Community Spotlight: Laura Spanjian, Sustainability Director, Mayor Annise Parker’s Office, City of Houston
Original story at Energy In Your Life• 2 mentions • 10 months ago
Energy In Your Life 10 months ago
Welcome to another Energy In Your Life Community Spotlight, where we highlight the organizations and the people who are helping make our communities more sustainable and eco-friendly. A few weeks ago, we sat down with Laura Spanjian, the Director of the Office of Sustainability in Houston, to learn more about the city’s latest initiatives under its “Green Houston” program. As Reliant’s headquarters are based in Houston, we were really excited to hear about what is being done to make our city a cleaner, healthier and more environmentally friendly place.Hi Laura, thank you so much for talking with us today. To get started, can you tell our readers a little bit about your department? Well, our overall mission is simple. We launch initiatives and programs that reduce greenhouse gases and improve our residents’ quality of life. Our work covers many projects and issues, but two big areas where we focus our attention are transportation and building energy usage, since these are two of the largest contributors to greenhouse gases in Houston.Great! Can you tell us more about these two areas and what Houston is doing to lessen their impact on the environment?Sure. Transportation is a huge issue – Houstonians drive A LOT, so we are working very hard to reduce emissions by providing more sustainable and eco-friendly commuting options. Metro is expanding the rail system from seven miles and one rail line to 39 miles and four rail lines. The City expanded Houston Bike Share to give our citizens more biking options. We’re trying to make electric vehicles a real option for our citizens, so if they do choose to drive they can do so with energy efficient cars. We actually worked with your sister company, eVgo, to install charging stations around the city.