Setting the Stage
There is a growing recognition in California that the preservation of our natural environment will require exemplary leadership from local community leaders. Many Mayors and Council Members from throughout the state are calling for local commitments and actions that will position their community as a leader in this effort.
The Environmental Media Association (EMA), in cooperation with Green Seal, and the Institute for Local Government, issued a challenge to ten southern California cities to be recognized as a “California Green Community” by 2012. Although there are many cities already engaged in some areas of environmental preservation, ten communities are being nominated to launch this challenge due to their ability to be “thought leaders” with their peers.
First 10 Cities Enter the Challenge in 2010
- Simi Valley
- San Gabriel
- Los Angeles
- Santa Monica
- Santa Clarita
- Culver City
Thirteen additional cities joined in 2011, with the first being Ventura.
Each city has been asked to develop a Green Community Action Plan that includes specific commitments in ten action areas. The recognition program focuses on actions that would reduce carbon emissions, reduce energy consumption, and build environmentally healthy communities, including climate-friendly purchasing, waste management, urban forestry, water management, air quality, and transportation.
Cities will be recognized at the Silver Level (basic city commitments), Gold Level (advanced city commitments), or Platinum Level (city and communitywide commitments). Each level will require a baseline Assessment Plan and one commitment in each of the ten criteria areas established by the Institute for Local Government.
To achieve Recognition levels will include promotional activities provided by the Environmental Media Association, ability to use the California Green Community logo and designations on all city and community promotions, and identification in statewide recognition efforts.
Each of the ten criteria areas will have support from a Corporate Partner to assist the city in its efforts to achieve success. For example, Southern California Edison will be providing energy efficiency support at all levels for cities in our service territory. Cal Recycle, representing the State of California, will provide support in achieving waste reduction goals, and Toyota will be an advisor in achieving new green transportation objectives. Program Partners will also provide some financial incentives to local communities to achieve their goals.
Following the program launch, each city has a working team assigned to them to help establish a Work Plan that makes sense for their community. Achievement Goals have been established to reach their desired commitment level by 2012.
Participating cities are not required to make any financial commitment up front, but will be expected to establish local programs that achieve the objectives in as many program areas as possible over a three year period. Participation is strictly voluntary.
Ten Criteria Areas to Achieve Green Community Status:
Silver Status Achievement
The following cities have achieved Silver Status as California Green Communities for their commitment to sustainability:
To find out more about California Green Communities email Chris Peck: Chris.Peck@sce.com and visit the California Green Communities site.