September 25, 2019 12:00 PM
by Amanda Grossman
Sustainability celebrated 25 years of progress with the anniversary of Santa Monica's Sustainable City Plan. On September 20, 1994, Council adopted the Sustainable City Plan, a set of groundbreaking policies, distinguished for their broad scope and measurable targets, that thrust Santa Monica into a leadership position worldwide.
Inspired by the Rio Convention of 1992, the Sustainable City Plan is a comprehensive framework for community sustainability designed to enhance our resources, prevent harm to the natural environment and human health, and benefit the social, cultural and economic well-being of the community.
Here is a quick snapshot of the last 25 years to see how far Santa Monica has come:
- Santa Monica is the first city to power municipal operations with clean power and now 92 percent of all customers are running on 100 percent clean power (2019).
- Santa Monica Farmers’ Markets generate over $18 million of sales annually.
- Strong local economy with earnings of $9,242,419,072 for 89,853 jobs (2018).
- Banned single-use plastics for shopping bags and food ware.
- Expo Line and Esplanade opened (2016).
- Wellbeing Index launched (2014).
- Clean fueled and zero-emission vehicles make up 70 percent of the non-emergency municipal fleet (2016).
- SMMUSD adopted the Sustainability Plan and implemented a complementary curriculum (2019).
- Dedicated first full-sized all-electric Big Blue Bus (2019).
- Community reduced water consumption by 20 percent and held it until today (2019).
- Installed 143 public electric vehicle chargers.
- Adopted the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (2019)
- City Services Building designed to Living Building Challenge standards will open spring 2020.
- Launched the Breeze bike-share network (2016).
- Adopted the Sustainability Rights Ordinance to protect the rights of nature and Santa Monica’s local ecosystems (2013).
- 154 LEED Certified Buildings community-wide (2019).
- Pico Library one of the first structures in LA County allowed to use rainwater for toilet flushing (2014).
- Reduced carbon emissions by 29 percent while growing the economy by 51 percent (2019).
- Clean Beaches Project built with 1.6 million gallon cistern capturing runoff from Downtown Santa Monica (2018).
- Since 2010, the urban forest saw 5,864 trees planted with 3,098 net new trees (2019).
- The Santa Monica Urban Runoff Recycling Facility (SMURRF) was the first urban runoff treatment facility in the world and is still fully operational (2000).
- Increased public park space to 135.35 acres with the addition of Ishihara Park (2019).
- Solar 6.3 megawatts of solar installed community-wide (2018).
- Started Sustainable Works with Santa Monica College.
- Sustainable Water Master Plan was approved in 2018 as a roadmap to ensure Santa Monica is Water Self-Sufficient by 2023 and included a sustainable yield analysis.
The Sustainable City Plan is continually evolving and adapting to community priorities. Our sustainability best practices remain part of the enduring strategic policy initiatives for Santa Monica's future. Together, Santa Monica residents, businesses, and visitors are doing their part to realize a Sustainable Santa Monica.