The work of the Green Ribbon Commission is structured through sector working groups that tackle efforts outlined in the strategic plan with fellow participants – sharing best practices and findings as they go.
Commercial Real Estate
The Commercial Real Estate Working Group convenes leading Boston property owners and developers to accelerate leadership of Boston’s commercial real estate organizations to support the City in meeting the aggressive goals laid out in its Climate Action Plan.Learn more
The Cultural Institutions Working Group comprises a wide variety of arts, sports, nature-based, historic, and entertainment organizations in and near Boston, as they build awareness and drive action on climate issues on behalf of their own organizations, the cultural sector, the City, and audiences.Learn more
The Health Care Working group unites leading healthcare facilities in the Greater Boston to catalyze; a focus on energy efficiency, the transition to renewable energy, and advocate for the significant health benefits of carbon mitigation to patient and home communities.Learn more
The Higher Education Working Group leverages the higher education sector’s capabilities for climate action by sharing knowledge and fostering collaboration within and across sectors to support the City of Boston in meeting its climate goals.Learn more
The Coastal Resilience Working Group convenes cross-sector representatives to support the City of Boston as it prepares for the impacts of climate change on Boston’s coastline. The group offers a forum for members to deliver input into Boston’s coastal resilience plans, governance issues, and financing strategies, among various topics.Learn more
Boston Grid Modernization
The Boston Grid Modernization Working Group brings together the City of Boston, the region’s three major utility companies, and high-energy users whose electricity uses include a variety of building, transportation, and infrastructure needs. The group works together to identify opportunities for positive action to modernize Boston’s electricity grid to advance electrification, decarbonization, and resilience.Learn More
Collaborative Climate Action Planning
Aligned business and civic leadership prepares the way for aggressive climate action. To help develop climate planning as a regular practice, the GRC has offered an in-depth and comprehensive program on Collaborative Climate Action Planning (CCAP) to Boston’s cultural and educational institutions for the last two years. The GRC recently completed enrollment for our third cohort, which will start in September 2023 and is now open to organizations in any sector that are interested in a structured peer learning process to develop actionable strategies for carbon mitigation, climate resiliency, and climate justice. The GRC will announce the next enrollment period so all organizations can take advantage of this cost-effective and efficient way to begin organizational strategic climate planning, without the need to hire outside consultants.
Advancing Climate Justice Initiative
In support of the City’s strategy of promoting equity through climate action, the GRC incorporated climate justice into our strategic goals and is currently working with partners to plan and implement two projects. First, in collaboration with Embrace Boston, we published the “Our Shared History” report to open a dialog among a wide variety of stakeholders in Boston’s future who hope to use the shift to a resilient post-carbon economy as an opportunity to eradicate the harms of racism embedded in our built environment. Second, we have convened member organizations to discuss the potential for a “Climate Justice Network.” Such a network would explore opportunities for large Boston institutions (aka “anchor institutions”) to use their organizational climate strategies and assets to support outcomes that also advance their broader community’s climate-related goals. In a GRC-convened network, institutions could learn from each other’s work and have the chance to design and participate in collective action, should they so choose. The Emerald Cities Collaborative supports the GRC in this work. If you are interested in learning more, or getting involved, please contact Azanta Thakur at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional details.
Boston Climate Progress Report
Released in November 2022, the inaugural Boston Climate Progress Report was prepared for The Boston Foundation – in partnership with the GRC – by researchers at Northeastern University’s Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy. The first-of-its-kind report assesses Boston’s progress toward achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 while building durable resilience and climate justice. In addition, four supplemental reports highlight the following “big lifts” to explore broader systemic challenges with recommendations for how to address them: 1) Retrofitting the Small Building Stock; 2) Local Energy Planning for an Electrified City; 3) Building a Resilient Coastline through Improved Governance, and 4) Reparative Planning for Boston’s Frontline Neighborhoods.
Massachusetts Community Climate Bank
Recently announced by Governor Healey, the Massachusetts Community Climate Bank is an innovative financing initiative that will support local efforts to drive the retrofitting and decarbonizing of Massachusetts buildings, with a focus on those in environmental justice communities. Two years ago, with funding from the Bank of America Foundation, the City of Boston and the GRC began working to create a business plan for a specialty finance entity whose mission would be to stimulate investments in buildings that need energy efficiency retrofits and assistance transitioning to sources of clean energy. As the business plan progressed, the GRC and City were joined by MassCEC, which brought additional funding and a connection to the Commonwealth. The Climate Bank, which will be under the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities in collaboration with MassCEC and MassDevelopment, is designed to address multiple building segments, with an initial prioritization of multi-family affordable housing.
Carbon Mitigation Policy Advocacy
Creating a standard set of rules for reducing carbon over time creates a fair and predictable framework for managing large assets toward the net zero target. The GRC supports specific city and state policy initiatives that align with the recommendations and goals outlined in the Climate Ready Boston and Carbon Free Boston reports. Policies recently enacted and currently in progress include:
Action Pact Boston
Action Pact is a consortium of over 40 arts, science, history, sports, and entertainment organizations committed to protecting Boston from climate change. Designed in coordination with GRC partner, The Experience Alchemists, it activates multiple, prominent cultural organizations of all kinds offering climate-related programming and experiences, public art in neighborhood sponsored by the GRC, signature events, and media coverage.