Santa Monica Receives the 2020 National Leadership in Sustainability Award from the International Code Council

November 11, 2020 7:34 PM
by Ariana Vito

Each year, the International Code Council (ICC) recognizes outstanding contributions to building codes or public policy in the fields of energy efficiency and sustainability. The ICC Sustainability Membership Council Governing Committee Chair Greg Johnson and ICC Board Director Jim Sayers recognized the City of Santa Monica’s progress in these fields at the 2020 ICC Virtual Awards Event on November 10, 2020. Mayor Kevin McKeown and Chief Sustainability Officer Shannon Parry accepted the award on behalf of the City.  

“The Governing Committee appreciates the attention to the cause of sustainability in the built environment that its actions have brought. Further, we are grateful for the leadership Santa Monica has demonstrated by promoting and encouraging sustainable practices in development, and by participating to develop more effective codes.” - Jim Sayers, ICC Board Director 

The City of Santa Monica has been instrumental in moving the needle on sustainable building and energy policies for decades. Santa Monica was one of the first cities in the country to develop a Sustainable City Plan (1994), which paved the way to implement landmark strategies to reduce citywide greenhouse gas emissions. Last year, we updated the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, recognizing that sustainability goals have become even more urgent. The City aims for an 80% emissions reduction by 2030 and full carbon neutrality by 2050 or sooner. 

“It is a great honor to serve a community that is so passionate about energy conservation and sustainability, and it is a great pleasure to work side by side with the City’s Sustainability team, dedicated to solving today's toughest environmental challenges.” - Ara Sargsyan, Building Officer, City of Santa Monica

Santa Monica was one of the first three cities in California to introduce a solar PV requirement for new construction in 2016, and was the first to introduce a Net Zero Energy Building Code for residential new construction in 2017. More recently, Santa Monica introduced an Energy Reach Code to incentivize all-electric construction in 2019, and aims to strengthen our electric-preferred energy code to mandatory electrification by early 2022. 

Our Electric Vehicle Charging Reach Code  increased EV infrastructure requirements in all new construction in 2020 – making it easier to switch to an electric vehicle by providing more charging facilities.  

In 2018, Santa Monica joined the Clean Power Alliance and selected the 100% clean power default option, which significantly reduces the carbon emissions associated with the shift to building and transportation electrification.  

Santa Monica has also been a leader in water conservation and has developed polices and rebate programs to reduce water use in buildings and landscaping. In 2017, the City introduced a Water Neutrality requirement, which allows development to occur without increasing the amount of water used City-wide.  

Thank you to the ICC for this award. We look forward to our continued collaboration with the ICC and our municipal partners to work towards a more sustainable future. Onwards! 

Authored By

Ariana Vito
Sustainability Analyst