Net Zero Action Plan (NZAP)
Community Advisory Group
Please consider applying for the Community Advisory Group (CAG) to help provide direct support to the project. You can find the application here. Whether you work in a climate or energy related field, have an interest in the environment, building standards, or just want to support your Town, all are welcome!
The CAG is proposed to meet with the project team three times over the course of the project schedule (see below), with additional correspondence and communication as needed. Primary responsibilities include assisting municipal staff in determining strategies to achieve Net Zero targets on schedule, providing input on the plans language, and informing the community engagement strategy. To read more about the CAG's support please find the charter here.
Volunteers of the CAG will receive a stipend of $300 upon project completion. Up to eight volunteers will be selected upon application reviews.
If you would like to receive general updates on the project, and to be notified of public education opportunities, please subscribe to the mailing list here.
What to Know
Net Zero Defined:
Net Zero generally refers to the net accounting of electricity usage/generation and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with the goal to get down to "net zero". Other similar terms you may have heard are "carbon offsetting", "climate neutral" or "carbon neutral".
Why is the Town working on this now?
We recently received a grant to work with MAPC on completing a Net Zero Action Plan over the time period from fall 2023 to fall 2024. Addressing sustainability in our Town operations has been a priority of residents and the Select Board for some time, and completing this Plan will move us closer to those goals.
The State of Massachusetts has set requirements to achieve Net Zero by 2050, with additional intervals set earlier. In order for the Town to achieve these targets a baseline of emissions is needed, and a series of strategic projects implemented to achieve the emission reductions needed.
Goals of the Project:
To develop accessible and engaging resources so that the Town can accelerate near-term actions to reduce the primary sources of carbon emissions. This can come in the form of frameworks of zero emissions mobility and alternate transportation sources, net zero building development and efficiency standards, clean and renewable energy supplies, and more.
Project Steps and Schedule:
The Town of Reading will complete a greenhouse gas inventory in order to assess the sources of our emissions such as buildings, transportation, waste, and residential. By knowing what sources contribute the most, we can create goals and action items to reduce emissions and track our progress as a Town.
Stakeholder engagement will likely come in the form of targeted work with municipal departments and the community. Municipal departments such as Planning, Facilities, DPW and RMLD play important roles in the efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The community at large can help provide additional context, studies, and needs.
It is anticipated that the project will take approximately one calendar year, from Fall 2023 to Fall 2024.