Green Cities – A Collaboration for Sustainability

Green Cities California is advancing ground-breaking environmental policies throughout California and nationally.


Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Oakland, and 9 additional California cities have joined together to accelerate the adoption of sustainability policies and practices in California through collaborative action.

They are doing this two ways:

1) Making ground-breaking environmental policies freely available to everyone

2) Agreeing to simultaneously adopting of key sustainable actions

Best Practices Website: Exemplary Codes and Regulations for Cities and Towns Everywhere

Green Cities California (GCC) has collectively made over 100 Best Practices available to anyone who wants to use a model ordinance for their own jurisdiction. The Website allows visitors to immediately download ground breaking ordinances and policies on green building, energy efficiency, water conservation, zero waste and many other topic areas.

Most cities don’t have the staff or the funding to do the painstaking research needed to create new ordinances. Rather then reinventing the wheel, GCC offers cities cutting edge legislation that saves hundreds of staff time hours and thousands of dollars. Tell your city about this!

Taking Collective Action by Banning Plastic Water Bottles, Using 100% Recycled Paper and Adopting Ordinances to Severely Restrict Single-Use Bags

The GCC members’ collective actions have had measurable impacts:

Recycled Paper: In spring 2008, GCC members agreed to require that all paper purchased for city operations be 100% post consumer recycled paper. Collectively GCC jurisdictions purchase half a billion sheets of office paper annually, at a cost of $5 million. By switching to 100% recycled paper, GCC members annually save:

— 8,600,000 pounds of CO2 emissions
— 19,600,000 gallons of water
— 11,500,000 kilowatt hours of electricity
— 67,000 trees

No More Bottled Water! In the fall 2008, GCC members agreed to ban the use of city funds for bottled water, resulting in annual savings of more than $5 million.

Promote Bans on Single Use Bags Statewide: GCC commissioned a Master Environmental Assessment (MEA) on single use bags, following the filing of lawsuits against cities that passed single use bag fees or bans without conducting a full Environmental Impact Review (EIR). Since an EIR is prohibitively expensive, particularly for small cities, the MEA dramatically decreases the cost of an EIR and will facilitate fees and bans on single use bags.

Collective Voice on State Legislation: The collective voice of GCC’s high performance cities has contributed to the success of legislative proposals on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and renewable energy. GCC members are currently advocating for more aggressive climate protection targets in AB32, California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act.

Visit Green Cities California to learn more.

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