Top 20 buildings with the highest carbon footprint in Arlington County, Virginia

Unlike many other places, Arlington County, Virginia has provided carbon footprint data for many of their buildings—a sign of forward thinking. It is given as the equivalent in metric tons CO2 for the measured energy consumption (electricity, gas) of each building. Many buildings appeared multiple times in the dataset, which suggests that they had multiple units measured—possibly with the goal to provide a higher degree of transparency. To simplify the results, here only the total carbon footprint of the top 20 buildings is given in sorted order.

Place Name Address Carbon Footprint
Detention Center (Jail) 1435 N Courtdouse Road 66417.2
Courts Police 1425 N. Courtdouse Rd. 53820.1
Courtdouse Plaza (County-portion) 2100 Clarendon Blvd 40239.1
Central Library 1015 N. Quincy Street 19177.8
Ballston Garage 627 N. Glebe Rd. 16779.6
Court Square West 1400 N. Uhle St. 12960.0
Equipment Division 2701 S. Taylor St 8811.8
Shirlington Library/Signature tdeatre 4200 Campbell Ave 7656.3
Barcroft Sports 4200 S. Four Mile Run Drive 5518.3
Walter Reed Community Center 2902 16td St S 5198.7
Aurora Hills Complex 1750 Soutd Hayes Street 4564.1
WETA 3700 S. Four Mile Run Drive 4301.0
Drewry Center 1725 N. George Mason Rd. 4175.5
RPC 1554 Columbia Pike 4171.9
Fire Station 4 3121 10td Street 4104.5
Arlington Arts 3550 Wilson Blvd 3410.3
Solid Waste/Traffic Eng 4300 29td Street S 3372.9
Madison Center 3829 N. Stafford Dr. 3285.6
Fairlington - New 3308 S. Stafford St. 3245.3
WSS Admin 4200 28td Street S. 3241.9

It is now possible to see quickly which buildings are affecting the environment the most. The carbon footprint difference between the third and fourth building on the list is more than two times, which suggests that optimizing the first three buildings would likely have a high impact, potentially without requiring many entities to be involved. Still, this is something that the county itself must decide. It would be nice if in the future more places followed a similar example.