2030 Inc. is a left-of-center environmentalist group that focuses on the relationship between urban planning and carbon dioxide emissions. The group actively advocates for restrictive environmentalist legislation and government regulation at the municipal, state, federal, and supranational levels.
The three programs offered by 2030 Inc. include 2030 Palette, 2030 Districts, and AIA+2030, all of which are geared towards assisting entities meet the “2030 Challenge.” The 2030 Challenge is a push for all new or renovated buildings to be “carbon-neutral” by 2030. In order to meet the goal, 2030 Inc. advocates for the use of urban solar and wind power. It offers little explanation as to the cost of such methods or the feasibility of such methods in densely populated urban settings.
2030 Palette is an Internet platform that provides a set of guiding principles, which include “consuming less fossil fuels” and “adapting to climate change.” 2030 Districts are a coalition of more than 20 districts (otherwise known as cities) that are committed to reducing energy use. These districts are “overseen” by 2030 Inc. The coalition includes some of the most left-leaning cities in the United States, such as Austin, Texas; Burlington, Vermont; Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Ithaca, New York; Ann Arbor, Michigan; and San Francisco, California. AIA+2030 is an educational program for design professionals to meet the 2030 Challenge.
The initiatives include Achieving Zero, Advancing Net Zero Worldwide, China Accord, and Roadmap to Zero Emissions. Achieving Zero offers policies specifically for state, municipal, or provincial governments. The purpose of Advancing Net Zero Worldwide is to create “Green Building Councils” worldwide.  China Accord is a plan to design buildings in China to meet lower carbon usage standards. Mazria and the Secretary-General of the China Exploration and Design Association signed the Accord.
As the above programs and initiatives have grown, so too has 2030 Inc.’s influence among progressives in Washington D.C. and various international organizations. After the U.S. Conference of Mayors adopted the 2030 Challenge in May 2006, Mazria delivered the keynote address at the organization’s Emergency Summit on Energy and the Environment that same month. In June 2007 Mazria again addressed the U.S. Conference of Mayors, delivering the plenary address. Later that year 2030 Inc. placed an advertisement demanding that policymakers “stop coal” in the New York Times. In what many considered a major win for progressives, Congress mandated 2030 Challenge standards for all federal buildings in the 2007 omnibus energy bill.
In February 2009, the Senate Committee of Energy and Natural Resources heard testimony from the group. Later that month Mazria joined Obama administration advisor and Center for American Progress president John Podesta on a National Building Museum panel. In June, the 2030 Challenge targets were included in the unsuccessful American Clean Energy Security Act—better known as the “cap and trade bill” for its energy tax proposal.
Better Buildings Initiative
In March 2011, 2030 Inc. released a fact sheet analyzing the Obama Administration’s Better Building Initiative, which contained a version of Architecture 2030’s “CRE Solution.” The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2011 was introduced in May 2011 and included a section that effectively adopted the 2030 Challenge metrics. In June the White House announced that The Seattle 2030 District had been selected as one of the three nationwide Community Partners for the White House’s Better Buildings Initiative.
United Nations Conference on Climate Change
In 2015, Mazria attended the COP21 United Nations Conference on Climate Change and delivered two presentations advocating “de-carbonization” by 2050. In 2016, 2030 Inc. developed the 2030 Curriculum Project to support university projects that “fully integrate lessons in energy use, emissions, and resiliency into the widest possible range of projects and topic areas, and across all year levels.”
Federal tax returns filed by 2030 Inc. in 2016 showed total revenue of $785,401 and expenditures of $1,178,383. The 2016 total revenue was well below the 2015 amount of $1,248,714, representing a 37% drop in funding. The expenditures of 2030 Inc. fell from the previous year’s total, but only slightly, to $1,219,466. While compensation of current officers, directors, trustees, and key employees accounted for none of the organization’s expenditures, other salaries and wages made up $520,089 in expenses.
The only individual listed as receiving compensation from 2030 Inc. is Mazria, who collected compensation of $156,088.
In 2017, 2030 Inc. was awarded a $600,000 grant from the Kresge Foundation to help cities develop “equitable pathways to eliminate carbon emissions.” 2030 Inc. also recently received three separate grants from Rockefeller Brothers Fund. On March 9, 2017 it was awarded a $550,000 grant over three years for its “achieving zero project.” On February 22, 2018, it was awarded a one-time $200,000 grant for its “zero net carbon building energy code” project. On March 7, 2018, it was awarded a $500,000 grant over two years for general support.
Founder Edward Mazria serves as CEO of 2030 Inc. Vincent Martinez serves as its chief operating officer.
Mazria established Architecture 2030 in 2002 and in January 2006 Mazria led Architecture 2030 as it formally launched the 2030 Challenge. He has been extremely active on the international stage. In 2014 he presented the Roadmap to Zero Emissions at the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development and UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. He is credited with developing the Zero Cities Project, which partners with numerous environmental advocacy organizations, including the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance, Urban Sustainability Directors Network, New Buildings Institute, and Resource Media. His first major published work came in 1979 – The Passive Solar Energy Book: A Complete Guide to Passive Solar Home, Greenhouse and Building Design.
Board of Directors
2030 Inc. is managed by a four-member board. The current chairman is Harmon Lisnow and the other three members include Ben Cardinale, Leonor Missrie, and Lynette Montoya.
Lisnow has a long history with organized labor and served in key leadership roles for Texas left-wing interests. After serving in the Peace Corps in Liberia, he collaborated with the AFL-CIO and the United Steelworkers to train Liberian labor leadership. He also served as Chief Administrator for the Texas State Comptroller as well as Texas Attorney General Jim Mattox (D). Despite Mattox being considered the “Junkyard Dog of Texas Politics,” Mattox and Lisnow remained close, with Lisnow often referred to as Mattox’s “longtime” associate.
Montoya founded and has served as executive director of the Santa Fe Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. In addition, she served as Director of Economic Development for the City of Santa Fe, where she used her influence to get the city to adopt the 2030 Challenge. After a career in the building industry, Cardinale changed course and became a Hollywood TV writer, where he focuses on movies and commercials that deal with the subject of “cleaning up the environment.” Missrie is an artist living in Mexico City that focuses her architectural work “on the built environment [and] energy and climate change.”