City of Santa Monica

Santa Monica beach
Santa Monica city overlooking the beach

The iconic southern California beach town of Santa Monica has long been recognized as a leader in the local sustainability movement. At the center of Santa Monica’s commitment to environmental stewardship is the city government, which sets ambitious goals for itself and the community it serves.

The Santa Monica Sustainable City Plan, originally adopted in 1994 by the City Council, provides the foundation for the city’s long-term strategy. The city’s leadership believes in addressing the root causes of problems and incorporates its core sustainability principles into all facets of its operations. Each department establishes and manages internal goals and the city sets community-wide goals as well.

For example, the Solar Santa Monica Program has stream-lined the barriers to residential and commercial solar installations. As a result, the solar capacity of the City has doubled. The City is also focused on waste reduction, as well as greenhouse gas reduction. In 2008 alone, over 1 million pounds of food waste and over 137,000 pounds of hazardous waste materials were diverted from landfills. The transportation collaboration between the Big Blue Bus and Santa Monica College reduced 1.6 million car trips within its first year of implementation. Overall, Santa Monica has set very aggressive goals for a sustainable city and has implemented numerous policies and programs that have been recognized nationally.

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