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Sustainability Associate Planner

Job Location

Cambridge, MA


Type of Job



$62,962 - $88,901

Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Aug 3, 2021

About the job

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The Community Development Department is the planning agency for the City of Cambridge. Our mission is to foster a livable, sustainable, just, and equitable community. We work to enhance the character and diversity of the city's neighborhoods, preserve, and increase affordable housing, create, and promote accessible and sustainable mobility, build environmental resilience, and support sustainable economic growth. Through these initiatives, we strive to enrich the lives of residents, expand their opportunities, and contribute to a healthy urban environment. Within the Community Development Department, the 13-member Environmental and Transportation Planning Division leads efforts to plan for and implement sustainable solutions for the Cambridge transportation system and built environment.

The Sustainability Associate Planner will support development, implementation, and tracking of GHG reduction programs in Cambridge per the goals of the Net Zero Action Plan and Climate Action Plan. Under the supervision of the Climate Program Manager, the Sustainability Associate Planner will be responsible for interdisciplinary work to support the development, implementation, and tracking of GHG reduction programs in Cambridge. The Sustainability Associate Planner should have a passion for sustainability initiatives; key functions are outlined below.

Primary responsibilities include:

  • Support the development of new and ongoing policies and with a focus on increasing energy efficiency in existing buildings. Adopt high-level recommendations from the Net Zero Action Plan into concrete programs and policies, such as by strengthening an existing retrofit program for residential and small commercial buildings and advancing frameworks for enabling energy upgrades at key building transaction points such as time of sale, lease, and renovation, and identifying and implementing financing mechanisms to support building retrofits.
  • Oversee implementation of the existing Multi-Family Retrofit Program serving buildings with 5-50 units as part of the Cambridge Energy Alliance. Coordinate multiple consultant partners to deliver high quality service to building stakeholders, track program results, and make adjustments to improve outcomes. Manage program budgets and contracts.
  • Lead cross-programmatic tracking and evaluation to support achievement of the Net Zero Action Plan and Climate Action Plan GHG reduction commitments. Cultivate existing and new data sources in collaboration with intra- and inter-departmental colleagues to inform program evaluation and development.
  • Manage and regularly update the Community GHG Inventory including Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions for buildings, waste, and transportation, and investigate opportunities to monitor and address Scope 3 emissions.
  • Package energy and GHG data for reporting to internal and external bodies such as the Sustainability Dashboard and the Global Covenant of Mayors and evaluate the benefit of novel sustainability rating systems.
  • Link program and GHG inventory data to the Cambridge Climate Action Plan, which currently addresses emissions from the building, transportation, and waste sectors. Update the Climate Action Plan as appropriate, including consideration of opportunities to address Scope 3 emissions.
  • Perform related duties as required to support creative and effective approaches to reducing GHG emissions in Cambridge while promoting public health and equity.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.


  • A Bachelor's degree from an accredited university in a related field (energy policy, environmental studies, planning, data management, etc.) and 5 years of experience, or equivalent combination of education, training, and experience. A Master's degree in a related field may be substituted for 2 years of experience.
  • Knowledge and practical experience managing and/or leading projects with multiple internal and external stakeholders
  • Strong data collection and management skills, with use of tools including Excel, CRM, GIS, and/or additional data collection and analysis methods
  • Exceptional project management skills that can be illustrated through a record of leading or supporting successful projects, including budget development and tracking
  • Effective verbal and written communications/presentation skills; customer relations experience
  • Self-starter with demonstrated ability to carry complex projects from concept to implementation, use creative thinking to solve problems, and work in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to draw connections between diverse activities to enhance the City's ability to meet its overarching GHG reduction commitments.
  • The City of Cambridge's workforce, like the community it serves, is diverse; Applicants must have the ability to work and interact effectively with individuals and groups with a variety of identities, cultures, backgrounds, and ideologies

Preferred Qualifications

  • Familiarity with building energy efficiency technologies and policies
  • Experience with nationally-recognized GHG accounting protocols
  • Experience developing and implementing new programs and policies in a municipal or similar institutional setting
  • Demonstrated success soliciting and implementing external financial support such as grants
  • Facility with data visualization and communication tools

Benefits Summary:

  • Vacation and Sick leave eligible
  • Sick Incentive Pay Eligible
  • 3 Personal days
  • 14 Paid Holidays
  • Management Allowance, $2,500/year

Where you'll work: The Cambridge City Hall Annex at 344 Broadway is home to the Community Development Department, midway between Central and Inman Squares in the heart of Cambridge. Indoor work is conducted primarily in a semi/private office environment with fluorescent lighting, air conditioning, computers, and other standard office equipment. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions. Please note, City of Cambridge employees are fully working on-site.

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