Book | 2017

The Carbon-Free City Handbook: Industry


Industry is responsible for 7% of carbon emissions in major cities. Solutions exist that can enable cities to cut these emissions, while also promoting business and manufacturing.

Industry is a major employer and economic driver in many global cities, significantly shaping a city’s carbon emissions. Limited jurisdictional control means that cities frequently must partner strategically with these corporate residents to achieve economic and environmental solutions that benefit everyone.

Action 17: Clean Industrial Heat


Develop industrial programs that reduce emissions from process heat loads. This can be accomplished many ways, including conversion to low-carbon fuels, making process heat generation more efficient, repairing heat-distribution infrastructure, and making productive use of waste heat.

Action Documents

  • Schlomann, Barbara, Matthias Reuter, Sohaib Tariq, Katharina Wohlfarth, Bruno Lapillonne, and Karine Pollier. Energy Efficiency Trends and Policies In Industry. Intelligent Energy Europe Progamme of the European Union, 2015.
    Features a number of industrial energy efficiency policies in the EU, including incentives for industrial processes
  • Cornell Center for the Environment, Work and Environment Initiative. Handbook on Codes, Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions for Eco-Industrial Parks.
    Includes some draft language used in codes and covenants to encourage clean district heating
Recommended Resources

Action 18: Efficient Motors


Develop a program to replace inefficient motors with high-efficiency models through codes, standards, rebates, incentives, audit programs, and other strategies.

Action Documents

Recommended Resources


Action 19: Operator Training


Develop a voluntary energy management program that recognizes industry for committing to energy management systems, energy audits, and continual energy reductions in their facilities, which will build local capacity for energy managers. Provide resources, including training, for energy management personnel to achieve continuous improvement.

Action Documents

Recommended Resources

SEAI’s Large Industry Energy Network leverages collaboration, replication, and innovation. Whether the primary motivation is competitiveness or sustainability, participating companies have consistently exceeded their goals and redoubled their efforts.

‐Jim Gannon, CEO, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI)

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Browse Additional Recommendations by Sector


Transitioning buildings toward net-zero energy makes buildings healthier and more comfortable, and smart approaches to retrofitting and new construction can create an economic boon for the city.

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Transportation and Mobility

Carbon-free cities can provide more efficient and economic options that are tailored to different transportation needs—with no emissions—and that create vibrant urban spaces.

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Leading cities are transforming electricity generation to carbon-free renewable energy by first committing to bold 100% renewable energy targets, then implementing comprehensive action plans.

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Industry is a major employer and economic driver in many global cities, significantly shaping a city’s carbon emissions. Strategic partnerships with corporate residents can achieve economic and environmental solutions that benefit everyone.

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Biological Resources

Cities can shift the flow and management of their biological resources to reduce emissions, capture carbon, and provide numerous other benefits to a city.

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Cities have an important role to play creating or expanding financing options and improving access to such financing.

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City leaders and sustainability officers: take action today to put your city on a pathway to zero-carbon.