The City of Palo Alto has been selected as a 2015 Business Environmental Award winner and recipient of the Acterra Award for Sustainability for a large organization (1,000 employees or more) in recognition of the City's overall approach, commitment and leadership in sustainability. This represents Acterra’s highest award and recognizes businesses or organizations whose programs achieve significant benefits and advance the state of sustainability.
Acterra’s Business Environmental Awards is one of the Bay Area’s oldest and most prestigious environmental recognition programs. Initiated in 1990, it is considered a heavyweight among award programs due to its rigorous application and judging process.
"In keeping with our community’s history as the center of innovation and visionary thinking, we are honored to be a city recognized among businesses for our leadership in sustainability," said City Manager James Keene. “We are particularly pleased to be named by Acterra for our sustainability efforts that consider demonstrated commitment, measureable results, and programs that are potential models for the business community as criteria for the award.”
Specifically, Palo Alto was honored for sustainability programs that embrace key principles including an analysis of costs/benefits, are comprehensive, foster partnerships, engage the community and are replicable. The award considered the contributions of all City departments in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Specifically, Palo Alto was one of the first cities in the nation to adopt a Climate Action Plan, and realize large GHG reductions – a 53 percent reduction in City operations and 29 percent reduction in the combined community emissions. The City has achieved a carbon neutral electric supply and recently adopted a local solar plan to provide enhanced incentives for schools, businesses and other institutions to install solar panels. The City also received kudos for extensive efforts to protect its urban forest, programs to reach Zero Waste by 2021, and for implementing leading-edge watershed protection initiatives. Other contributing factors to the award included energy efficiency programs, conservation programs, green building requirements, incentives for electric vehicles and fuel efficient vehicles. With the achievement of a carbon neutral electric supply, Palo Alto is now shifting its focus to reducing natural gas and transportation fuel consumption.
Palo Alto will be honored at the 25th Anniversary Business Environmental Awards reception on May 28 at Intuit Corporation in Mountain View.
About Acterra: Action for a Healthy Planet
Acterra is a non-profit organization with a 45-year history of environmental programming in and around Silicon Valley. Acterra involves and educates individuals, businesses and communities to take action against global warming, restore natural habitats, and cultivate environmental leaders for the future. For more information, visit http://www.acterra.org/ or follow them on Twitter @PlanetActerra.