Chief sustainability officer Kumar Jensen to step down


Daily file photo by Noah Frick-Alofs

Evanston sustainability coordinator Kumar Jensen speaks at an Evanston Climate Action and Resilience Plan Working Group meeting in April 2018. Jensen will step down from his position at the end of the summer.

Delaney Nelson, City Editor

After four years as Evanston’s chief sustainability and resilience officer, Kumar Jensen will step down from his role at the end of the summer, according to a Wednesday news release.

Jensen was appointed as the city’s sustainability coordinator in 2017 after serving as a fellow for the Office of Sustainability for three years — marking a total of seven years working for the city. 

In a LinkedIn post Monday, Jensen said in the next year, he will focus on his family and caretaking.

In 2018, Jensen was named to the 2018 GreenBiz “30 under 30” class of emerging leaders shaping the next generation of sustainable business. As chief sustainability and resilience officer, Jensen has focused on energy efficiency, water and waste reduction, renewable energy, climate action and resilience and environmental justice.

In September 2020, the city adopted the Environmental Justice Resolution, which Jensen has since worked to implement throughout the community. The resolution aims to ensure that residents have equal access to environmental assets and protection from environmental harms.

According to the release, the city has already begun looking for the next Sustainability and Resilience Coordinator, who will continue to lead a community-wide implementation of the Climate Action and Resilience Plan. CARP plans for carbon neutrality by 2050, and also sets smaller, more specific benchmarks to ensure Evanston stays on track in the coming decades.

Recently, some community advocates have expressed concern that the city is not allocating enough funding and resources to the Office of Sustainability.

On Monday, the city launched the Community Solar Program, which will expand the number of people who have access to solar energy. It will be available to residents who live in apartments and condominiums or cannot install rooftop solar panels for financial reasons.

The city is also hiring a Solid Waste Coordinator, who will manage the city’s solid waste programs and will implement programs that support CARP’s Zero Waste by 2050 goal, according to the release. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @delaneygnelson

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