We are committed to shifting the way governments, commissions, and the commercial real estate industry designs and implements building performance standards (BPS) and other decarbonization policies in order to center community priorities. That means providing funds and increasing capacity for community-based organizations to navigate policy development processes, avoiding solutions that focus on carbon reduction without understanding the human impact, and respecting the knowledge and wisdom of frontline communities to lead on solving climate challenges.

Equitable Decarbonization Learning Series

This learning series was developed by the Community Engagement team to provide explainers for important topics around decarbonization, including why buildings matter and how they can impact and benefit our communities. 


Our work in Orlando illustrates this shift and how we plan to replicate this process in other cities and states throughout the country. 


The Story of Orlando


In spring of 2021, the City of Orlando approached IMT for assistance in exploring a BPS policy. IMT took this as an opportunity to ensure the exploration was driven by community needs. The NAACP and Poder Latinx were resourced to do popular education, and hosted community roundtables where residents shared their experiences around energy burden, housing insecurity, and discussed if and how a BPS policy could address their concerns.

In March 2022, Poder Latinx presented a report with recommendations to the Mayor of Orlando and the Office of Sustainability staff. The NAACP submitted their report in June 2022, and Orlando City Staff are currently designing workshops that aim to incorporate community members’ feedback into the BPS policy. IMT is also resourcing a community consultant to continue providing the City community perspective and support on the development and implementation of the policy.


Key takeaways from our work in Orlando that exemplifies IMT’s community engagement perspective:

  • Knowledge Is Power. Engagement and popular education should occur before ideas around what the policy should look like are determined. 
  • Take the Time. Meaningful Engagement takes time. CBOs took ten months to a year to engage their communities around BPS.
  • Be Intentional. CBOs, and community members should be involved throughout the entire process. Cities should work towards maintaining and deepening relationships with communities that reach an authentic level of collaboration and co-governance.
  • Compensation. CBOs and community members should be compensated for their time and expertise.



Community Engagement Framework

Our framework for community engagement provides a pathway for IMT, and other technical organizations, to do the work of equitable decarbonization through the co-development of energy efficiency and climate solutions that identify and address the challenges, priorities, and aspirations of frontline communities through meaningful community engagement.


About the Framework

Community Engagement Values 


IMT aims to work alongside frontline communities to co-develop policy solutions that meet their energy and climate needs. The co-creation of energy policy moves us toward an equitable Just Transition to a more sustainable energy sector that not only increases energy efficiency in cities but also aims to close the equity gaps that frontline communities face.

Act in solidarity. 

IMT respects the lived experience of the communities in which we and our partners work and works to incorporate this experience into policy development processes.

Advocate for engagement.

IMT advocates for government, business, and utility partners to engage with communities deeply and frequently.

Create a culture of care.

IMT works to create internal and external cultures that respect individuals and their lived experiences.

Engage with intention and understanding.

IMT commits to clearly understanding the issues in which we work and the languages used by different stakeholders to create informed and intentional solutions.

Use power for good.

IMT seeks to redistribute its power to give community members a platform for their voices and to incorporate their input into policy recommendations.


Clearly understand the issues we are talking about and the language we are using so that we are intentional in our work.


The different sectors of IMT are committed to a process of learning and implementing those values across their work. 


There is no shortcut for the need to respectfully engage communities; deep planning before setting out is imperative. The key to our success in this approach is to have a strategy and plan before we commit to anything in new jurisdictions.

Need more info? Get in touch!

Director, Community Engagement