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Wildwood Reports Low GHG Emissions


Comm by Sector ChartWildwood is an exurban municipality in St. Louis County. It is the least developed and least densely populated of the municipalities that have conducted GHG inventories; much of the land within the city boundaries consists of forested hills.

Wildwood published its greenhouse gas inventory in early 2013, using 2010 as its baseline year. Wildwood studied community emissions and emissions from government operations. The latter are a subset of the former, but municipalities break them out separately because they have direct control over their own emissions, while they can only influence community emissions indirectly. Many municipalities also want to demonstrate leadership on the issue.

Comm by Source ChartTotal Wildwood community emissions were 269,026 metric tons of CO2e, or 7.6 metric tons of CO2e per capita. This is quite low, and I will comment on this finding in a coming post.

The first graph shows community emissions by sector. Residential emissions accounted for the largest portion by far. Emissions from residential buildings were largest, followed by emissions from transportation. Emissions from the built environment (Residential + Commercial) accounted for 88%.

The second graph shows community emissions and energy consumption by source. Consumption of electricity was by far the largest source of GHG emissions in Wildwood.

The third graph shows emissions from Wildwood government operations in 2010. Government emissions were 1,426 MTCO2e. Govt by Sector ChartIn the third graph at right, emissions from buildings, public lighting, and water consumption are shown in blue, red, and green. Vehicle fleet emissions are shown in orange in the large pie on the left, and then broken out by type of fleet in the smaller pie on the right. Overall, the vehicle fleet accounted for 80% of government emissions, and waste hauling accounted for 56% of that 80%.

Wildwood’s results are different from those of many other municipalities that have conducted GHGs: their buildings account for a much smaller fraction of emissions, and their vehicle fleet a much larger fraction. There are several possible reasons: first, Wildwood estimated emissions from waste hauling trucks as they traveled the streets, where many small municipalities do not. These are large, heavy vehicles that are constantly starting, stopping, and idling. Second, where many governments provide services using city employees and city equipment, Wildwood provides many services through contractors. For instance, at the time the GHG inventory was conducted, Wildwood leased the space for its city hall and contracted for police services from the St. Louis County Police. And third, Wildwood does not operate recreational centers, where most other municipalities do. These often contain energy intensive facilities, such as swimming pools or ice rinks.

In my next post I will update my summary of GHG inventories that have been conducted in Missouri, and I will discuss some of the reasons for the differences between them.


The City of Wildwood, Missouri 2010 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory. At the time of this writing, the inventory has been reported to the City Council, but has not yet been posted on the City of Wildwood’s webpage. For a copy, contact Joe Vujnich, Director of Planning and Parks, joe@cityofwildwood.com.

UPDATE: Wildwood has updated their website, and the GHG inventory is now available on the Planning Department’s Strategic Projects page:  City of Wildwood Home Page » Your Government–Planning » Strategic Projects. http://www.cityofwildwood.com/197/Strategic-Projects.

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