CHA commits to energy reduction target, cutting emissions over next decade

Jul 12, 2023
Better Climate Challenge Partner

CHA has joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Climate Challenge, committing to a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and 15 percent energy use reduction over the next 10 years.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched the Better Climate Challenge in Fall 2021. Once committed to the Challenge, participating organizations receive technical assistance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and DOE, facilitated peer learning and access to subject matter experts, and a platform to demonstrate their commitment to being part of the solution to climate change.

To reach its emissions reduction goal, CHA will continue to utilize energy savings and weatherization assistance programs while working to integrate sustainability into data-driven, multi-year capital planning.  The CHA is also piloting several building electrification projects and seeking opportunities to increase its renewable energy usage.

“This is a vital program focused on decarbonization and CHA’s commitment cannot be understated,” said CHA CEO Tracey Scott. “CHA is proud to be a partner and join as the largest PHA to date in the Challenge.”

Eric Garrett, CHA’s Chief Operation Officer, said:

“We are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions across our portfolio and transitioning to clean energy, and we plan to share our carbon reduction progress and strategies with the broader market to help others build on our success.”

Deputy Chief of Building Operations, Ellen Sargent, who leads CHA’s sustainability efforts, said:

“We look forward to working with DOE and HUD and our peers in the challenge to turn the threat of climate change into an opportunity to innovate, collaborate, and create a better planet.”

Sarah Buchhorn, CHA’s Sustainability Manager, said:

“As the largest housing authority to participate in the challenge, the CHA is looking to make a significant impact on its portfolio to mitigate the impacts of climate change and serve as a leader and resource for other public housing authorities.”

About the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA): CHA is the third largest public housing authority in the nation and the largest single owner of rental housing in Chicago. Through its public housing and voucher programs, CHA serves 132,000 people in almost 63,000 households across all 77 of Chicago’s community areas. CHA’s mission is to create and sustain strong communities where seniors thrive and everyone can unlock their economic power, ensuring that every neighborhood in Chicago has quality affordable housing and everyone feels welcome. For more information, visit