brought a strong score, improving by almost 8 points. Jacksonville scored the lowest in the 2013 edition but still improved by 50 percent.
Boston was the only city to score over 80 and a mere 13 cities earned more than half the possible points; all of which indicates that all the ranked cities have significant room for improvement.
Top 10 ways to prepare for COVID-19
Energy Digital sets out Gartner’s Top 10 ways organisations can prepare for a pandemic, via effective operational risk management.
As the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to develop, many businesses are left uncertain as to whether their risk mitigation plan is sufficient.
In a recent webinar conducted by the research and advisory firm just 12% of 1,500 people believe that their business is highly prepared for the impact of COVID-19, while 56% believed themselves to be somewhat prepared, and 11% believed themselves to be very unprepared.
“Most organizations have done some pandemic planning but still have many unanswered questions about whether they have done everything they can to manage risks,” says Jim Mello, Senior Director, Advisory, Gartner.
Establish a preparedness framework
Establish a team that represents all critical business functions. These people will report directly to executive management and are responsible for prioritising the importance of business activities and organise them in tiers for response and recovery.
Monitor the situation
It is important to ensure that organisations monitor the rate in which the infection is spreading and its severity. Many rely on the World Health Organisation for information.
Be sure to revise revenue forecasts and communicate with investors, as well as suppliers in regards to any potential finance issues. It is important to ensure that the business has the working capital to ride it out.
Ways to ensure this include: working capital checks, seeking loans or government-sponsored financial relief.
Extend personal hygiene and cleaning protocols
It is important to comply with any changes to workplace regulations. In addition, it is important to establish protocols for staff returning from infected areas, as well as extending existing hygiene activities.
Ensure close monitoring of absenteeism rates for signs of problems. It is important to identify critical staff in order to make sure the company can continue to function in their absence and be prepared for up to 40% absentee rates.
In addition to reviewing HR policies and procedures, it is important to maintain a level of sensitivity when it comes to engaging with employees and workplace preferences.
Establish a communication programme
People can feel out of the loop quickly. Establish a spokesperson appropriate for the situation who can maintain lines of communication. In addition, organisations should establish pre-approved messages and scripts for various stakeholders.
Review the impact on the operation
Although this may seem overwhelming, the team established to represent all critical business functions should identify key areas to consider. It is important to maintain a connection with the reality on the ground in countries affected.
Key questions to consider: is transport functioning? Have holidays been extended? Where can operation continue and where do they need to stop?
IT business functions tend to be relatively well-prepared for business continuity. However, it is important to assess the supply chain for critical equipment and keep extra inventory if required.
In addition, organisations should keep in mind remote data centre management and cloud options for critical systems as well as enabling remote working programs and rescheduling any non-essential IT work prioritising key applications.
Review pandemic plans to identify any gaps in response
Conduct a preparedness exercise by validating roles and responsibilities as well as recovery requirements and procedures, in order to identify any gaps in the recover capabilities and resource needs.
Following the establishment of a pandemic plan, identify three lessons learned, key observations or improvements for the exercise. After establishing these organisations should priorities the short and long term follow up actions.