The 2008 Sustainable City Report Card, which includes a set of goals to ensure the long-term sustainability of our local economy, environment, and quality of life, was released today, September 18, and the news was positive. Some of the notable successes include the following:
* Better Buildings: The mixed-use Santa Monica Civic Center Parking Structure received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
* Solar Success: Solar capacity in the City has doubled since the launch of Solar Santa Monica, with 139 grid-connected solar projects representing 926 kilowatts of solar capacity.
* Post-Consumer Paper: The City purchases 100 percent post-consumer recycled copy paper for municipal operations. Annually, this saves an estimated 1.2 million gallons of water, 158,000 pounds of CO2 emissions, and leaves 1,700 trees standing in the forests.
* Household Help: Residents using the Household Hazardous Waste Center kept more than 137,000 pounds of hazardous materials and almost 19,000 pounds of household batteries out of the landfills.
*Automobile Usage: A pilot collaboration between Big Blue Bus and Santa Monica College reduced 1.6 million car trips in the first year.
* Local Leadership: Over 30 Santa Monica businesses were recognized for their commitment to sustainable practices through the Green Business Certification Program and the Sustainable Quality Awards.
* Total Trees: The size of the community forest grew 2 percent this year.
* Outstanding Open Space: Santa Monica’s open space system now includes 245 acres of state beach and 26 community parks.
* Community Care: The Community Development Grants Program provided over $7.6 million to support local family, disability, employment, and homeless services.
Dean Kubani, Director of the City’s Office of Sustainability and the Environment, said, “The Report Card shows that we are making progress toward becoming a sustainable city. We are seeing that many local businesses, institutions, elected officials, and city staff now use the term ‘sustainability’ to describe their mission. However, if we are to achieve our goals, we must all become more involved in the process.”
Visit smepd.org for additional information.