Furthering the Goals of Boston's Climate Action Plan by Leveraging the Envision Rating System

The Envision(TM) Rating System was developed as a joint collaboration between the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) in Washington. D.C., and the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. Where LEED certification applies to buildings, the ISI Envision(TM) rating system applies to all types and sizes of infrastructure planning and design: energy, water, waste, transportation, landscape and telecommunications; and can be applied to remediation, restoration, development and redevelopment projects. Projects are evaluated based on 5 Categories, well-aligned to the priorities outlined in Boston’s Updated Climate Action Plan (CAP): Quality of Life, Leadership, Resource Allocation, Natural World, and Climate and Risk. This provides a holistic framework to evaluate the community, environmental and economic benefits of a project. Since its initial release in 2011, municipalities have employed the Envision(TM) Rating System in a number of ways: making project selection and funding decisions based on Envision(TM) sustainability metrics; as a guideline for planning and design of projects to meet community sustainability and resiliency goals; and/or for pursuit of an Envision(TM) project award and recognition. Envision(TM) can be utilized as a key tool to develop a more vibrant and sustainable Boston. This sustainability rating system, developed in our own backyard, is a tool that Boston communities can use to align their initiatives and project opportunities to the sustainable community goals outlined in the CAP, and evaluate various project alternatives against a standard set of sustainability metrics. The first workshop session will include an introduction to the Envision(TM) Rating System and an overview of best practices for use. The second session, focused on next steps for implementation of Boston’s CAP, will include case study examples – selected to align with the goals of the CAP, the Summit, and the audience – followed by Q&A.