As 2019 draws to a close, Southface Institute is thankful for the victories that supporters have helped the nonprofit achieve in creating more sustainable homes, workplaces and communities here in Atlanta, in the Southeast and across the country. Here are a few of the standout accomplishments this year.
High-Performance Practices in Action
Like many organizations, Southface assesses its own success via the impact numbers it can measure. In 2019, Southface’s advocacy, resource-efficiency and green infrastructure projects touched 212 communities across Atlanta and throughout the U.S., while its extensive education program taught 4,600 people about sustainability best practices and high-performance building techniques. Southface’s programs, such as EarthCraft and GoodUse, saved 550 MWh in energy and prevented the release of 575 metric tons of CO(e)2 into the atmosphere in 2019, a significant contribution to mitigating the effects of a warming planet.
During 2019, the Grants to Green program transitioned to GoodUse, completing 11 years of matching grants and assessments that allow nonprofits to save mission-critical dollars on their utility bills. Over 250 nonprofits have worked through GoodUse nationally, enabling each one to put the nearly $13 million dollars saved towards their mission and services.
Expertise for the Building Community
Changes to the 2020 Georgia State Minimum Standard Energy Code for residential and commercial buildings, which take effect January 1, 2020, will substantially impact the way buildings are built in Georgia and states facing similar updates. To promote understanding of the impacts, Southface released two field guides in partnership with the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) for the updated energy code. The nonprofit also provided trainings throughout Georgia and Florida and has been contracted to do similar work throughout the Southeast.
Civic Center Land Purchase
This year marked an exciting development for Southface’s place in the Atlanta community. After more than 25 years leasing its Civic Center property at 241 Pine St. NE, Southface and Atlanta Housing closed on the first transaction of approximately 0.7 acres. The property is within the up to 1.8 acres of the current Civic Center site that the Atlanta Housing Board of Directors approved for purchase in November 2018. Secure in its current location, Southface can continue to leverage its demonstration campus in its commitment to promoting a healthy built environment for all while preparing for transformative growth in the future.