SAHF Releases the Carbon Roadmap

July 26, 2023


Lauren Westmoreland

Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future

(202) 737-5984

[email protected]

National Nonprofit Launches Free Tool for Reducing Carbon Emissions in Affordable Housing

The Roadmap is a first-of-its-kind tool that multifamily owners can use to test and plan decarbonization strategies.

 (July 27, 2023) — Today, the Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF) launched the Carbon Roadmap, a free tool to help multifamily portfolio owners and operators reduce carbon emissions in affordable housing. 

The Roadmap comes as communities across the U.S. experience extreme weather and other impacts of a changing climate. Affordable housing communities are often the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

The Roadmap builds off the SAHF Multifamily Portfolio Carbon Emissions Calculator and helps portfolio owners take results from the Calculator and develop actionable decarbonization strategies. SAHF released the Calculator in Feb. 2023. The Wells Fargo Foundation funds both the Roadmap and the Calculator.

With the Roadmap, multifamily portfolio owners can test scenarios and create plans to understand better the impact of decarbonization strategies on portions of their portfolio. SAHF designed the Roadmap to help portfolio owners measure emissions from their multifamily properties, growing SAHF’s library of free resources for reducing energy use and creating a more sustainable future.

The Roadmap also gives owners confidence in committing to time-bound measurable goals, such as those set by the Department of Energy’s Better Climate Challenge, where partners voluntarily commit to reducing carbon emissions by 50% over the next ten years. SAHF already piloted the tool with eight leading affordable housing organizations and select partners.

“Every person and community deserves the benefit of a healthy and sustainable home, but achieving that goal in the face of mounting climate risks will take sweeping, large-scale action, said Andrea Ponsor, President & CEO at SAHF. “With the Carbon Roadmap, SAHF aims to provide our members and partners in the industry with the tools to set bold goals and action plans for decarbonization that will create lasting equitable benefits for people and communities.”

 “As a leading investor and active lender in affordable housing, promoting pathways to enhance affordability and sustainability is important for Wells Fargo,” said Robyn Luhning, chief sustainability officer at Wells Fargo. “We are pleased to partner with SAHF to support sustainability where we work and live.” 

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, SAHF has been working towards advancing energy efficiency and sustainability in multifamily affordable housing stock for more than a decade. SAHF’s ambitious Big Reach initiative reduced energy consumption by 29% over ten years, demonstrating that portfolio owners can implement sustainable practices for maximum benefit.

The Big Reach identified the importance of time-bound portfolio-wide goals and tools for multifamily owners to significantly change energy efficiency systems and practices. But existing carbon tools are designed for a single-property approach and do not account for variations in fuel types and electricity grids across different jurisdictions. And these tools do not let multifamily owners predict future emission reductions based on specific decarbonization strategies.

The Carbon Roadmap addresses these challenges and is another step forward for SAHF in helping its members achieve greater sustainability success. By providing them with an efficient way to prioritize decarbonization efforts across their portfolios, they can make meaningful progress toward creating a greener future for all Americans.

About Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future

SAHF is a national collaborative of 12 nonprofit housing providers who own and operate over 149,000 affordable rental homes across the U.S. SAHF’s mission is to advance the creation and preservation of healthy, sustainable, affordable rental homes that foster equity, opportunity, and wellness for people of limited economic resources.

Download the Carbon Roadmap