by John Cannistraro Jr.
Snowstorms aside, there’s no doubt that Boston has been lucky over the past year or two. Our city rebounded from the recession unlike any city in America, and the proof is evident in the dozens of cranes operating from the Innovation District to Kendall Square to Somerville. Construction in Boston is booming thanks to resident demand for urban living, and the prospect of a 2024 Boston Olympics only adds more opportunities for sustained growth in the industry. As the city’s population increases and the urban landscape continues to change, it is increasingly important to think about the impact and/or unintended consequences of our work.
With that thought in mind, I encourage the design and construction community to join us in supporting the efforts to “greenovate” Boston. Last month at an official launch of the city’s new Climate Action Plan, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh mapped out an aggressive, yet attainable, path toward changing the way Boston thinks about energy. The mayor’s plan sets targets that include reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting healthier communities, and planning for the impacts of climate change; all within a measurable, open-book approach. For the A/E/C industry, this means a renewed commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency. Recognizing that mechanical systems can account for as much as 40% to 50% of a building’s energy usage, we at Cannistraro are exploring new ways to help our clients monitor and reduce energy consumption every day. Internally — at our Watertown offices — plans are in the works for our company’s inaugural “Greenovate Cannistraro” week, where we’ll ask employees to share the ways that they live green, and encourage them to help us reduce our corporate carbon footprint.
Engaging the businesses and residents to buy in and get involved may be the toughest challenge facing the mayor’s Climate Action Plan. At the very least, each and every one of us can play a part in making Boston a greener place by simply spreading the word about what the city is trying to do. It is those of us who live and work here that have the most influence, so let’s use our relationships to keep the city moving forward. Then, when the international spotlight shines down on Boston, our collective achievements as both a city and community can be lauded on a truly global stage.
John Cannistraro Jr. is the president of J.C. Cannistraro, LLC, in Watertown, Massachusetts.