Economic sustainability means using available assets efficiently in order to allow prosperity over time.
The City is leading by example by making its buildings and facilities more energy efficient and conserving energy in day-to-day operations.
- More than 500 new construction and remodeling projects followed the enhanced energy codes adopted by the City in 2011.
- Energy efficient lighting was installed in city- and county-owned parking ramps, in a Water Treatment Plant facility and in street lights on a portion of University Avenue.
- Energy audits were completed on 13 city-owned buildings.
Transportation efficiency primarily refers to fuel efficiency for vehicles, which includes using vehicles like the hybrid bus, using “right-sized” vehicles for the job, reducing vehicle miles traveled by combining trips or using electronic communications, reducing idle time, and using human-powered options (walking and bicycling).
- Vehicle Fuel Management systems were installed in seven police cars to limit idle time while maintaining battery power to operate critical equipment in them.
- Hybrid buses continue to exhibit improved fuel efficiency and associated reduced CO2 emissions when compared to the standard diesel buses.
- Bus ridership increased again in 2012. Data collected since 2007 shows a steady increase in bus ridership in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks.
Grand Forks is active in developing and implementing technologies that promote higher efficiency and improved environmental performance as well as helping local businesses reduce energy consumption, promote recycling and improve waste management.
- The City developed information on energy audits and energy efficiency for participants in the City’s Renaissance Zone program.
Limiting consumption of natural resources and processing waste by recycling are priorities for Grand Forks. This is evidenced by residential curb-side and electronics recycling programs as well as waste minimization efforts by city government.
- Materials recycling and reuse quantities for 2012 show Grand Forks recycled or reused 22% of its total municipal solid waste.
- During 2012, 1105 of 1410 Grand Forks utility customers, or 78%, opted for electronic billings, which saved paper, printing and money for the city.
- Departmental paper use was reduced in Engineering through improved office management and equipment such as large screen monitors that allow detailed plans to be viewed online.