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Initiatives

Sacramento both contributes to and faces the impacts of climate change. To avoid the most destructive and costly effects of climate change, the world must achieve carbon neutrality, or no net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, by the middle of this century. Reaching carbon neutrality requires reducing GHG emissions to as near to zero as possible, and offsetting remaining emissions through carbon sequestration (e.g., by planting trees). The City and its partners are committed to reducing GHG emissions while also adapting to the impacts of climate change. To learn more about Sacramento’s climate action and sustainability initiatives, select one of the sectors below or scroll down to view all sectors. 

This list provides key examples and resources. Note that climate change has significant intersection with City services and operations; while this list is not exhaustive of all relevant City activities, the webpage will be built out and updated over time.  

MOBILITY

Slow & Active Streets Pilot 
The City piloted Slow & Active Streets (partial closures of low-speed residential streets to encourage walking, biking, and skating) from December 2020 through July 2021. 

Active Transportation Audits 
Beginning in fall of 2021, the City is conducting three neighborhood-level audits to identify opportunities to improve active transportation infrastructure. The audits will take place in three community areas: North Sacramento, Fruitridge Broadway, and South Area.

Zero-emission Zones
In 2021, the City partnered with the World Economic Forum’s Global New Mobility Coalition and McKinsey & Company to identify, model, and recommend strategies to support potential zero-emission areas in Sacramento.

Electric Vehicle Initiatives
The City is improving electric vehicle infrastructure throughout Sacramento, including by expanding curbside charging and adopting an Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Ordinance.

Also learn more about other important transportation projects and initiatives, including:

BUILT ENVIRONMENT

Ensuring that both new construction and existing buildings are all-electric is a crucial step in the City’s work to achieve carbon neutrality. In June 2021 City Council adopted the New Building Electrification Ordinance, phasing in requirements for new construction in Sacramento to be all-electric, starting with low-rise buildings in 2023. The City is also developing a pathway for existing building electrification by 2045. Sacramento was one of the first jurisdictions in the state to launch property-assessed clean energy financing, one of several green energy financing tools available to property owners looking for financing assistance to retrofit homes. 

WATER

The City Department of Utilities offers a variety of tools and incentives to promote sustainable water use. These programs include water conservation rebates for residents as well as rebates for businesses. Learn more about City leadership by example in water conservation, including the 35th Avenue Demonstration Garden.  

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

Preparation of the City’s first Environmental Justice Element is underway, with factbooks available for air quality and pollution exposure, healthy food access, public facilities and physical activity, safe and sanitary housing, and civic engagement and investment prioritization

In early 2021, the City catalyzed the launch of Sacramento’s first Environmental Justice Collaborative Governance Committee (EJCGC), a key recommendation of the Mayors’ Commission on Climate Change. The City sponsored ClimatePlan launch the first six months of EJCGC meetings, including stipends for EJCGC members. Staff participation and collaboration with the EJCGC is ongoing. 

Consisting of 16 community members, the EJCGC provides diverse representation of Sacramento in terms of age, race, gender, community, and lived personal and professional experience. The EJCGC is a community-based effort managed by ClimatePlan, intended to inform and advise City efforts and build community capacity for environmental justice priorities. Although initially supported with City funding, the EJCGC is a community-based initiative rather than a formal City committee appointed by Councilmembers.

Sacramento is also planning for the launch of food-anchored resilience hubs, including activation of the City Tree Nursery and expansion of the City’s community gardens. The City partners with numerous local and regional partners for food access. This collaboration led to the successful provision of over 800 meals to more than 1,000 seniors through the Great Plates Delivered program.

To support the integration of equity into City environmental decision-making and climate initiatives, staff drafted an Environmental Equity Toolkit for application to City projects. Testing of the December 2020 working draft Environmental Equity Toolkit is ongoing.

WASTE

The Recycling and Solid Waste Division has numerous sustainability initiatives, including organics and food waste diversion programs, backyard composting classes, and other waste reduction resources for residents and businesses. 

ADAPTATION AND RESILIENCE

 Urban greening is a key strategy for building Sacramento’s resilience to climate impacts like extreme heat, as well as for increasing carbon sequestration. The City maintains approximately 100,000 public trees and more than 200 parks and parkways totaling over 4,200 acres. The Urban Forest Master Plan (currently being updated) describes the City’s approach to maintaining and growing Sacramento’s urban forest. The Parks Master Plan (also undergoing updates) defines goals and strategies for Sacramento’s parks and other green spaces. The City is also conducting a vulnerability assessment as part of the 2040 General Plan update

To learn about Sacramento’s urban forest, see Google’s Environmental Insights Explorer, which shows tree canopy cover across Sacramento. 

The City is also partnering with the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District to help build community resilience to air pollution, including from wildfire smoke. The new City/Air District partnership is one of several regional air quality monitoring efforts. For real-time air quality information, please see sparetheair.com and fire.airnow.gov.

The Sacramento Valley Station serves as Sacramento’s mobility anchor. The station was recently renovated to LEED Platinum standards. Master planning was recently completed to establish a 20-year buildout strategy incorporating sustainability principles from the Living Community Challenge framework, including net positive energy and water use, biophilic design, and other adaptive standards. 

JUST TRANSITION

Sacramento is committed to an equitable and just transition to a carbon neutral economy in which Sacramentans can prosper. The City’s Clean & Green Workforce Working Group provided recommendations to City Council on August 17, 2021. Analysis of workforce opportunities is ongoing, with recent Council direction to invest in workforce development using federal stimulus the City received through the American Rescue Plan Act. 

Resolution No. 2021-0166 (June 1, 2021) commits to evaluation of green job opportunities and an update to City Council by the end of 2021. Staff are also evaluating onsite water reuse opportunities and a potential dual-plumbing ordinance, to increase water conservation while offsetting potential impacts to gas pipefitter work from the New Building Electrification Ordinance

CITY OPERATIONS

The City’s Sustainable Procurement Policy outlines guidance and requirements for products purchased for City facilities and operations.

The City is committed to reducing GHG emissions from its facilities and operations. The Climate Action Plan for Internal Operations defines the City’s targets and strategies for reducing GHG emissions from municipal operations. The ongoing Climate Action and Adaptation Plan update will include new municipal GHG emission targets and approaches.  

The City has reduced municipal energy use 34% since 2005, and offsets over 30% of municipal energy with on- or off-site solar power. For an evaluation of energy use in City buildings and summary of key energy-saving projects to date, see the 2019 Municipal Energy Benchmarking Report.

Sacramento’s City fleet is consistently rated as one of top green fleets in North America. The City’s Fleet Sustainability Policy establishes a “ZEV first” commitment, and 23% of the City’s light-duty fleet consists of zero-emission vehicles as of fall 2021.