Michael Peel

USGBC Arizona celebrated the Tucson Emerging 2030 District at the Hotel Congress on April 20.

USGBC Arizona feted the public launch of the Tucson Emerging 2030 District at the historic Hotel Congress on April 20 with a sold-out tour and networking reception. The dynamic partnership between USGBC Arizona and the emerging district began in 2015 with the support of USGBC volunteers using USGBC’s ADVANCE framework.

This work catalyzed the rapid development of an impressive district in downtown Tucson in just over a year. The April 20 Case Studies and Cocktails event celebrated this success and engaged local building owners, managers and developers. An energized task force led by Michael Peel, Ray Clamons, and Peter Dobrovolny, one of the founders of the first 2030 District in Seattle, guided the event’s development. 

Meeting the national 2030 Challenge on a local level

The Tucson Emerging 2030 District is the first of its kind in Arizona, and part of the national Architecture 2030 Challenge. This member-based organization consists of real estate owners, managers, developers, industry professionals and community stakeholders who work toward substantially reducing the environmental impact of building construction and operations. This, in turn, contributes to Tucson's resurgent economy.

The 2030 District's public-private partnership brings property owners and managers together with local governments, businesses and community stakeholders to provide a business model for urban sustainability through collaboration, leveraged financing and shared resources, improving the health and welfare of Tucson and its citizens.

Recognizing a need to support education and subject matter expertise for building owners and managers in the district, USGBC Arizona connects volunteer subject matter experts with district participants to benchmark their properties using Energy Star’s Portfolio Manager. With this data, teams develop and implement creative strategies, best practices and verification methods for measuring progress toward a common goal: the Architecture 2030 Challenge targets of 50 percent reduction in energy use, water use and transportation emissions by the year 2030.

Celebrating at the Hotel Congress

With over 100 people in attendance, the tour and reception on April 20 highlighted this work, as well as the impressive green features of the Hotel Congress, one of the early Tucson Emerging 2030 District participants. The networking reception featured local sustainability and community leaders, including Gina Murphy Darling of Mrs. Green’s World as the event emcee.

Hotel Congress was named "Arizona's Greenest Workplace 2016" in Arizona's Greenest Workplace Challenge and is now a Gold Level Green Leader on TripAdvisor. Their green initiatives include:

  • Sourcing local/sustainable ingredients for their restaurant
  • Using Refresh Glass upcycled from wine bottles
  • Eliminating as many straws as possible as a part of the One Less Straw campaign with One More Generation
  • Switching to 100 percent recycled paper coasters that are compostable
  • Converting to compostable drink cups
  • Providing guests with solar-heated water
  • Installing energy-efficient cooling systems in hotel rooms.

USGBC Arizona looks forward to a continued partnership with the Tucson Emerging 2030 District and to realizing the outcomes of a healthier, more energy-efficient Tucson. 

See upcoming USGBC Arizona events