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City of Palo Alto takes on Greenhouse Gas Emissions with a little help from Autodesk “C-FACT” Tool [VIDEO]

October 7, 2014

C-Fact for Cities Now Available in Web-Based Version

Palo Alto, California is famous as the epicenter of Silicon Valley and the home of Stanford University. Befitting its pioneering spirit, the city was early in its implementation of an aggressive Climate Action Plan to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  Since the plan went into effect in 2007, the city has reduced emissions by 34% against 1990 levels — far surpassing its original goals.

Now Palo Alto is using Autodesk's free “C-FACT” tool to help inform its future targets.  C-FACT stands for Corporate Finance Approach to Climate-Stabilizing Targets. The original version was released in 2010 and was geared toward companies.  A newer version tailored for use by cities was introduced in February 2014, and now an updated version of the tool is available in a web-based version.

CFACT Screenshot with browser

Figure 1: Sample data for San Francisco, CA showing target reductions in carbon emissions.

In the video below, Gil Friend, Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Palo Alto, discusses his experience using the tool with C-FACT for Cities co-creator Daniel Aronson. 


Mr. Friend is currently leading the effort to update the city's Climate Action Plan with even more aggressive new goals. In the video, he notes that while the tool looked deceptively simple at first, he found that it provides a valuable visual and quantitative understanding of emissions targets along the sloping path toward large long-term GHG reduction goals.  

"It seems that it will help us build a much more explicit step-by-step program to move toward big goals…And it seems that it can help us get much more explicit in the conversation in particular with the elected officials and the larger community to think about: where are we, and where are we going, and what do we need to get there," Friend says in conclusion.  

Palo Alto is just one of many cities and organizations in the US, Europe and Asia that are starting to use C-FACT for Cities.  

C-Fact for Cities was also recently recognized by Science Based Targets, a joint collaboration between CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute and WWF.

For more information and to get access to the online tool, see here:  

For more about Autodesk's full portfolio of Sustainability Solutions, see here


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