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In August 2018, FirstCarbon Solutions (FCS), an ADEC Innovation, helped sponsor the Sister Cities International (SCI) Annual Conference held in Aurora, Colorado. Since 1956, SCI has fostered global relationships between communities around the world based on the exchange of culture, education, information, and trade. SCI’s 62nd Annual Conference celebrated “Cities Leading the Way”, fostering discussion around how the Sister Cities initiative can help modernize local communities.

The conference brought together over 500 attendees from Sister Cities in over 140 countries to expand their collaboration and learn from experts in a range of fields. The weekend’s sessions covered a range of topics, including women’s leadership in the private sector, sports diplomacy, and the positive impact of migration on U.S. cities.

Mary Bean at SCI conference

Environmental Services Director Mary Bean (AICP) was invited to the conference to represent FCS on the “Smarter, More Resilient Cities” panel, providing leaders from across the globe with examples of how communities are using data to make smarter and more resilient decisions that pay dividends in the long-run. Some communities are sourcing accurate data on sea level rise to enable them to respond to the associated threats to infrastructure, for example by relocating sewage treatment plants near shorelines. Other inland cities are more focused on the increased threat of wildfires, and are using data to better maintain power lines in order to reduce the potential for ignition. Communities contemplating land acquisition welcome information regarding the location and status of hazardous materials sites and spills that can dramatically affect the purchase and ongoing maintenance costs of a potential site. In all cases, data provides decision-makers with powerful insights that allow communities to spend local funding wisely.

In partnership with the Smart and Sustainable Action Association (SaSAA), FCS and Envirosite, an ADEC Innovation, support cities by making data more accessible. A great deal of historical environmental data has been made publicly available in recent years, and Envirosite makes this open environmental data accessible to public and private organizations by consolidating it into reports, categorized by topic, so that communities and organizations do not need to sift through mountains of data to better understand their local environment and resources.

With the latest news about climate change predicting an ever faster transition to crisis, cities are recognized both as major contributors and key players in leading the way towards solutions. Regardless of geographic location or size, all cities can benefit from better access to data and smarter, more resilient decision-making that leads us towards a more sustainable future.


ADEC Innovations is a leading provider of ESG solutions, including fully-integrated industry expertise, software solutions, and data management. To find out more about Sister Cities International, check out our write-up in our monthly newsletter GreenWatch—and subscribe for the latest on ESG and sustainability topics.

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