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  • The Urban Tree Canopy Tool

    “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.” ~ Anonymous Trees evolved over hundreds of millions of years to retain water, absorb pollution, provide shade, and prevent erosion, making them excellent at reducing climate change in cities. Yet not all urban tree canopies are created equal. Many cities around the country have tree-planting programs, however, the programs and distribution of trees can be spotty, leaving some neighborhoods without trees to absorb the heat refracting off streets, sidewalks, and buildings. Understanding who’s protected by trees and who isn’t provides insights into human wellbeing and stressors. On November 14, Greenlink Analytics launched a new novel dataset "Urban Tree Canopy,” a tool that allows users to see the distribution of trees across city neighborhoods. The tool is part of the Greenlink Equity Map, which already measures urban heat islands among more than 30 other environmental and social disparities. The tool’s sophisticated interface not only helps reveal tree cover, but also the relationship between tree cover and other inequities. “People are suffering unnecessarily,” says Sharanya Madhavan, data scientist and team lead and creator of Greenlink’s Urban Tree Canopy tool. “Understanding the intersections between trees, heat, health, and energy are really important.” [City of Atlanta skyline and the Urban Tree Canopy map] The Greenlink team undertook a detailed analysis combined with machine learning techniques to evaluate the percent of urban tree canopy across all metro areas in the United States. The data relied on satellite imagery from the summer season on cloudless days. All images were captured at 10am with a single map pixel representing a 30-meter squared swath of land. In this way the team provided a high-resolution, detailed analysis of 378 metro areas with a greater than 90 percent accuracy.. The aim was to provide a tree canopy score – based on percentage - across area codes to reveal the inequitable distribution of risks across different populations within the same urban area. For example, in Baltimore, Md., one neighborhood has an energy burden of 22 percent and zero percent tree canopy cover, while another has a one percent energy burden and 54 percent tree cover. This way people could start answering questions like, where are the neighborhoods with fewer trees and what’s the relationship between lack of tree coverage and also suffering from high heat intensity, high energy bills, and high asthma rates. The GEM tool allows users to see these stats in visual and granular detail. “A lot of city planners are working hard to understand what policies and programs can alleviate urban heat islands as part of larger policy,” says Madhavan. “Understanding the data is the first step towards change. The second step is knowing where to channel funding. Research shows that planting trees in low-income, nonwhite communities can begin reducing the inequities related to tree cover, heat, and energy bills. The simple act of planting trees has an impressive capacity to mitigate climate change, improve inequities, and boost wellbeing. _____________________________________

  • What’s Driving Displacement? We Have Some Answers

    Movement and migration exist at the roots of American culture. Finding a new place to live can mean increased choices, opportunities, and upward mobility. It’s a very different story when someone is forced from their home. Residents in historically Black and Brown neighborhoods too often face a Hobson’s choice when prices rise in their communities: stay, though it’s unaffordable, or leave, despite the lack of housing. The results are that communities dismantle, cultures dissolve, demographics change, and people suffer. Displacement is an epidemic in America. While a common part of the modern vernacular, the drivers are blurry and poorly understood. Nonetheless, the causes and their potential remedies are at the forefront of many conversations Greenlink has with cities and organizations. The most well-known factors are household income and non-white communities. But there’s much more happening below the surface. People’s everyday lives - small stressors exacerbated through historical prejudices – have large implications on neighborhoods and why they change cultures and separate communities. These deserve to be better understood. Greenlink recently analyzed many social determinants that may increase the threat of neighborhood turnover and displacement. These include redlining, high housing costs, energy burden, household incomes, energy use, and mental health. We focused on Atlanta, San Francisco, and Chicago based on their diverse demographics, weather conditions, and impact of historical policies. Data was gathered at the census tract level from numerous sources and required a different level of preparation for each city to better understand the impact and trends in a local context. We used advanced machine learning to evaluate these trends and predict the key drivers of displacement, along with their significance within the city and their ranking. These key drivers were further studied with an in-depth correlational analysis to explore their relationship with health issues within their respective cities. What we discovered may surprise you. Energy burden is prevalent across all three cities. Yup, the relative cost of electricity and gas bills directly affects whether a person can remain in their home, neighborhood, and community, or are forced to move. And, unfortunately, mental health frequently declines as energy burdens increase, according to the data. San Francisco and Atlanta specifically showed migration patterns, or people moving into the city from outside, as connected to displacement. In Chicago, its housing costs and number of single family homes, education levels, and redlining were dominant. And each city in the U.S. has a different set of factors influencing displacement, making it critical to study the local context and not rely on a one-size-fits-all solution, or simply borrow policies from other jurisdictions. It's vital to understand and address these factors to prevent people being forced out of their communities. Each community should be addressed individually and based on their needs and assets. For example, if the City of Atlanta channeled some of its funds into areas with highest energy burdens, as shown by our mapping tool, energy efficiency and burden would improve, which would also reduce some of the pressures on housing affordability. But to really understand these relationships, we must go beyond data and computer models and bring the policy makers and people experiencing the pressures of displacement in real time to develop a path forward together. In this way, the data becomes a tool for further understanding and hopefully long-rooted communities. Citation: Mantripragada, M., Sharanya Madhavan, Samantha McDonald, Diamond Spratling, Kavin Manickaraj, and Matt Cox. “Driving Displacement: Energy, Social, and Environmental Determinants’ Roles in Urban Gentrification.” 2022 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings.

  • Chicago Takes Fair Climate Action

    Tackling climate change is a beast. Doing so in an inclusive and just way so that everyone benefits from a clean energy transition is crucial, and tough. Mostly because it’s a new way of thinking about systems change. Nevertheless, that’s the question at heart of Chicago’s most recent climate action plan: what does an equitable climate strategy look like? On the one hand, there’s the existential issue of lowering greenhouse gas emissions to prevent the worst impacts and contributing to the solution. On the other, any of the necessary changes, such as transitioning to a cleaner grid and implementing energy efficiency measures, will impact individuals and their wallets. The critical question is how. “In Chicago, we must be sensitive to all sides of the issue since our city is large and so economically diverse,” says Kyra Woods, policy advisor on climate and environment for Chicago. “We’ve made a commitment to the Paris Agreement and to actively advancing justice and racial equity. Therefore, we need to proactively ensure that our policies benefit residents who feel the burdens of current systems and impacts - even if those residents don’t traditionally discuss them as climate or sustainability impacts.” Taking climate action is no longer uncommon for large U.S. cities. Cities are highly vulnerable to heat, storms, flooding and pollution. As central hubs of economic activity, they are major drivers of greenhouse gas emissions, but they also have the benefit of more flexible, responsive, community-focused policy instruments through which to address the problem. By the start of 2022, 35 of the 50 largest cities in the U.S. had adopted local climate action plans. A while back it was believed that Chicago would escape the worst effects of climate change. But that’s not holding up to scrutiny. A recent IPCC report says the city won’t be able to hide from extreme weather. Precipitation, flooding, extreme heat and declining air quality are on the rise. These raise the health, safety, and economic risk for the city’s 2.7 million residents, especially those who already struggle. “What we do know is that changing climate is a force multiplier on some of the burdens people feel” says Woods, “A key part of developing Chicago’s climate action plan was not hoping for equitable distribution of benefits. Instead, we sought to create goals that were clear about the intent.” Equity is not a singular box that can be checked; it’s about an iterative process that seeks to repair, restore, and improve. "If the climate action plan doesn’t intentionally address legacy issues through policy or tend to the people who have historically been left out, then we’re not evening the playing field,” explains Woods. That means more than just transitioning to clean renewables. It means ensuring that the energy transition serves as an economic opportunity and makes new technologies accessible to all people. That’s where the Greenlink Equity Map (GEM) comes in handy. “GEM allowed us to see this world of data on a single map,” says Woods. “In part you have to look behind the data – then you start to see overlapping lines of inequities.” For example, communities that have long experienced disinvestment may have an abundance of gray infrastructure for trucks, cars, or rail, but may not have well developed green infrastructure like trees or stormwater infrastructure. The area may experience greater heat during the summer and greater flooding, while also having higher utility bills and greater health burdens from various compounding environmental burdens. For the first time in nearly 30 years, Chicago is currently revamping its franchise agreement with Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) for electricity delivery. The city sees an opportunity for a more sustainable future grounded in equity. The GEM data can support the prioritization of areas for more coordinated outreach. Placing support in these communities will change the map for the better. On Aug. 8, Chicago announced a five-year agreement with Constellation Energy to purchase 100 percent renewable energy for all city-owned facilities and operations by 2025. This will help Chicago meet its climate action plan goal of a 62 percent carbon emissions reduction by 2040. “I believe the 2022 Climate Action Plan is a step in the right direction,” says Woods. “The urgency of the issue can feel daunting, but we are living through an era of transformation that can bring about unity, wellbeing, and vitality.”

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  • Human Resources Consultant

    Careers at Greenlink < Back Human Resources Consultant Apply Now Atlanta, GA, USA Job Type Contractor ABOUT THE ROLE We are looking for a qualified HR Consultant to lead a variety of human resource projects and provide fruitful human capital advice. You will help the organization optimize everyday processes such as recruitment, as well as implement strategic HR plans and technology. The ideal HR Consultant will possess in-depth knowledge of human resource management. They will have experience in consulting as well as dealing with actual HR issues. They will be strategic thinkers and problem-solvers with excellent communication skills. The goal of this position is to maximize the value of our HR endeavors to help our operation as a whole. REQUIREMENTS Applications must include the following to be considered: To express interest in joining the Greenlink Analytics team as an Energy Analyst, send an email with the subject line, “HR Consultant” to hiring@greenlinkanalytics.org . In the email, please include the following application materials: A cover letter and 2-3 references Your resumé or CV We will accept applications until we have 50 high-quality applicants or until 2 weeks from the posting date, whichever comes first. Salary: $60,000 - $75,000 plus benefits, depending on experience. Who are we looking for? We are looking for a qualified HR Consultant to lead a variety of human resource projects and provide fruitful human capital advice. You will help the organization optimize everyday processes such as recruitment, as well as implement strategic HR plans and technology. The ideal HR Consultant will possess in-depth knowledge of human resource management. They will have experience in consulting as well as dealing with actual HR issues. They will be strategic thinkers and problem-solvers with excellent communication skills. The goal of this position is to maximize the value of our HR endeavors to help our operation as a whole. Responsibilities HIRING Direct the staffing process, including recruiting, interviewing, hiring Ensure job descriptions are up to date and compliant with all local, state and federal regulations ONBOARDING/ENROLLMENT Develop training materials and performance management programs to help ensure employees understand their job responsibilities Create onboarding plans and educate newly hired employees on HR policies, internal procedures and regulations Benefits enrollment Create and implement offboarding plan PERFORMANCE Create employee engagement plans, getting necessary budget approval and initiating activities Collaborate with managers on employee performance and pay scale Take appropriate corrective action for employees who violate rules and regulations Consult directly with staff to improve performance Generate official internal documents such as performance improvement plans Coach managers on employment issues, interviewing, performance management, terminations, preventing and responding to claims CONFLICT RESOLUTION Serve as an ombudsman-esque neutral third-party Investigate employee issues and conflicts and brings them to resolution Document and address employee grievances COMPLIANCE Ensure all organization HR policies are applied consistently Ensure the organization’s compliance with local, state and federal regulations Ensure staff and managers are trained on compliance requirements STRATEGY Analyze trends in compensation and benefits Find opportunities for improving HR functions, management effectiveness, turnover, employee engagement, and talent selection and development Partner with management to ensure strategic HR goals are aligned with organization initiatives Requirements and Skills: Proven experience as an HR consultant Experience in project management, preferably HR related In-depth knowledge of HR principles, functions, methods and best practices Solid understanding of research methods and analysis Computer savvy with working knowledge of human resource IT (ATS, Payroll etc.) Ability to strategize and formulate business plans An analytical mind with problem-solving abilities Excellent communication and consulting skills A team player BSc/BA in human resources, business administration or relevant field; MSc/MA in human resources will be a plus About Greenlink Analytics Inc: Who are we? Greenlink Analytics is a 501c3 non-profit organization committed to using advanced data analytics to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues: equitable, sustainable development that creates a better future. We have a mission: We are committed to driving a transition to a more sustainable future with clean energy supplies and carbon-free transportation as fast and fair as possible. Our values drive our work: We are committed to using data for good and believe our values guide us in the right direction: Be of service for the greater good-Advance sustainability Provide for equitable community engagement and outcomes Suffuse evidence throughout all of our work Communicate clear, actionable insights We take a modern approach to put our values into action. We combine our deep industry knowledge with machine learning models to empower decision makers to take informed actions towards a better future and have thorough and accurate insights into the effects of policy choices. Cities and states around the country are using tools developed by Greenlink to clean up their energy consumption, drive better community engagement, transform their urban design, and reduce their environmental footprint. Since 2015, Greenlink’s work has identified sustainability investment opportunities that would result in a net gain of nearly $500 billion and avoid over 4.8 billion metric tons of CO2 emissions. Communities, organizations, and governments across the US are building a bigger and smarter green economy because of our work. ABOUT GREENLINK ANALYTICS Who are we? ​ Greenlink Analytics is a 501c3 non-profit organization committed to using advanced data analytics to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues: equitable, sustainable development that creates a better future. ​ We have a mission: We are committed to driving a transition to a more sustainable future with clean energy supplies and carbon-free transportation as fast and fair as possible. Our values drive our work: We are committed to using data for good and believe our values guide us in the right direction: ​ Be of service for the greater good Advance sustainability Provide for equitable community engagement and outcomes Suffuse evidence throughout all of our work Communicate clear, actionable insights We take a modern approach to put our values into action. We combine our deep industry knowledge with machine learning models to empower decisionmakers to take informed actions towards a better future and have thorough and accurate insights into the effects of policy choices. Cities and states around the country are using tools developed by Greenlink to clean up their energy consumption, drive better community engagement, transform their urban design, and reduce their environmental footprint. Since 2015, Greenlink’s work has identified sustainability investment opportunities that would result in a net gain of nearly $400 billion and avoid over 3.4 billion metric tons of CO2 emissions. Communities, organizations, and governments across the US are building a bigger and smarter green economy because of our work. Apply Now

  • Energy Analyst

    Careers at Greenlink < Back Energy Analyst Apply Now Atlanta, GA, USA Job Type Full Time ABOUT THE ROLE We are looking for a talented applicant who is passionate about stopping climate change, fluent in clean energy and urban sustainability issues, and experienced in problem solving using quantitative methods and models. The ideal candidate should possess strong analytical skills and knowledge about clean energy issues, including technology, policy, and finance. This position reports to the Lead Analyst. REQUIREMENTS Applications must include the following to be considered: To express interest in joining the Greenlink Analytics team as an Energy Analyst, send an email with the subject line, “Energy Analyst” to hiring@greenlinkanalytics.org . In the email, please include the following application materials: A cover letter and 2-3 references Your resumé or CV We will accept applications until we have 50 high-quality applicants or until 2 weeks from the posting date, whichever comes first. Salary: $60,000 - $75,000 plus benefits, depending on experience. Who are we looking for? We are looking for a talented applicant who is passionate about stopping climate change, fluent in clean energy and urban sustainability issues, and experienced in problem solving using quantitative methods and models. The ideal candidate should possess strong analytical skills and knowledge about clean energy issues, including technology, policy, and finance. This position reports to the Lead Analyst. Are you a good fit? If you are a climate wonk following clean energy news every day, then you may be a good fit. Better yet, if you have a history of building quantitative models to solve problems, you may be a great fit. Finally, if you also have experience designing or implementing clean energy policy and programs, you may be perfect for this job. What does this job call for? This position requires the ability to effectively communicate original analytical findings and nuanced policy ideas to a client base that includes government agencies at municipal and state level, the non-profit sector, renewable energy developers, clean energy service providers, and energy companies. As an energy analyst, your responsibilities include: Identifying energy data from a range of sources and synthesizing them in order to create credible buildings and transportation baselines and forecasts. Modifying and creating quantitative models to assess energy efficiency and renewable energy impacts by sector, i.e. residential, commercial, industrial, transportation. Evaluating [or Constructing] energy use forecasts for cities, states, and utilities. Designing policies and programs to drive a clean energy and equity agenda for our partners. Authoring research reports and briefs. Interacting with partners, delivering presentations, and contributing to other workstreams. Required qualifications: Knowledge of energy markets, especially electricity policy and regulatory issues. Strong interest and/or experience in one or more of the following areas of energy supply and demand: energy efficiency, renewable energy, residential and commercial building energy use, distributed generation, electric vehicles, utility resource planning, clean transportation. Experience developing and using mathematical models and simulations. Exceptional quantitative analysis, ability to create forecasts using assumptions gleaned from primary research and existing databases. Outstanding problem-solving skills, resourceful and skillful in conducting secondary research, information discovery, and data aggregation. Demonstrated proficiency with advanced Excel functions, databases, word processing, slide presentation software, and data visualization tools (preferably Tableau). Strong verbal and written communication skills, and interpersonal skills. Highly developed organization and time management skills. Exceptional writing skills. Bachelor’s Degree in public policy, economics, engineering, science or related fields and 4+ years of experience as a consultant / analyst in the clean energy field, OR Advanced degree and 2+ years’ experience. Preferred qualifications: Knowledge or experience of developing and delivering testimony before a regulatory body. Advanced degree in public policy, economics, engineering, science or related fields, AND 4+ years of experience as a consultant / analyst in the clean energy field, OR 4+ years of utility industry experience, OR 4+ years of municipal clean energy / sustainable transportation experience Benefits working at Greenlink: Health and dental insurance package with access to the largest network in Georgia to keep you and yours healthy. Travel health benefits. Retirement plan to help you prepare for the future. Work from home. Company-sponsored professional development grant to continue your growth. Great colleagues. A Spotify Premium subscription to keep the days moving! About Greenlink Analytics Inc: Who are we? Greenlink Analytics is a 501c3 non-profit organization committed to using advanced data analytics to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues: equitable, sustainable development that creates a better future. We have a mission: We are committed to driving a transition to a more sustainable future with clean energy supplies and carbon-free transportation as fast and fair as possible. Our values drive our work: We are committed to using data for good and believe our values guide us in the right direction: Be of service for the greater good-Advance sustainability Provide for equitable community engagement and outcomes Suffuse evidence throughout all of our work Communicate clear, actionable insights We take a modern approach to put our values into action. We combine our deep industry knowledge with machine learning models to empower decision makers to take informed actions towards a better future and have thorough and accurate insights into the effects of policy choices. Cities and states around the country are using tools developed by Greenlink to clean up their energy consumption, drive better community engagement, transform their urban design, and reduce their environmental footprint. Since 2015, Greenlink’s work has identified sustainability investment opportunities that would result in a net gain of nearly $500 billion and avoid over 4.8 billion metric tons of CO2 emissions. Communities, organizations, and governments across the US are building a bigger and smarter green economy because of our work. ABOUT GREENLINK ANALYTICS Who are we? ​ Greenlink Analytics is a 501c3 non-profit organization committed to using advanced data analytics to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues: equitable, sustainable development that creates a better future. ​ We have a mission: We are committed to driving a transition to a more sustainable future with clean energy supplies and carbon-free transportation as fast and fair as possible. Our values drive our work: We are committed to using data for good and believe our values guide us in the right direction: ​ Be of service for the greater good Advance sustainability Provide for equitable community engagement and outcomes Suffuse evidence throughout all of our work Communicate clear, actionable insights We take a modern approach to put our values into action. We combine our deep industry knowledge with machine learning models to empower decisionmakers to take informed actions towards a better future and have thorough and accurate insights into the effects of policy choices. Cities and states around the country are using tools developed by Greenlink to clean up their energy consumption, drive better community engagement, transform their urban design, and reduce their environmental footprint. Since 2015, Greenlink’s work has identified sustainability investment opportunities that would result in a net gain of nearly $400 billion and avoid over 3.4 billion metric tons of CO2 emissions. Communities, organizations, and governments across the US are building a bigger and smarter green economy because of our work. Apply Now

  • Jobs

    Careers at Greenlink Energy Analyst Atlanta, GA, USA View Job Human Resources Consultant Atlanta, GA, USA View Job

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