Sustainability and Climate Change

Local government has an important role to play in ensuring our communities are sustainable. Sustainability is defined as being able to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

What is the City Doing to Address Sustainability and Climate Change?

The City's commitment to sustainability is outlined in the City's General Plan with a guiding principle of a Sustainable and Healthy Community. Sustainability in Elk Grove is the ability to live responsibly within available means and to manage finite natural resources, meeting present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It is the capacity to endure, and therefore applies to everything done now and in the future. The challenge is to incorporate the three components of sustainability "the environment, the economy, and the community" into City policies and actions. All three components work together as an integrated system to achieve a sustainable and livable community.

It also shows through many initiatives underway across the organization. Some of these efforts are outlined below. Additional activities will be added in the future to create a full listing of City efforts toward sustainability.

Our Efforts Toward Environmental, Social, and Economic Sustainability

Environment

Environment

Sustainable Building Practices

The Center at District 56 is a leading example of green building practices and is currently undergoing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification. LEED is a special building certification provided by the U.S. Green Building Council that demonstrates that the building is constructed with sustainable and energy efficient practices. The process evaluates environmental performance from a "whole building" perspective over a building's life-cycle, providing a measurable standard for what constitutes a "green building". The City is also in the process of installing a large solar array at District 56 that will provide enough energy to power the entire D56 campus, creating a net zero energy campus.

The Special Waste Collection Center received LEED Gold certification in 2015. The facility is the first of its kind in the nation powered by solar energy.

While not a LEED certified building, the Animal Shelter used the same sustainable and green building practices as followed at the Special Waste Collection Center and District56.

Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Beginning in 2017, the City entered into a SolarSHares agreement with SMUD to provide solar power to City facilities. This agreement ensures that 50 percent of the power of eligible buildings' electricity use is through solar, offsetting approximately 15 percent of the City's entire electrical consumption with clean power.

Reducing Water Usage

Water efficiency upgrades have been ongoing at City facilities over the past several years. These upgrades include replacing all restroom facets with touchless models, replacing all urinals with waterless models, replacing all toilets with dual flush valves and adjusting landscaping sprinkler control timers to reduce water usage.

Reducing Waste

In 2021, the City is ending the purchase of single-use plastic water bottles. The City previously purchased upwards of 20,000 single-use water bottles each year. The City is ending these purchases and ensuring employees and visitors have access to refillable, reusable bottles or biodegradable cups.

Climate Action Plan (CAP)

The City's most recent CAP was adopted in 2019. The CAP is a strategic planning document that identifies sources of GHG emissions within Elk Grove and identifies measures to reduce emissions through energy use, transportation, land use, water use, and solid waste.

Social

Social

Charter for Compassion

In 2020, the City of Elk Grove adopted a charter for compassion. The charter recognizes the benefits of a compassionate city for residents and the community and understands the interconnectedness of residents and the natural environment. A Compassion Awards program was launched with the charter, and additional compassion related activities are in process.

The City has an employee managed Community Assistance Network that seeks to motivate and enable employees to serve community needs. The group works to identify opportunities for employees to give either monetarily or through in-person efforts.

CAN logo
Economic

Economic

Why Buy Local?

The Support Local campaign is intended to help ensure a strong, sustainable local employment base. Shopping at local businesses encourages local employment.

Why Buy Local logo

Purchasing local products encourages a strong local economy, and benefits the environment through reducing the transportation footprint for products. The City partnered with Unseen Heroes to bring the NeighborGood Market to District56. The market supports local small and micro businesses and encourages local agriculture.

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