Cook County Sustainability Progress Report


County Government

* The County has saved over $3 million since March 2011through operational programs such as Wattage Wars, de-lamping and curtailment.

* ESCO projects are under way that guarantee a 20% reduction in energy usage at Jail and Hospital campus buildings and providing a positive return on investment.  The projects will be fully implemented in less than 3 years – some savings will start to accrue right away.

* A comprehensive space use and facility condition analysis will provide the basis for a future comprehensive capital plan with energy projects.

* 20 energy audits, 49 buildings added to Portfolio Manager, creation of planning tool that identifies all county-owned buildings and the analysis that has been done to date.

* Cook County Dept. of Transportation and Highways replaces 108 incandescent-bulb traffic signals with LED lights, reducing the energy bills for those fixtures by 70%.


Cook County Community

* Nearly 600 energy audits funded by Cook County’s federal grants were performed on homes, businesses and municipal facilities in suburban communities

* Audits identified almost 70 million kBTUs in potential energy savings.

* More than 90 energy efficiency projects at municipal buildings and non-profits have produced the potential for over $2.3 million in cost savings over the first 5 years.

* Cook County helped local governments save energy on their water pumping by funding projects such as wind turbines and efficient pumps

* Funding for home weatherization projects will save 100,000 kwhs and 85,000 therms.

* Over 66 FTE jobs were created through these projects.



County Government

* Created Shared Fleet used by multiple departments, and entered into car sharing contract. Initial savings estimated at $250,000 for 2013.

* Began Countywide fleet analysis to analyze the management of fleet assets, maintenance, fuel costs, and fleet information systems.  This program will help to implement best practices, save money and improve the value of existing assets to the County .  Centralizing and right-sizing the fleet, along with rethinking the fueling and maintenance policies and infrastructure, provides many opportunities to increase the sustainability of the County’s fleet operations.

* Continuing to install diesel retrofits to reduce pollution from heavy equipment at Highway Department, Forest Preserve District, Sheriff.

* Cook County Government offers transit tax benefits to its employees.

* Begun to work collaboratively with City of Chicago on identifying alternative-fueling projects and seeking federal and other grants.


Cook County Community

* Dept. of Environmental Control worked with Center for Neighborhood Technology to enroll over 100 more businesses in the employee tax benefit for transit program, benefiting almost 1,000 employees (and removing associated auto traffic and emissions).

* Undertook key projects, such as $40M expansion of Joe Orr Road in Lynwood, and Center Street in Harvey near the CN freight terminal, to create nodes of economic opportunity.

* Reorganized Dept. of Transportation & Highways to focus on economic development, Complete Streets for multiple modes of travel.

* Created Bureau of Economic Development, appointed Council of Economic Advisors focused on spurring growth around transit and freight nodes.

* Creating new resources for infill development: Land Bank, $30 Million Section 108 Loan Pool for economic development financing, Brownfield Redevelopment & Intermodal Promotion Act to support job creation near Harvey’s CN Terminal, revamped tax incentives, and others.


County Government

* Waste audits have been conducted at several County government facilities.

* Cook County has a contract to recycle its electronic waste.

* Composting is under way at the Sherriff’s Boot Camp, in cooperation with the Dept. of Environmental Control and Chicago Botanic Garden.


Cook County Community

* Passed the first Solid Waste Plan (2012) for suburban Cook County in 12 years, with an ideal goal of zero waste.

* Conducted a marketing study with the Delta Institute on the emerging demand for reuse of building materials.

* A 2012 County ordinance requires demolition debris diversion rate of 70% with an additional re-use rate of 5% for residential demolition projects. 26,000 tons have been recycled or reused since implementation in Nov. 2012.

* Cook County Dept. of Environmental Control is funding a waste transportation study to examine economic and environmental costs of waste generation and transport in County communities.



Cook County Facilities

* Conducted first known water use analysis of County facilities, with USEquities.

* Current ESCO projects at Corrections and Hospital complexes are putting in sub-metering for more useful data on water use.

* County is beginning to work with City of Chicago to bundle water bills into zones, for faster payment, reducing late fees and creating greater congruity between charges and usage.


  Cook County Community

* Cook County Dept. of Building and Zoning is in the process of adopting more conservation-friendly International Building Codes for unincorporated areas.

* Environmental Control helped local communities lower energy costs (and Greenhouse Gas emissions) of water distribution: funded wind turbine in Lynwood to power water pump station, and variable-speed drives for energy efficiency at pumping station in Niles.

* To address stormwater runoff impacts, the County funded demonstration of permeable-paver alley in Bellwood.