Insurify’s 2020 Greenest Cities Awards

Just in time for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day this year, this award goes to the greenest city in each state – one that epitomizes eco-friendly driving and living. 

Earth Day occurs each year on April 22, on which people around the globe demonstrate their support for environmental protection. This year, in particular, is unique, given how circumstances this spring have led to unprecedented changes in greenhouse gas emissions. Government-mandated travel restrictions, reduced travel overall, and reductions in industrial output across the globe have significantly slashed carbon emissions and nitrogen oxides. Given that transportation makes up a significant proportion of greenhouse gas emissions, the decrease in greenhouse gas emissions is due in large part to social distancing-induced reductions in transportation. Of course, this decrease is both hopeful and sobering; while it is encouraging to see the positive effects of a decline in transportation, it is a reminder of how much farther we need to go. 

Apart from the current situation, there are cities that already have begun working towards reducing their carbon footprint. Across the United States, some cities are home to a high share of eco-conscious drivers who choose their vehicles based on their environmental impact, while other cities are headed by tireless leaders who invest in green endeavors (some cities do neither). Which are those select few that perform strongly on both?

Selection Process for Insurify’s 2020 Greenest Cities Awards

The data science and research team at Insurify, an insurance quotes comparison website, analyzed both proprietary and publicly-accessible data to determine the greenest city in each state.

Referring to their database of nearly 2 million car insurance applications, Insurify’s data scientists identified cities with the lowest vehicular carbon footprint. Fuel-efficiency, engine displacement, drivetrain, annual mileage, and vehicles per household were used in the algorithm to determine the top cities per state with the greenest drivers. States with insufficient data were not included in the analysis.

Then, they compiled statistics on city-wide renewable electricity programs from the United States Conference of Mayors, and city-based air quality data published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Bonus points, according to Project Drawdown’s ranking of the environmental impact of particular green reforms, were awarded to cities accordingly.

Input Impact
Fuel Efficiency More fuel-efficient engine types such as hybrids and EVs have a lower impact on the environment.
Engine Displacement Traditionally, larger engines have been more polluting.
Drivetrain Drivetrain (4×4, AWD, RWD, FWD) impacts fuel consumption.
Annual Mileage Lower mileage reduces impact.
Vehicles per Household Lower vehicle-to-driver ratio reduces overall household impact.

 

Winners of Insurify’s 2020 Greenest Cities Awards

These are the communities, from small towns to large metropolitan areas, that have all demonstrated an exceptional commitment to green living and driving. 

Alaska: Wasilla

Alabama: Tuscaloosa

Arkansas: Fayetteville

Arizona: Nogales

California: West Hollywood

Colorado: Denver

Connecticut: Hartford

Delaware: Dover

Florida: Miami

Georgia: Macon

Hawaii:  Kailua

Iowa: Muscatine

Idaho: Moscow

Illinois: Champaign

Indiana: Bloomington

Kansas: Dodge City

Kentucky: Owensboro

Louisiana: Baton Rouge

Massachusetts: Newton

Maryland: Columbia

Maine: Bangor

Michigan: Holland

Minnesota: Eden Prairie

Missouri: Kansas City

Mississippi: Meridian

Montana: Missoula

North Carolina: Chapel Hill

North Dakota: Minot

Nebraska: Grand Island

New Hampshire: Concord

New Jersey: Trenton

New Mexico: Taos

Nevada: Carson City

New York: Ithaca

Ohio: Toledo

Oklahoma: Lawton

Oregon: Corvallis

Pennsylvania: Bethlehem

Rhode Island: Warwick

South Carolina: Columbia

South Dakota: Brookings

Tennessee: Knoxville

Texas: Austin

Utah: Salt Lake City

Virginia: Newport News

Washington: Tacoma

Wisconsin: Waukesha

West Virginia: Huntington

Wyoming: Evanston

If you have questions or comments about this article, please contact insights@insurify.com.

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Updated April 24, 2020

Insurify’s team of data scientists and content specialists presents Insurify Insights, a series of automotive, home, and health studies focusing on the topics that impact us all. Through expert analysis of over 2.5 million car insurance applications and an array of top data sources, the Insurify Insights team produces new data-driven articles, trend analyses, regional superlatives, and national rankings every week. See Insurify Insights as featured in Forbes, Fox News, USA Today, NPR, and more.