When we think about Utah’s air quality challenges, we often focus on vehicle emissions, but don’t often consider the contribution our own homes and office buildings have to local air pollution. These contributors are called area sources. From 2008 to 2014, the Utah Division of Air Quality reported a 7% increase in area source contributions to air pollution while vehicle contributions decreased by 9%. Furthermore, Envision Utah projects that by 2050, homes and businesses will replace vehicles as the primary producers of emissions at 63% while vehicle emissions will reduce to 24%.
Addressing area sources is a policy priority for the Chamber, as it is imperative that the business community leads in ongoing air quality policy discussions and public awareness efforts. These efforts will help Utah retain and attract new businesses and employees, furthering our state’s economy. In the 2017 Public Policy Guide, we affirm our support for efforts to raise public awareness of building energy performance as area sources become a greater contributor to our emissions inventory. We also support helping Utahns better understand the causes and effects of poor air quality, including funding research and promoting voluntary actions to improve air quality.
With that as a background, the Chamber is excited to partner with Salt Lake City’s sustainability division to help business owners and building managers understand and implement energy efficient business practices through the Skyline Challenge initiative. Helping your business become more energy efficient not only reduces area source emissions, but also reduces costs and boosts your company’s reputation as a green business.
We recognize the great efforts of many businesses throughout the state to make their buildings more energy efficient and want to offer the Skyline Challenge to Chamber members as a way to receive recognition, learn best practices, and provide additional resources. We know that as businesses make small, voluntary changes, we can make a difference for our air quality and our economy. We invite your organization, regardless of location, to participate in the Skyline Challenge workshops, free energy benchmarking opportunities, and educational events sponsored by the experts at SLC Sustainability division.
The first skyline challenge event will be an information session on Tuesday, February 28 from 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM at the Salt Lake Chamber. This will give business owners and building managers the opportunity to learn more about the program, the benefits of it to the business community, as well as the chance to ask any questions you may have. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend or if you have any questions.