By Ryan Duffy, Communications Fellow

Net-Zero in Cambridge

In December 2013, the City of Cambridge created the “Getting to Net Zero Task Force” charged with advancing the goal of setting Cambridge on the trajectory towards becoming a “net zero community”, with focus on carbon emissions from building operations. This includes reducing energy use intensity of buildings and taking advantage of opportunities to harvest energy from renewable sources. To guide this process, a committee comprised of residents, community advocates, business and property owners, developers and representatives of local universities was assembled. This committee worked collaboratively with a team of technical consultants and City staff to examine strategies and develop recommendations that reduce carbon emissions through efficient design and retrofits, improved operations and renewable energy generation. The Task Force developed comprehensive, actionable, long and short term recommendations. In June 2015, a 25-year Net Zero Action Plan, endorsed by stakeholders across the Cambridge community, was adopted by City Council.    


Susanne Rasmussen is director of the Environmental and TransportationPlanning Division in the Cambridge Community Development Department and has more than 20 years of experience in the implementation of environmental policies and programs.  She is responsible for climate change mitigation and resiliency planning including engaging residents and business in this effort.  She oversees the development of new energy and transportation policies and implementation of a variety of programs and projects in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy, multi-modal infrastructure, and transportation demand management.  

Prior to joining the City of Cambridge Susanne was a senior manager for a non-profit energy service company and a land use planner in a major metropolitan city.   Susanne Rasmussen has a master’s degree in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master’s in Civil Engineering and Planning from the University of Aalborg in Denmark. 

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