News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


PRESS RELEASE 07/15/2010
Subject :

Palo Alto Only City Named to CIO Magazine List of Top 100 Organizations
Contact : James Keene, City Manager    650-329-2563
Palo Alto, CA – In its report announcing the 2010 CIO 100 Winners, "Driving Future Business Growth with Technology Innovation," CIO Magazine named the City of Palo Alto as one of only seven governmental organizations and the only municipality in the country honored.

CIO Magazine, serving chief information officers and other information technology leaders, honors the top 100 companies that are using innovation and technology to create new business value. Palo Alto's award is for the innovative use of information technology, specifically the Hara Environment and Energy Management Software, to track energy use, emissions, waste use and mobile emissions from its operations. City operations include over 125 facilities, 600 vehicles and over 600 electricity, gas and water meters. The City is aggressively cutting emissions and energy use; staff is reporting that City energy costs declined by more than $500,000 in calendar year 2009 compared to energy use in 2005, Palo Alto's benchmark year.

"At first look, it’s amazing that our small city joins much larger governmental organizations like the Department of the Navy or the Missile Defense Agency, and companies like Motorola, Proctor and Gamble and Fed Ex as award winners," said James Keene, City Manager. "However, our commitment as a City to sustainability and innovation, combined with creative and committed staff, led to this recognition."

Palo Alto is being recognized as one of the first cities in the nation to track its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and use of electricity, water and other resources. Employees in each of the City’s 13 departments track their emissions and usage in real time and compare that data against their goals through use of energy and environmental management software. The City’s goal is to reduce its emission to 15 percent below 2005 levels by 2012. Through tracking its GHG emissions, employees were able to identify 75 initiatives that could reduce emissions or energy costs. 

"We’re pleased that CIO Magazine has recognized our use of a tracking tool to measure, monitor and report the City’s greenhouse gas emissions and energy usage. This reporting system, developed by Hara and used by City staff, emphasizes the importance of how monitoring our operational activities is a critical step in achieving measurable reductions in emissions and energy usage," said Karl Van Orsdol, Energy Risk Manager. “By reporting our progress on operational efficiencies, such as the aggressive cuts achieved at our water quality control plant and with the City’s fleet, we can realize financial savings as well as recognize these successes.”

According to the 2010 CIO Awards website, the organizations selected for this year’s awards had to demonstrate “...they were able to create new value using IT and execute their project well... in uncommon, innovative ways: pioneering a new technology, applying a familiar technology to a new purpose, setting the bar higher for their competitors.” Additionally, honorees were recognized for projects that “...due to their scope and impact, positioned companies to weather today's economic challenges. In short, these companies are technology leaders.”

Palo Alto competed against organizations spanning nearly every industry, generating anywhere from a few million to multibillion-dollars annually. Competitors represented small agencies and global powerhouse with headquarters in North America as well as other countries. Judged primarily on two criteria, innovation and business value, winners were selected based on how their efforts generated business value through cutting edge use of technology.

For more information on Palo Alto’s overall climate protection and emission reduction efforts, contact Karl Van Orsdol at 650-329-2581 or Debra Van Duynhoven, Assistant to the City Manager for Sustainability, at 650-329-2164.

For more information about the CIO 100 Awards, visit