MSNE: What is the Somerville Green Tech Program?
Mayor Curtatone: We’re asking green tech innovators to give the City their best product pitch. Entrepreneurs are developing services and products that could help people and organizations reduce their carbon footprint, decrease energy use and generally act kinder to the planet, but at some point they need to pilot their ideas. We want to be first in line to give those ideas a shot, so we released an official request for information asking green tech entrepreneurs to fill us in on what they’re working on.
MSNE: How can green tech companies get involved?
Mayor Curtatone: All they need to do is fill out a simple online survey at somervillema.gov/greentech: just describe the technology you’re working on, send us some links to demo or informational materials, and tell us why the City of Somerville would be a good customer or test case for the technology. Responses are due by the end of the day on Monday, Dec. 1.
MSNE: What will Somerville do with the information submitted through the survey?
Mayor Curtatone: The information we get will be used to shape a new Green Tech Program that we’ll detail early next year as part of our goal to become carbon neutral by 2050. We know our carbon neutral goal is ambitious and that it will take some smart, outside-the-box innovations to help get us there. We hope this program will help us make progress toward that goal, while also supporting emerging green tech companies. We’re interested in doing social good and creating profitable, sustainable economies—those two goals aren’t mutually exclusive, they are interdependent.
MNE: Why shoot for carbon neutrality by 2050?
Mayor Curtatone: Sustainability and environmental stewardship are deeply held values of this community, and anyone paying honest attention to climate change and the state of national politics knows three things: we don’t have time to waste, we must set ambitious goals if we truly aim to slow climate change, and cities must help lead the way if we are to succeed in these goals as a nation. We also are deeply aware of our responsibility to current and future generations in everything we do. These values are all codified in our 20-year comprehensive plan, SomerVision, which was created after two years of intensive community engagement. And in Somerville, we don’t consider community plans documents that should just gather dust. We act on them. We hope the green tech community will act with us on this effort too.