Buildings and energy industries in Cambridge consume more than half of all energy used in the community and contribute 82% of Cambridge's total GHG emissions, so we need a clear plan for reducing emissions from buildings. Our Net Zero Action Plan outlines polices and programs that influence the two biggest factors in a building's carbon footprint: how much energy that building uses, and where that energy comes from in the first place.

Learn More

How You Can Help

Get Your Home or Building on the Net Zero Path

Sign your building up for one of Cambridge Energy Alliance’s programs. The Energy Alliance offers

  • Virtual energy assessments for renters, landlords, and homeowners
  • Energy assessments for small businesses and non-profits
  • Financial help for energy bills and energy improvements for low-income residents
  • Support with heat pumps, solar hot water, and solar PV, too!

Check out MassSave for many more money-saving opportunities for residents, landlords, and business owners.

Get Support for Efficiency in Your Home or Business
Find Cost-Saving Energy Programs
The City of Cambridge is partnering with BlocPower on a new, one-year pilot to help multifamily buildings complete upgrades that can improve indoor comfort and energy efficiency, while working towards our climate goals.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) are produced when we use energy in our homes and offices, dispose of waste or sewage, and use vehicles. GHGs trap heat in the atmosphere, leading to lasting disruptions in our climate, such as higher temperatures, sea level rise, and more frequent extreme weather events that can cause flooding. Cambridge, along with many other cities, organizations, and businesses, both nationally and internationally, has committed to significantly reduce GHG emissions by 2050 to avoid severe impacts from climate change.

Learn More

How You Can Help

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Throughout our daily lives, we all take actions that produce GHGs. Here are some actions you can take to reduce your contribution to the community's emissions:

  1. Reduce your energy use at home or work. Buildings represent nearly two-thirds of community GHG emissions.
  2. Switch to renewable energy. Clean energy sources produce fewer GHGs than fossil fuels.
  3. Reduce your waste by recycling and composting. Solid waste and incineration accounts for 6.4% of community GHG emissions. 
  4. Prioritize low-carbon transportation. Cambridge residents have many options to get around without a vehicle.

Visit the City's website for information on renewable options.
Learn what can go in your curbside recycling bins.
See how bike, pedestrian, and transit infrastructure can help you get to where you are going.
Electric vehicles can emit up to 99% less pollutants than cars with internal combustion engines.


Energy is a critical resource that we rely on to go about our daily activities. Unfortunately, much of our energy use and energy supply is currently unsustainable and causes climate change and environmental degradation. Innovations that allow us to use energy more efficiently and switch to cleaner, renewable fuel sources that can be stored will drastically improve the sustainability of our energy systems.

This page addresses community energy use from our homes, offices, and travel. It also addresses municipal energy use, which includes City-owned facilities, schools, and streets, as well as activities like water and wastewater pumping and solid waste pick-up. 

Learn More

How You Can Help

Explore Clean Energy Options

Programs are available for residents and businesses to install solar panels on their homes or offices. If installing solar panels is not an option, you can purchase 100% renewable energy through the Cambridge Community Electricity Program, or invest in community solar!

Purchase 100% renewable energy.
Go solar through Sunny Cambridge.
Support solar without putting panels on your roof!

How You Can Help

Reduce Energy Use in Your Own Home

There are a lot of opportunities to reduce energy use in your own home, such as switching to LED lights, adding insulation, and buying a heat pump. 

Mass Save has a lot of information on energy efficiency.
The City of Cambridge is partnering with BlocPower on a new, one-year pilot to help multifamily buildings complete upgrades that can improve indoor comfort and energy efficiency, while working towards our climate goals.


Cambridge residents commute by car 1/3 as much as the average American.

Learn More

How You Can Help

How You Can Help

Through the online Bicycle WikiMap tool, Cambridge residents, workforce, commuters, and visitors can provide feedback, input, and suggestions on how our city streets and paths can better support bikers.
A Bluebikes membership can be annual or monthly, and includes unlimited rides for up to 45 minutes. You can borrow a bike from any station and return it to any other station within the system.
Find out which plug-in fits your lifestyle best using this EV selection guide from the Sierra Club
Screenshot of a website with a guide to purchasing electric vehicles

Waste Reduction

The things we throw out have a large impact on our health and the health of the environment. All of the items we put in our trash carts are either sent to a landfill or incinerated, and both processes can pollute our air and water. We can reduce this impact by reducing the total amount of waste we generate, and by making sure that the waste we do generate is separated so that some of the waste can be reused or recycled.

Learn More

How You Can Help

Compost and Recycle Right

Composting and recycling help to minimize the amount of trash that goes to incinerator/landfill, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and yield useful products.

Citywide curbside compost is available to all residential buildings. If you live in a building that does not yet have curbside composting, reach out to your buildings staff and the DPW to request curbside composting or consider using a food waste drop-off site.
Use the Get Rid of It Right tool to look up if you can divert your unwanted stuff.
Image of a dark blue recycling bin against a blurred streetscape