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Emerald California

The California Sustainability Alliance is the lead implementer for the California Department of Conservation’s Emerald California pilot program. Emerald California is designed to help local governments adopt ‘reach goals’ that go beyond simply complying with State environmental mandates and implement sustainability programs that support California’s environmental priorities. Currently in the pilot phase, the Alliance is providing the City of Riverside with access to technical and advisory assistance from state agencies to support the City’s sustainability initiatives and programs.

Mayor of Riverside with Department of Conservation Director Bridgett Luther
Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge with Department of Conservation Director Bridgett Luther

Local governments participating in this pilot agree to the following commitments:

  1. Adopt a resolution committing to help achieve the following California state environmental targets:
    • Improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions
    • Improve energy conservation and efficiency
    • Improve water quality, water conservation, and reuse
    • Improve the environmental health of local citizens
    • Increase solid waste reduction and recycling rates
    • Reduce motor vehicle transportation and fuel use
    • Implement smart growth/land use and development principles
    • Protect natural resources, agricultural lands, and open space
  2. Join The Climate Registry (TCR) and conduct a greenhouse gas inventory of municipal and community facilities.
  3. Support regional efforts of the California Regional Blueprint Planning Program, if city/county is located within a region with an adopted blueprint plan funded by the state.

Once a city has adopted an official resolution, the Alliance will benchmark the participant’s current state of sustainability based on the Department of Conservation’s Sustainable Elements Matrix. The Alliance will also help identify significant gaps in the local government’s current sustainability portfolio to identify high potential policies, programs and measures that could help meet or exceed the State’s environmental targets. Lessons learned through this pilot will be shared with other California State agencies and the Strategic Growth Council. Currently the Emerald California program works with two cities: Riverside and Tracy.

To learn more about the Emerald California program, download the program fact sheet.

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